Chapter 11. Reference

This chapter gives reference information about the SoftWindows environment variables and command-line options, and the Insignia MS-DOS and Unix utilities supplied with SoftWindows.

Environment variables

This section provides information about the environment variables used by SoftWindows:


Specifies the name of the host and display number to use. It is usually set up by the X11 initialization process.


The directory where HyperHelp is installed.



Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set (see description of this variable later in the section).


The directory which HyperHelp uses for bookmarks and annotations.



HyperHelp creates a directory, $HHLOCAL/.hh, to contain the bookmarks and annotations.

Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set (see description of this variable later in the section).


The directory containing the HyperHelp viewer program.



Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set (see description of this variable later in the section).


Specifies whether HyperHelp is to display warning messages.



Possible values are 0 (no warnings) or 3 (all warnings). Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set (see description of this variable later in the section).


The directory containing the Help-On-Help resource file hoh.hlp.



Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set (see description of this variable later in the section).


The pathname of the SoftWindows license file or the host name and TCP/IP port number of a valid license server.



If LM_LICENSE_FILE is set in the environment, the default value is appended to it to form a path before it is used. To use a license server using the default TCP Port Number (744), type the following command at the Unix prompt:

setenv LM_LICENSE_FILE [email protected]


The pathname of the SoftWindows Native Language Support catalog.


$SWIN2HOME/nls/%L/ is prefixed to any existing value. Only applicable to platforms with NLS support.


Enables SoftNode error reporting.


Not set.

It can be set to one of the following values:

Table 11-1. SNERROR Table




SoftNode errors are displayed in an error dialog box.


SoftNode errors are output to the system console.

This environment variable should only be used if network problems are being encountered.


The directory containing the SoftWindows package.




Set to any value to make use of the HyperHelp environment variables (HHHOME, HHPATH, HOHPATH, HHLOCAL, XPPATH, HH_WARNING).

If SWIN_USEHHENV is not set, default values of these variables are used when SoftWindows runs HyperHelp, even if they are set in the SoftWindows environment. This means that if you have another application that uses HyperHelp and you need to set any of the HyperHelp variables, the SoftWindows on-line help operation will not be affected.

If you want SoftWindows to use a copy of HyperHelp that is not part of your SoftWindows installation, you can set SWIN_USEHHENV and make use of the HyperHelp environment variables. Be aware that you may experience compatibility problems if the other version of HyperHelp is not the same as that supplied with SoftWindows. If in doubt, do not set SWIN_USEHHENV; use the version of HyperHelp in the SoftWindows installation instead.


Specifies the DPI (Dots Per Inch) value for the SoftWindows Windows Driver. The default value is 96. Used to change the sizes of characters within applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Setting to a number larger than 96 increases character size.


The directory containing the print routines used by HyperHelp.



Only used by SoftWindows if the environment variable SWIN_USEHHENV is set.


The search path used by SoftWindows to find the X resource file.


SoftWindows adds the directories $SWIN2HOME/%L/%N and $SWIN2HOME/%N to the end of the existing path.

Command line options

This section gives details of the SoftWindows command line options which can be used to gain extra functionality from SoftWindows.


Allows the SoftWindows Microsoft Windows driver to make use of the backing store facility within the X server.

If this facility does not exist, SoftWindows will not display correctly when the -backing_store option is used.


Instructs SoftWindows to select the default option whenever an error or dialog panel appears.

This allows the user to run batch jobs in SoftWindows without intervention. Note that even with this option selected, setup errors, such as the hard disk file specified in the SoftWindows configuration file not being present, will still wait for user input. It is therefore important to ensure that the SoftWindows configuration is correct before using this option.

-c (lower case)

Executes an MS-DOS command or a series of MS-DOS commands. When SoftWindows boots to MS–DOS, it will execute the commands specified.


swin2 -c win

SoftWindows will boot into MS-DOS, and then start Microsoft Windows. Alternatively, if you type the command:

swin2 -c “cd workdir;testprog.exe”

SoftWindows, once booted to MS-DOS, will change to the directory called workdir, and execute the program testprog.exe. Please note that the symbol “;” above gets translated into a R keystroke before the commands are executed in MS-DOS.

-C (upper case)

Executes a specific MS-DOS command which currently resides on the Unix system. The user passes the full Unix pathname including the filename to SoftWindows, which then sets up the K: drive as an HFX drive and executes the DOS command from that drive.


swin2 -C /usr/users/john/testprog.exe

SoftWindows will set up the K: drive to be /usr/users/john, and will execute testprog from K:. The filename specified must be a valid MS-DOS executable, with a .BAT, .COM, or .EXE extension. If the user has a K: drive already set up in the user's SoftWindows configuration file, this option will first detach the drive before reassigning it to the user-specified pathname. It will then leave the K: drive set up to point to the new drive path.


