November 2002   

MKS Inc.

12701 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 350
Fairfax VA 22033-3831 USA



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MKS Toolkit® Release Notes

Version 8.5

MKS Toolkit 8.5

MKS Toolkit 8.5 is the latest version of the MKS Toolkit product family and continues the tradition of bringing you solid new features as well as enhancing existing functionality. With this release we have enhanced many of the core System Administration components, added functionality to allow you to further automate communications, and updated the graphical development libraries. The Fixed Problems section discusses the problems resolved in this release. The following section discusses the specific enhancements in much greater detail.

Improvements to SNMP Suite

  • New Version of SNMP. The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) utilities have been updated to version 5.0.2. The new versions of these utilities support the SNMPv3 protocol.

  • New Utilities. The following new SNMP utilities have been added:

    • snmpbulkget — communicates with a network entity using SNMP GETBULK requests.

    • snmpbulkwalk — communicates with a network entity using SNMP BULK requests.

    • snmpdelta — monitor deltas of integer-valued SNMP variables.

    • snmpdf — gets a listing of disk space usage on a remote machine via SNMP.

    • snmpinform — sends an SNMP trap to a manager.

    • snmptable — obtain and print an SNMP table.

    • snmptranslate — translate SNMP OID values into more useful information.

    • snmpusm — creates and maintains SNMPv3 users on a remote entity.

Enhancements to Communication Suite

The MKS Toolkit Communication Suite is a set of utilities that provide support for e-mail, network news, Web site communications, and other similar communication tasks. This includes, for example, the mailx, smtpmail, mapimail, and web utilities.

  • New Mail Retrieval Utilities. The new imapmail and pop3mail utilities retrieve, delete, and display mail messages from IMAP and POP3 format mailboxes, respectively.

  • New Newsgroup Utilities. The netnews utility sends and receives network news messages. The snetnews utility performs the same functions using SSL to send and receive the messages securely.

  • FTP and News Support in the web Utility. The web utility has been enhanced to also handle ftp: and news: URLs in addition to http: and https: URLs. With these enhancements, you can now use the web utility to upload and upload files to and download files from an a FTP server and to read, list, and post network news messages.

System Administration Enhancements

  • Performance Improvements for System Administration Tools. We have improved the performance of various utilities which deal with user and domain information. These tools include sid (display security identifier), userinfo (manage user information), and groupinfo (manage group information). All include new options to specify the depth of information retrieved.

  • Enhancements to the service Utility. The service utility manages Windows NT/2000/XP services. Windows services are programs which run transparently to support other programs. Many Windows services start automatically when you start up your system.

    MKS Toolkit 8.5 adds the following new keywords to the service utility allowing a greater degree of service management:

    • account — displays the account used to run a service.

    • dependents — lists all services on which a specified service depends, that is, services that must be running for the specified service to work correctly.

    • depends — lists all services that depend on a specified service, that is, services that require the specified service to be running to work correctly.

    • list — lists all services that are not drivers.

    • listdriver — lists all services that are drivers.

    • locate — displays the full path name of the specified service.

    • restart — stops, then starts a specified service.

    In addition, the service utility also features two new options that can be used with the stop and restart keywords. The -f option stops (and restarts if appropriate) not just the specified service but also follows all dependents and stops (and restarts if appropriate) them as well. The -i option is similar to -f but first displays the list of dependents and asks for confirmation before proceeding.

  • Enhancements to the domain Utility. The domain utility now features new -e, -m, and -t options to list all domains, list master browsers, and list trusted domains for the local machine, remote machines, and domain controllers.

  • New portcheck Utility. The new portcheck utility scans a machine's ports to verify if they are in use and whether http, ftp, smtp, or telnet sessions exist on those ports. This utility is ideal for system administrators trying to identify holes (open and not supposed to be open) or non-working services (closed and supposed to be open) on a machine.

  • New Utilities for Managing Sharepoints. The new mkshare, lsshare, and rmshare utilities create, display, and delete sharepoints on local and remote systems.

