Welcome to the SFU blog

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! 🙂

Comments (7)

  1. machekku says:


    I just became interested in SFU and I guess this blog may provide many useful pieces of information 🙂

    However, I couldn’t install it yet, as it displays a Stop screen with BAD_POOL_HEADER near the end of installation process. Where can I seek for help with this? (Using WinXP SP2)

  2. ashisa says:

    The problem seems to be related to some drivers (NIS, Graphics) or Windows Updates.

    Try updating you system to latest updates and see if that helps.

    Best would be to look up information on the web, I found a lot of them talking about this error.

  3. Mike says:

    OK so I have Windows Vista Home Premium and would like to use SFU – what do I need to do?

  4. ashisa says:


    Unfortunately, SUA and Client for NFS can only be installed on Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate and none of the other versions.

  5. charlie says:


    We have SFU running on 2003 R2 SP2 and the server reboot unexpectedly with Event ID 1001 and the bugcheck error below.

    We read the dump file generated and the issue is  caused by nfssvr

    We disabled NFS logging, excluded the NFS folder from the virus scanning but the server still reboot on its own. Any idea/advice?


    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck.  The bugcheck was: 0x0000007e (0xc0000005, 0x00000000, 0xb74238e8, 0xb74235e4). A dump was saved in: C:WINDOWSMEMORY.DMP.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


  6. ashisa says:

    Hello Charlie,

    This can happen in different situations – read KB918245 and KB931134.

    Update you NFS drivers to latest by getting them from PSS.

  7. Joe says:

    Windows 7 Ultimate ..mount to Red Hat 6.  NFS mount takes 30-40 seconds on a 10Gig network.  Then the export is very responsive.  Leave the mount alone for a few mins and when you attempt to get back in the mount it takes 30-40 seconds again.  This only happends when we go Windows to Redhat.  Win to win and Redhat to redhat are fine.  Any suggestions?