MKS Toolkit

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MKS Toolkit is a software package produced and maintained by MKS Inc. that provides a Unix-like environment for scripting, connectivity and porting Unix and Linux software to both 32- and 64-bit Microsoft Windows systems. It was originally created for MS-DOS, and OS/2 versions were released up to version 4.4.[1] Several levels of each version, such as MKS Toolkit for Developers, Power Users, Enterprise Developers, Interoperability and so on are available, with the Enterprise Developer being the most complete[2]

In 1999, MKS acquired a company based in Fairfax, Virginia, USA called Datafocus Inc. The Datafocus product NuTCRACKER had included the MKS Toolkit since 1994 as part of its Unix compatibility technology. The MKS Toolkit was also licensed by Microsoft for the first two versions of their Windows Services for Unix, but later dropped in favor of Interix after Microsoft purchased the latter company.

Version 9.6 was released on 6 March 2014.[3]


The MKS Toolkit products offer functionality in the following areas:

  • Various command shell environments — Bourne shell, Korn shell, Bash, C shell, Tcl shell
  • Traditional Unix commands (400+) — grep, awk, sed, vi, ls, kill and more.[4]
  • Windows specific commands (70+) — registry, shortcut, desktop, wcopy, db, dde, userinfo and more.[5]
  • Tape/Archive commands — tar, cpio, pax, zip, bzip2, ar, ...
  • Connectivity clients/servers — ssh, remote shell, telnet, xterm, kterm, rexec, rlogin and more.[6]
  • Porting APIs — including fork(), signals, alarms, threads and more.[7]
  • Graphical porting APIs — X, ncurses, Motif, OpenGL, ...

Windows versions supported[edit]

MKS Toolkit products support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows systems:[8]

32-bit versions of the MKS Toolkit also run on Windows NT and Windows 2000, and also run on Windows 95/98 with the loss of some functionality.[9] Earlier versions ran on MS-DOS and compatible operating systems.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mario Morejon (2004-07-16). "MKS Makes Unix Migration An Easy Task". CRN. 
  2. ^ MKS Toolkit instruction bboklet, version 8.6
  3. ^ MKS Web site:PTC MKS Toolkit Supported Versions
  4. ^ "MKS Toolkit Commands: vi, sed, grep, awk, tar, gnu binutils, sh, ksh, csh, bash Command". 
  5. ^ "MKS Toolkit Commands: Windows Specific Commands". 
  6. ^ "MKS Toolkit Commands: Commands in the Connectivity Suite Runtime". 
  7. ^ "MKS Toolkit: Reference Pages: MKS Toolkit UNIX APIs Reference". 
  8. ^ "MKS Customer Support: Supported Versions". 
  9. ^ "MKS Toolkit Release Notes, Version 8.0". MKS Software, Inc. January 2002. Retrieved November 22, 2015. In addition, because of the lack of certain operating features on Windows 95/98/Me, some MKS Toolkit UNIX APIs run in degraded mode (or return without doing anything) on those platforms. 
  10. ^ Crawford, Frank (October 1991), "Making Real Use of a PC.", Australian UNIX systems User Group Newsletter 12 (4/5): 41–43, retrieved November 22, 2015, the basic utilities supplied with MS-DOS leave something to be desired. ... there are a number of packages available that can make your PC almost into a UNIX look-a-like. ... One of these packages is the MKS Toolkit. 


External links[edit]