Documentation Enhancements

  • New Scheduling Solutions Guide. MKS Toolkit 8.5 contains the first version of this new guide discussing our suite of scheduling tools and how to solve problems with them. This is the latest in our series which includes the Backup and Tape Handling Solutions Guide and Connectivitity Solutions Guide. Future releases will add more and more information to this guide. Your suggestions are welcome.

  • Updated Product Overview & Solutions Guide and Cross-Platform Developer's Guide. The online versions of the Product Overview & Solutions Guide and Cross-Platform Developer's Guide feature minor changes and are more up-to-date than the printed versions provided with your MKS Toolkit product.

  • Backup Solutions Guide Renamed. The Backup Solutions Guide has been renamed the Backup and Tape Handling Solutions Guide to better reflect the contents of that document.

  • Updated Reference Pages. The MKS Toolkit reference pages have been updated to include new reference pages for utilities added in this release and to reflect new and changed features as well as minor corrections and clarifications.

Various Other Enhancements

  • Update Notification. The MKS Toolkit Control Panel Applet now contains a Check for Updates tab. When you click the Check Updates button, the applet checks the MKS Web site for the availability of patches or updates to your MKS Toolkit product. The applet provides links for obtaining the patches. You must have a current PCS support contract to receive patches and updates and you must be connected to the Internet for the applet to query our Web server.

  • More Unicode Support. The wc (word count), head (display first part of a file), tail (display the last lines of a file), diff (compare two files), cat (concatenate and display files), more (display files), and grep/egrep/fgrep (match patterns in a file) utilities can now display the 16-bit subset of Unicode characters.

  • Entity Support for htsplit. The htsplit utility has been enhanced to handle entity references. You can convert entity references either to an ASCII equivalent or separate them into multiple tokens. For example, given the following HTML:
    htsplit -e convert yields:
    while htsplit -e separate yields:
    You can also use the new -f option to specify additional entity defintion files to be used when converting entity references.

  • Secure Utilities. We have updated our secure socket library from version 0.9.6c to version 0.9.6e. In addition, we have updated our secure shell from version 3.0.2p1 to to version 3.4p1. This addresses the recent CERT security advisories. We have also made minor changes to the Secure Shell Server tab in the MKS Toolkit Control Panel Applet to simplify the task of setting user preferences.

    Additionally, the latency time to establish a connection for the secure shell service has been considerably reduced.

    Also, on Windows NT/2000/XP systems all of the secure shell client programs now look for key files in the directory $USERPROFILE/.ssh instead of ~/.ssh or $HOME/.ssh. This simplifies usage for the case of domain machines where a domain controller cannot be contacted. The secure shell service continues to use the ~/.ssh directory.

    Finally, the Secure Shell Client tab in the MKS Toolkit Control Panel Applet now lets you specify the location of identity files using environment variables.

  • Enhancements to the MKS Toolkit Control Panel Applet. We have made significant changes to the MKS Toolkit Control Applet to improve ease-of-use:

    • All information needed when contacting Customer Support, such as license and version numbers, is now on the Support Information tab. In addition, all the license information is also shown on the Licenses tab.

    • All information governing the runtime settings for applications ported with MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers or MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers is now on the Runtime Settings tab.

    • Control over all MKS Toolkit services has been centralized on the Manage Services tab.

    • The two tabs for governing the remote shell service and the remote execution service have been merged into a single Rshd/Rexecd tab.

    • The two tabs governing authentication procedures for the remote utilities have been merged into a single Authentication tab.

    • There are a few new options on the Secure Shell Server tab.

    • There is a new tab called Check for Updates, for determining if there are updates or patches to your product.

  • New Tools for Controlling Windows. The new winctrl utility manipulates windows (and and dialogs). This includes resizing, closing, and changing the focus of windows. The new sendevent utility sends events to the current window such as entering keystrokes, moving the mouse, and clicking the mouse button. You can combine these two utilities to write scripts that automate window handling.

  • Various New Utilities. The following new utilties have been added in MKS Toolkit 8.5:

    • ctime — takes a value in seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970 and formats and displays it in a more standard date and time format.

    • cdate — converts a date and time in traditional format and displays it as seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970.

    • stat — retrieves and displays file information in a similar manner as the stat() function.

    • units — converts quantities expressed in various scales to their equivalents in other scales.

