Getting Your Open Source Application Running in Windows Vista

by Todd Ogasawara

VistaOpenSource.gifMicrosoft Windows Vista launches for general purchase on January 29. If you want to get information about modifying and deploying your Open Source app in Microsoft Windows Vista, you should check out this blog item on Port 25.

Open Source Applications on Windows Vista: Readiness Kit

There is a Q&A style interview about the Microsoft community site as well as other resources to help you get your FOSS app Vista-ready.

I suggest adding one more site in the list of developer resource sites you might want to visit in Vista-izing your FOSS app.

Microsoft TechNet Windows Vista TechCenter

While it seems that nearly all of the FOSS applications I've tried mostly run fine under Windows Vista (I'm using Ultimate Edition), there are still glitches that turn up now and then. For example, it seems that Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird do not successfully auto-upgrade in Vista. The auto-download works fine. But, the upgrade process itself errors out. Then, the download process is repeated and loops back to try to upgrade again. The workaround is to manually download the installer from and run the upgrade as you would for a new installation.


Dalibor Topic
2007-01-31 03:48:01
Hi Todd, I've been trying to get my hands on the sources for the Interix 6 GNU tools in Vista, since the bundled version of gdb in Vista crashes badly for me. Any idea where the sources can be found?
Todd Ogasawara
2007-01-31 08:29:19
Dalibor: I do not know where the Interix source is available. However, you might be ble to get information from Interop Systems. They also have a Tools discussion forum at /tools Unix Tools Community.

2007-01-31 15:06:50
Todd, I've posted there, too, but so far no reply. I've also looked at the usual Microsoft dump site for Interix code, but there are no sources for the GPLd components of Vista there either. See my blog at for details.

Given that Microsoft is distributing my GPLd code in Vista (I guess), I'd expect them to be the ones providing me with the source code when I download the binaries, rather than Interop Systems, judging by the letter of the GPL. What's the deal behind that?

Dalibor Topic
2007-01-31 15:16:13
Claiming the anonymous comment above as mine.
Dalibor Topic
2007-01-31 17:15:40
Oh, and before your contacts within Microsft get all defensive ;) I guess this is just some weird accident on Microsoft's side, I don't assume malice here, since they've published the sources for GPLd components of Interix 2.2, 3, and 3.5 on the ftp server (i.e. unix subsystems in 2000, XP and 2003, respectively).

I'm just looking for the URL for the GPLd source code shipped in Vista Ultimate corresponding to the binaries I've downloaded from Microsoft's web site that don't work well enough for me, so that I can have a look at what's broken. I can't find that URL for the source code anywhere on Microsoft's site, and it really should be there.

thanks in advance for your help,
dalibor topic

Jamie Cannon
2007-02-01 06:27:23
@Dalibor - I'm looking into this from the Microsoft side w/ some folks that may be able to help. It's not my specific area of expertise, so bear with me. When I hear something, I'll post it back up here or pass it back to Todd. Stay tuned.

2007-02-01 06:28:56
Great, thank you very much, Jamie!
Dalibor Topic
2007-02-01 06:29:44
claiming the response above as mine, as well.
Shamit Patel
2007-02-01 13:27:38
Thank you all for your interest in Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications.

We have shipped gdb source code for Utilities and SDK for Windows Vista SUA too.

Utilities and SDK for Windows Vista SUA is at

After unzipping the location of gdb sources is at - sources\Interix\gnu\gcc-source\gdb

Please let me know if there are any questions.
Shamit Patel

Shamit Patel
2007-02-01 13:29:31
I will also look into the FTP issue until then. Thanks!
Dalibor Topic
2007-02-01 14:37:39
Shamit, thank you very much, the code is indeed there in the exe file, if one comes up with the idea of using unzip & tar on it & knows where to look for it.

I don't recall the x86 SUA installer offering me the option to install the source code for the utilities, so I didn't bother unzipping the installer and hunting for files in it, and the download page doesn't contain any indication that the source code would be in a compressed tarball zipped up in the installer.

Thank you again for the quick & very informative reply, I'm off to try building the code.