Mortice Kern Systems (MKS) was one of the first companies to provide tools to move software to the DOS operating system and has a line of development tools that includes a well regarded configuration management product called Source Integrity. Their product to help port UNIX code to Windows platforms is called MKS Toolkit.

Installation of the complete Toolkit requires about 105MB. A reboot is required to complete the installation. The documentation specifies 210 command line and GUI utilities. It provides a Korn shell, but no Bourne or C shells. Standard UNIX tools such as vi, awk and grep are available. Neither lex nor yacc is built into Toolkit, possibly because MKS offers these together in a separate product. Perl is available.

Toolkit does not come with its own C compiler. You can use Microsoft, Watcom or Borland C++ compilers. The installation program then creates a cc command to provide a link to the appropriate compiler and to be used by make. This allows you to continue to work in your favorite C development environment while taking advantage of MKS Toolkit. There appears to be no support for porting X Windows applications or for the curses library.

In addition to the command line utilities that UNIX developers know and love, Toolkit provides several graphical utilities that perform and consolidate multiple functions. For instance, there are versions of diff and vi for Windows. This has some advantages. In a command line window, vi is limited to 25 lines. The GUI version is only limited by the resolution of your display. Another powerful utility is Visual Pax, which allows you to graphically create and use the various UNIX compression and archive utilities such as cpio, tar and ustar.

One great utility in Toolkit is su, which allows you to run a process as a different user, letting you act with another users profile, including permissions and defaults. This is a great tool for developers whose accounts typically have much different security profiles than the average user.

MKS Toolkit runs under Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0, on both Intel and Alpha CPUs. A Windows 95/98 version is also available.

MKS Toolkit 6.1: $399; MKS Lex & Yacc: $399.

Mortice Kern Systems, Inc.
185 Columbia Street West
Waterloo, ONT., Can. NL2 5Z5

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