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Migrating Files from Unix to Windows

Using Archival Packages

The easiest method of transferring information between Unix and Windows is to package the files with some kind of archival tool and then transfer this to the destination machine using whatever method is appropriate.

The most universal system on Unix is tar, which archives directories and their entire structure, making it very easy to build an archive.

You can combine a tar archive with a number of different compression systems if you need to compress the file before transit.

Within Windows you can use WinZIP, WinRAR, or StuffIt to expand a tar archive onto your machine.

To create a tar file under Unix change to the parent directory of the directory you want to archive.


tar cf archive.tar ./directory

where archive.tar is the name of the directory you want to create and directory is the name of the directory you want to create an archive of.

Using FTP

Some FTP clients can copy the contents of a remote directory 'recursively'—that is, copy the contents of the directory as well as any directories and their contents within that directory until the entire structure has been transferred.

To use FTP in this way, you must first enable FTP on your Unix server—check the documentation and manual pages for your system for more information on how to install the FTP server (usually ftpd) on the system in question.

FTP clients supporting recursive copying include FTP Voyager (http://cws.internet.com/ftp-ftpvoyag.html), CuteFTP (http://cws.internet.com/ftp-cuteftp.html) and WS-FTP Pro (http://cws.internet.com/ftp-ws-ftp.html).

Using NFS

The Network File System is a standard file-sharing component of Unix, and it works in a very similar way to file sharing under Windows. Once you've accessed an NFS server and its shared directories, you can copy, move, and delete files just as if they were on your local machine.

There are two ways you can use NFS—either you use a client package on your Windows machine to talk to your Unix-based NFS server, or, as all Unix machines can be NFS clients or servers, you run an NFS service on a Windows machine and use the Unix machine as the client.

The solution in both instances is to use Microsoft's Services For Unix (SFU), which provides both an NFS server and client package.

Using Samba

Samba is a Server Message Block (SMB) server for Unix machines that enables you to share Unix filesystems to Windows clients using the native Windows file sharing protocol. Because you are using the native file sharing protocols, you can copy and move files and folders about the same as any other shared folder.

You find out more about Samba at http://www.samba.org.

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