Improvements to Motif and X11

  • Updated Motif Libraries. MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers now includes Motif libraries that have been updated to version 2.1.30, that is, the third maintenance release of Motif 2.1.

  • Simultaneous Installation of Motif and Wintif. In previous versions of MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers, you had the choice of installing either Motif or Wintif, an optional implementation of Motif that gives X applications a look that resembles traditional Windows applications. In MKS Toolkit 8.5, both versions are installed simultaneously, so that you can switch libraries without having to re-install the product. Full details are available in Tech Note: Motif and Wintif on the MKS Web site.

    Note: Wintif is an optional runtime product, for use with applications ported to Windows using MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers, that must be licensed for an additional fee from MKS. Wintif is comparable to Motif 1.2.4 and does not work for applications that depend on new behavior in Motif 2.x.

  • Updated X11 Libraries. MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers now includes X11 libraries that have been updated to X11R6.4 with patches 1, 2, and 3.

New Features in Previous Releases

Hardware and Software Requirements

MKS Toolkit products do not have any particular hardware requirements. Any machine that is sufficient to run the underlying operating system is sufficient. All MKS Toolkit products run on Windows systems with Intel 32-bit processors. MKS Toolkit for System Administrators and MKS Toolkit for Developers also run on Intel 64-bit processors.

MKS Toolkit products have the following software requirements:

  • Platforms. You can install all MKS Toolkit products on:
    • Windows 95
    • Windows 98
    • Windows Me
    • Windows NT 4.0 (Workstation, Server, or Terminal Server) with Service Pack 6+ (Service Pack 6a is recommended)
    • Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, or Advanced Server)
    • Windows XP (Home or Professional)

    Applications migrated from UNIX systems with either MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers or MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers will run on any 32-bit version of these platforms.

  • FAT File Systems. It is not currently possible to adequately secure key files and other data, if you install the secure shell server (secshd) onto a FAT file system. Therefore, we do not support use of the server on such a file system; however, the secure clients are all still usable in this case.

  • Limitations for Windows 95, 98, and Me. Many MKS Toolkit utilities are Windows NT/2000/XP-specific. These are clearly documented in the reference pages in the MKS Toolkit Utilities Reference, available from the Start menu.

    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. These are discussed in the MKS Toolkit Cross-Platform Developer's Guide and in great detail in the reference page for each API in the online MKS Toolkit UNIX APIs Reference which you can access via the Start menu.

  • Compilers. The MKS Toolkit development products work with Microsoft Visual C/C++ versions 5.0 and 6.0 as well as Visual Studio.NET (version 7.0).

    MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers and for Enterprise Developers support both versions of the Standard Template Library. In addition, they both support the Absoft Pro Fortran f90/f77 compiler, versions 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0 ( The "Using Languages" chapter of the Cross-Platform Developer's Guide describes how to use these MKS Toolkit products with C, C++, and Fortran.

  • Windows Task Scheduler. The MKS Toolkit Scheduler, the command-line scheduling utilities (at, batch, crontab, and wts) require Internet Explorer 4 (or later) and the Windows Task Scheduler. On Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP, these are already installed. On Windows 95 and NT 4, you should follow these steps to install the Windows Task Scheduler:

    1. Select Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel. The list of currently installed programs appears.

    2. Select Microsoft Internet Explorer and click Add/Remove. A dialog appears prompting you for action.

    3. Select Add a component to Internet Explorer. A list of additional Internet Explorer components appears.

    4. If you are running Internet Explorer 5+, select Offline Browsing Pack. If you are running Internet Explorer 4, select Additional Explorer Enhancements.

    Alternatively, you can download Internet Explorer 5 or 6 and their add-ons from

Installing MKS Toolkit

Before installing MKS Toolkit 8.5, we recommend that you uninstall all full or demo versions of MKS Toolkit older than version 8.0. If you have a previous version of MKS NuTCRACKER Professional, we recommend that you uninstall it, or install MKS Toolkit 8.5 on another machine.

When installing MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers or MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers, the following additional requirements apply:

  • Microsoft Visual C/C++ (version 5.0 or later) must already be installed on your system.