Specifies an alternative SoftWindows configuration file.


swin2 -config /tmp/swinconfig

This will read the SoftWindows configuration from swinconfig in /tmp, and will save the new configuration to the same file. However, if the specified configuration file is not present, SoftWindows will prompt for one to be created using the system defaults.


Specifies the keyboard type when running in serial terminal mode using the -term option.


swin2 -term vt100 -keymap vt220

This specifies that SoftWindows should use the VT220 keymap file, while running in VT100 mode.

swin2 -term

This will result in SoftWindows running in serial terminal mode using the default terminal type and keymap file.


Enables SoftNode error reporting.


swin2 -snerror

This command line option should only be used if network problems are being encountered.

See also SNERROR.


The version of Microsoft Windows shipped as part of the SoftWindows product has been optimized for use with SoftWindows. If you want to use a different version of Microsoft Windows, specify this option when starting SoftWindows.


Starts SoftWindows in serial terminal mode. It will use the default terminal type unless a terminal type is specified after the option.


swin2 -term vt100

This specifies that SoftWindows should run in VT100 mode.


Specifies which visual display SoftWindows will run on. This option should be followed by the number of the visual display as a hexadecimal number.


swin2 -visual 0x2a

In order to get the actual visual display number use xdpyinfo, or a similar utility.

MS-DOS utilities


The device driver which interfaces a PC CD-ROM program such as Microsoft MSCDEX to a CD-ROM device connected to your Unix workstation. CDROM.SYS is included in CONFIG.SYS, and must be loaded before running MSCDEX. The Unix device name is configured in the SoftWindows Open Disk Drives dialog box.


In C:\CONFIG.SYS include the line:





Allows users to load MS-DOS device drivers which are normally loaded in from the CONFIG.SYS file, after MS-DOS has fully booted. It is supplied courtesy of Jim Kyle and the authors of “Undocumented DOS.”

One of the uses of this utility is to allow Microsoft LAN Manager and Insignia's FSA to coexist. If you want to use both of these at the same time, load LAN Manager first, and, when you have logged into the LAN Manager server, load HOST.SYS to enable Insignia's FSA system with the following command:


To automatically enable Insignia's FSA system, add the command to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file after the commands which load Microsoft LAN Manager. You must also move the line:


to be after this command.


An application licensing interface, to check licenses for MS-DOS applications. This is normally included in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.


In AUTOEXEC.BAT, include the line:


Note: DOSLIC.EXE does not need to be loaded, if only the Windows application is to be licensed.

See also “WINLIC.EXE.”


Converts text files between MS-DOS and Unix formats.

Unix and MS-DOS conventionally store text files in slightly different formats. MS-DOS files have two characters at the end of each line (Carriage Return followed by Line Feed), and have a CTRL-Z (Decimal 26, Hex 1A) character at the end of the file.

Unix files have only a Line Feed character at the end of each line and have no special character at the end of the file.

DOS2UNIX.EXE converts the input file, which is assumed to be in MS-DOS format, to Unix format.

UNIX2DOS.EXE converts the input file, which is assumed to be in Unix format, to MS-DOS format.

In both cases, if only one filename is given it is used as both the input file and the output file. That is, the file is converted without changing its name. If two filenames are given, the first is used as the input file and the second as the output file.

Always be sure that the files you are converting are simple text files which can be edited using a simple MS-DOS editor like EDIT.COM or a Unix editor such as vi. Converting other file types, such as files in the normal storage format of a word processor, may damage the files or lose data. If you are in doubt, always use the two filename format of the command, leaving the original file unchanged.


To convert NAMES.TXT to Unix format, replacing NAMES.TXT with the new file:


To convert ADDRESS.TXT to MS-DOS format, writing the result to DOSADDR.TXT:



The SoftWindows Ethernet ODI driver. It allows PC-based protocol stacks to transmit and receive information via the host's own Ethernet connection.

Note: A SoftWindows network session uses the same physical address as the host on which it is running.

See also “TOKENSPC.COM.”


Exits from SoftWindows. Include the /S switch to save any changes that have been made to the SoftWindows configuration. Otherwise, any unsaved changes to the configuration will be lost.




Provides access to the Unix file system using the SoftWindows FSA drives. This utility is normally included in AUTOEXEC.BAT.

