UnxUtils is a collection of ports of common GNU Unix-like utilities to native Win32, with executables only depending on the Microsoft C-runtime msvcrt.dll. The collection was last updated on April 15, 2003 by Dr. Karl M. Syring. The distribution includes a main zip archive (UnxUtils.zip, 3,365,638 bytes) complemented by more recent updates (UnxUpdates.zip, 878,847 bytes). The utilities included are:
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GNUWin II is a large collection of free software for Microsoft Windows created by the Linux User Group of the EPFL (?cole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne). It is intended at easing the transition from proprietary applications and operation systems to free ones, by acclimating the user to widely used and cross-platform software. As of January 2005, project members are defining GNUWin III.
The GNUWin project started in spring 2001 in the EPFL to respond to the need of a mean of distributing LaTeX packages for MS Windows. The logical extension was to include LaTeX documentation, customised hints in form of HTML pages, and other software packages such as gnuplot and Star Office (which was not exactly Free Software, a special license from Sun Microsystems was obtained for the occasion). GNUWin was only available in French, and was mainly distributed within the EPFL.
Due to the success of GNUWin, it was decided to build a second edition the year after. The main feature was that the CD was multilingual: the three main official languages of Switzerland (German, French and Italian) were included, as well as English; software was updated (notably, StarOffice was replaced by the Free OpenOffice.org); and a server script was written to ease addition. The EPFL itself sponsored the printing of 1000 CDs.
GNUWin II immediately met broad success outside the EPFL, due to its translation into German. Free software is more commonly accepted in Germany and German Switzerland, which led to GNUWin being advertised and mirrored on the Internet. It also made it into important Swiss German newspapers.
Quite quickly, a Spanish translation was set up by contributors outside of the original team. From there, contributors from around the world began to have greater importance. The second translation, quite interestingly, was Catalan (probably due to political and cultural tensions between Spanish Catalonians and the majority Castilians who speak "Spanish"). Numerous languages followed, notably Portuguese, Hindi and Swedish. Translations in Polish, Romanian, Greek and Turkish (another example of competing cultures where the presence of one drives the other), and Esperanto are all currently under development. Interlingua is one of the most recent additions. GNUWin is striving to set up Asian translations, particularly in Chinese and Japanese.
Other contributions include private companies offering CDs in various places (example ).
The GNUWin site offers download of executables or installers, as well as complete ISO images containing local copies of the internet site, though recently the internet site has grown bigger than a CD-ROM, thus the distribution now includes several CDs. DVD ISO images are under study.
GNUWin II is originally hosted at the EPFL. It is mirrored by the Sunsite Switch mirror, and others (more information). Typical number of downloads is about 2000 a month for the Switch mirror alone.
MinGW (Minimalist GNU for Windows), formerly mingw32, is a native software port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) to Microsoft Windows, along with a set of freely distributable import libraries and header files for the Windows API. MinGW allows developers to create native Microsoft Windows applications. Included in MinGW are extensions to the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library to support C99 functionality.
Components of MinGW
The MinGW project maintains and distributes a number of different core components and supplementary packages, including various ports of GNU toolchain, such as GCC and binutils, translated into equivalent packages. These utilities can be used from the Windows command line or integrated into an IDE.
In addition, a component of MinGW known as MSYS (Minimal SYStem) provides a lightweight Unix-like shell environment including rxvt and a selection of POSIX tools sufficient to enable autoconf scripts to run.
MSYS and the Win32 header files are released under a permissive license, while the GNU ports are provided under the GNU General Public License. Binary downloads of both the complete MSYS package and individual MinGW GNU utilities are available from the MinGW site.
MinGW was originally called mingw32; the numbers were dropped in order to avoid the implication that it would be limited to 32-bit systems. Colin Peters authored the initial release in 1998, consisting only of a Cygwin port of GCC. Jan-Jaap van der Heijden created a Windows-native port of GCC and added binutils and make. Mumit Khan later took over development, adding more Windows-specific features to the package, including the Win32 headers by Anders Norlander. In 2000, the project was moved to SourceForge.net in order to solicit more assistance from the community and centralize its development.
Comparison with Cygwin
MinGW forked from version 1.3.3 of Cygwin. Although both Cygwin and MinGW are used to port Unix software to Windows, they have different approaches: Cygwin aims to provide a complete POSIX layer (similar to that found in a Linux or other Unix systems) on top of Windows, sacrificing performance where necessary for compatibility. Accordingly, this approach requires Win32 programs written with Cygwin to run on top of a copylefted compatibility library that must be distributed with the program, along with the program's source code. MinGW aims to provide native functionality via direct Windows API calls, prioritizing performance. Unlike Cygwin, MinGW does not require a compatibility layer DLL, and its runtime shell MSYS is licensed under a permissive license.
Since MinGW does not provide a POSIX API, it is unable to compile some Unix applications that can be compiled with Cygwin. Specifically, this applies to applications that require specific POSIX functionality and those that expect to be run in a POSIX environment. Applications written using cross-platform libraries, such as SDL, wxWidgets, Qt, or GTK+ will usually compile as easily in MinGW as they would in Cygwin.
The combination of MinGW and MSYS provides a small, self-contained environment that can be loaded onto removable media without leaving entries in the registry or files on the computer. By providing more functionality, Cygwin becomes more complicated to install and maintain.
It is also possible to cross-compile applications with MinGW. This means that developers do not need a Windows installation with MSYS to compile software that will run on Windows without Cygwin.
In computing, Xming is a port of the X Window System to the Microsoft Windows operating system. The Xming X Server is based on the X.Org Server (X11R6.9), cross-compiled with MinGW and Pthreads-Win32. Xming is also available with Mesa 3D support.
In computing, X-Win32 is a proprietary X Window System server for Microsoft Windows, produced by StarNet Communications. It is based on X11R6. The current version is 9.1. X-Win64 was a version for 64-bit Windows, but the extended features in that version can now be found in the current version of X-Win32.
X-Win32 Flash is the latest version of X-Win32. X-Win32 Flash is installed and run from a USB flash drive.