Workalikes on PC Platforms

A.5 Workalikes on PC Platforms

The proliferation of shells has not stopped at the boundaries of UNIX-dom. Many programmers who got their initial experience on UNIX systems and subsequently crossed over into the PC world wished for a nice UNIX-like environment ( especially when faced with the horrors of the MS-DOS command line!), so it's not surprising that several UNIX shell-style interfaces to small-computer operating systems have appeared, Bourne shell emulations among them.

A Korn shell workalike is provided in the MKS Toolkit, available from Mortice Kern Systems, Inc. The Toolkit is actually a complete UNIX-like environment for MS-DOS (version 2.0 and later) and OS/2 (version 1.2 and later). In addition to its shell, it comes with a vi editor and many UNIX-style utilities, including major ones like awk , uucp , and make .

The MKS shell itself is very much compatible with the 1988 UNIX Korn shell, and it has a well-written manual.

Most of the differences between the MKS shell and the Korn shell and bash are due to limitations in the underlying operating systems rather than the shell itself. Most importantly, MS-DOS does not support multitasking or file permissions, so the MS-DOS version supports none of the relevant features. The OS/2 version doesn't support file permissions either.

If you want to know more details about the differences between the 1988 Korn shell and the MKS shell, see Appendix A, Related Shells , of the O'Reilly & Associates Nutshell Handbook, Learning the Korn Shell , by Bill Rosenblatt.

Many UNIX users who have moved to DOS PCs swear by the MKS Toolkit; it's inexpensive, and it makes MS-DOS into a reasonable environment for advanced users and software developers.

The Toolkit is available through most dealers that sell software tools, or through MKS itself. For more information, contact:


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Learning the Bash Shell
Learning the bash Shell: Unix Shell Programming (In a Nutshell (OReilly))
ISBN: 0596009658
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 1998
Pages: 104

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