Welcome to the SFU Blog!

I am Ashish, working for the SFU support team at Microsoft. I’ll be talking here about interoperability between Windows and Unix worlds. Mostly using SFU software to achieve interoperability.

“Services for UNIX” (in short, SFU) is a collection of components that enable the Windows and UNIX systems talk to each other. Microsoft’s share growing in the server market every day leads to more and more companies having to cope up with running a heterogeneous environment of Windows and UNIX in their IT infrastructure.

As we all know, Windows and UNIX are two disparate worlds. Trying to establish a common communication protocol between these two is any system administrator’s nightmare. SFU is here to help and make their job easier.

For example, how would you copy log file from your UNIX web server to Windows machine? FTP (File Transfer Protocol) does the job, certainly not the friendliest way to do it often. If it was UNIX-to-UNIX one could use NFS (Network File System) protocol to achieve the same. If it was Windows-to-Windows, it would be CIFS/SMB. Would it not be nice if Windows could talk to UNIX over NFS or UNIX talking to Windows using CIFS/SMB?

Installing Services for UNIX on Windows enables it to understand NFS protocol. This means, Windows clients can now map to UNIX NFS shares or Windows can serve file shares over NFS protocol for UNIX clients to access them.

SFU is a software bundle and comes with the following major components –

  • Client for NFS
  • Server for NFS
  • Gateway for NFS
  • Server for NIS
  • Password Synchronization
  • Interix subsystem (and shell utilities)

I would be talking about each of these components in detail later. Keep watching this space for more posts on SFU and other interoperability information.

To start with, you can download the SFU software from this link and give it a try yourself -


It’s a FREE download! :)