  • You must install from an account with local or domain administrator privileges. You do not need to be an Administrator, but your login ID must be a member of the local or domain Windows Administrators group before you can install.

All MKS Toolkit products share a common installer. If you are installing from a CD, insert the MKS Toolkit distribution CD; the installer should start automatically. If you are installing from an electronic distribution, run the self-extracting installer.

To install MKS Toolkit, click the Install Toolkit button and follow the instructions on the dialogs that appear.

As of MKS Toolkit 8.5, the installer now includes a dialog where you can register certain optional file extensions and associations.

For step-by-step installation instructions and an installation FAQ, see

Silent and Administrative Installations

For step-by-step installation instructions and information on administrative and silent installations for MKS Toolkit see

Additional Components on the MKS Toolkit CD

The MKS Toolkit CD also includes several items that are not installed as part of the normal installation procedure. These are:

  • The samples directory. This directory contains a collection of sample source code and tutorials that demonstrate the use of MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers and MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers to port UNIX software to Windows. Besides showing the ease of porting, these samples also serve as reference ports to illustrate common issues that you may face during the porting process. Amongst this directory's contents are the following:

    • Sample graphical programs that use curses and X Windows/Motif to achieve their results.

    • Tools such as Apache, pdksh, perl, TCL and tcsh.

    • Sample threaded applications.

    • GNU utilities such as autoconf, bison, cpp, flex, gawk, groff, m4, and make (gmake).

  • The redist directory. This directory contains a collection of utilities and drivers that may be needed to get full use out of MKS Toolkit. This includes recent versions of the Jet Database driver, Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC), Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.

Uninstalling MKS Toolkit

Uninstalling MKS Toolkit 8.x

To uninstall MKS Toolkit, use the following procedure:

  1. From the Control Panel run Add/Remove Programs.

  2. Remove MKS Toolkit 8.x.

  3. Remove SCO XVision Eclipse. (This is only necessary if the XVision X server is installed. This X Server is normally only installed with MKS Toolkit for Interoperability and MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers.)

You must reboot your system before reinstalling MKS Toolkit.

Uninstalling Previous Versions of MKS Toolkit

To uninstall a 7.x version of MKS Toolkit, run the TKUninstall utility found in your system directory (you can find your system directory with the windir -s command).

Alternatively, you can uninstall the components manually with the following procedure:

  • From the Control Panel, run Add/Remove Programs.

  • Remove, in order, each of the following (if present):

    MKS Evaluation Guide
    MKS Toolkit 7.x
    MKS Platform Components 7.x

    You must reboot your system before reinstalling MKS Toolkit.

    Customer Support

    When reporting a problem, you will need certain information about your product, which you can find on the Support Information of the MKS Toolkit Control Panel Applet.

    Contact MKS customer support at:

    Web Site:
    Online Request Form:
    Telephone: +1-703-803-7660
    (9:00am to 7:00pm ET, Mon-Fri, except holidays)
    Fax: +1-703-803-3344

    Windows 95/98/Me Support

    Support for MKS Toolkit products on Windows 95 systems will expire on January 31, 2003.

    As of MKS Toolkit 8.0, MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers and MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers no longer install the Application Packaging Wizard on Windows 95/98/Me systems. You can still use the Application Packaging Wizard on Windows NT/2000/XP to package your application for deployment on all supported platforms.

    Additional MKS Toolkit Resources

    There are several other sources for additional information about our MKS Toolkit products.

    We have general product information, including technical specifications, detailed utility listings, and datasheets at:

    We offer a resource kit including example scripts, additional utilities, more tutorials, and a wide variety of other useful information at:

    We have several additional articles, tutorials, and white papers about using features of the MKS Toolkit at:

    Through the years, we have accumulated a lot of technical details about the MKS Toolkit products and have put this information in a searchable database at:

    Our customers commonly ask certain questions. These questions and their answers are in our Frequently Asked Questions on the Support homepage:

    Known installation issues are listed at:

    Fixed Problems

    Several problems were fixed in MKS Toolkit 8.5. These are listed at:

    Fixed Problems in Previous Releases

  • ©2002 MKS Inc. All rights reserved.