HOW TO: Turn On the Interix R Utilities

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This step-by-step article describes how to turn on the Interix R utilities. The Interix subsystem provides a fully POSIX-compliant environment that runs as a native subsystem in the Windows kernel. It includes more than 350 UNIX utilities, and includes an inetd daemon to handle a variety of network protocols. These include the Remote Shell protocol that forms the basis for the "r-utilities", including rsh, rlogin, and others. Services for UNIX also includes a Win32-based Remote Shell service. By default, the Win32-based Remote Shell service is turned on and the Interix one is turned off.

The Win32 Remote Shell service uses a default shell of Cmd.exe, while the Interix rshd daemon uses the user's default shell, either /bin/ksh or /bin/csh. Only a single Remote Shell server can listen on port 514, the remote shell port. Because of this, if you want to run the Interix rshd, you must first turn off the Win32 based Remote Shell server, and then turn on the Interix one.

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Turn Off the Windows Remote Shell Service

Services for UNIX installs the Remote Shell Service (Rshsvc.exe) as part of its typical installation. Before you can turn on the Interix rshd, you must first stop, and then turn off the Windows Remote Shell service.

To turn off the Windows Remote Shell service:
  1. Log on to the Windows server with an administrative-level account.
  2. Start the Services tool in Windows NT 4.0, or the Services MMC in Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
  3. Double-click the Remote Shell Service service.
  4. Stop the Remote Shell Service service, and then change the startup type to either Manual or Disabled.
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Turn On the Interix rshd

The Interix subsystem includes a full remote shell daemon (server) that is started as part of the inet daemon (inetd). The inet daemon is controlled by the /etc/inetd.conf file, which includes the necessary line for starting the remote shell daemon, but the line is commented out. You must first edit the inetd.conf file, and then force the inet daemon to re-read the file.

NOTE: You must only edit the inetd.conf file by using a pure ASCII text editor. Interix includes the vi editor which is a pure ASCII editor.

To turn on the Interix rshd daemon:
  1. Log on to the Windows server with an administrative-level account.
  2. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Services for UNIX, and then click Korn Shell to open an Interix Korn Shell window.
  3. Use the $ vi /etc/inetd.conf command to edit the /etc/inetd.conf file.
  4. The vi command sequence for the edit is:


  5. Find the process ID for the inet daemon, and send a kill -1 command to that process. This will force the daemon to re-read its configuration file that you edited in the previous step. To do so, use the kill -1 $(ps -e | grep ' inetd$'| tr -s " " | cut -f2 -d " ") command.
  6. This causes the inet daemon to reprocess its configuration file without stopping the inetd process. You can now use the r-utilities that use rshd to connect to the computer, and you can connect to the Interix subsystem.

    NOTE: Interix uses the /etc/hosts.equiv and $HOME/.rhosts syntax to turn on connections from remote hosts.
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For additional information about how to complete maintenance tasks after migrating from UNIX to Windows, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
324539 HOW TO: Perform Maintenance and Ancillary Tasks after a UNIX-to-Windows Migration

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Article ID: 324076 - Last Review: 01/11/2015 04:42:47 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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