If the utility is entered on its own, all assigned FSA drives are started. If FSADRIVE.COM is followed by one or more drive letters, the assigned FSA drives will be started. Also the named drives will be reserved and can be assigned from within the SoftWindows interface.

Note: HOST.SYS must be loaded before FSADRIVE.COM is executed.


In C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT, include the line:


See also HOST.SYS and NET.COM.


A redirector which provides access to the Unix file system using the SoftWindows FSA drives. It is normally loaded by CONFIG.SYS.


In C:\CONFIG.SYS, include the line:


See also “FSADRIVE.COM.”


A TCP/IP protocol stack, compatible with Novell LAN Workplace for DOS, for use with SoftWindows platforms which do not provide full TCP/IP support.

It replaces the SoftWindows ODI driver (ETHERSPC/TOKENSPC) and Novell's own TCP/IP protocol stack and uses the host's own TCP/IP protocol and IP address. This driver is only supported on SoftWindows for AIX v3.2.x and HP-UX without STREAMS.

Note: Novell's LAN Workplace for DOS must be installed in the C:\NET directory for ISTCPIP to work correctly.




Writes to the partition table of a SoftWindows hard disk file to make an MS-DOS partition bootable.

This is not normally required when using SoftWindows since any newly created hard disk file has a single MS-DOS partition which is marked as bootable in the partition table. However, if the MS–DOS FDISK command is used to modify the partition table of a SoftWindows hard disk file on the D: drive, and the disk is formatted, (using the /S option with the FORMAT command to transfer system files), it may not be possible to boot from the disk if it is configured as the C: drive.

To make the disk bootable, configure SoftWindows to use the hard disk file as the D: drive and run MAKEBOOT. It requires one parameter which should be a number in the range 1 to 4, indicating the partition to be made bootable.




The SoftWindows MS-DOS Mouse Driver.

This must be loaded to use the mouse in MS-DOS applications, and is normally loaded by AUTOEXEC.BAT. To use the mouse, run an application that can use a mouse (such as the MS-DOS EDIT program) and attach the Unix mouse to MS-DOS by pressing at the same time the Alt and Ctrl keys and the middle mouse button.

Note: It is not necessary to load MOUSE.COM to be able to use the mouse in Windows, since SoftWindows loads a separate mouse driver when Windows is started.


In AUTOEXEC.BAT, include the line:


See also the section “Using the mouse in MS-DOS” in the SoftWindows 2.0 for Unix User's Guide.


Logically joins a disk drive to a subdirectory in another drive.

A typical JOIN command, such as


means that MY_FILES, which is the name of an existing directory, becomes a new subdirectory on drive F:, so all the data on the disk in drive E: is now in the directory structure of drive F:.

To delete a join, you use the /D argument, as in:



Substitutes a drive letter for a path.

The SUBST command:


causes the subdirectory specified in the command line to be substituted for the root directory of drive E:. All references to drive E: now access this subdirectory.

To delete a substitution, use the /D argument. For example:


will delete any substitution applied to drive E:.

Note: NET JOIN and NET SUBST only work with FSA drives; they do not work with hard disk drives.


Assigns and removes FSA drives.

NET USE supports the following options:

Table 11-2. NET USE Options




This removes the assignment of an FSA drive. For example, to remove the FSA drive H: type the command: NET USE H: /D


This is for use when the FSA file system uses 8.3 format names and the server responds to both upper case and lower case filename requests. This is required for file systems on some OS/2 servers. On such a server, without the /CS, each file name will be mapped. For example:


NET USE J: /servers/os2_sys /CS


New files are created with lower case names.

The /CS option should not be used on file systems where case may be used to distinguish between two different files


Lower case names are mapped provided they can fit into an 8.3 format, and upper case names are not mapped. This is the opposite of the default action where upper case names are mapped and lower case names are not mapped. For example:




New files are created in upper case.

This can be used for file systems on servers which use all upper case filenames. It can also be used if you have a directory structure on a Unix file system which you want to use exclusively for MS-DOS files, and you want the names to be all upper case.


Executes a Unix command from MS-DOS.

To use RUNUX.COM the required Unix command must be accessible on it to an FSA drive. The argument to RUNUX.COM must be the full path to the Unix command.

The standard output of the Unix command is the same as that of SoftWindows. Therefore, if SoftWindows is started from a terminal window, the output of the Unix command will print to that window. If SoftWindows is started by another method, for example, from a display manager menu or a file manager, the output of the Unix command may not be visible or it may be written to the system console.

RUNUX.COM returns the status of the Unix command in the DOS variable ERRORLEVEL.

Use the /Q switch if you don't want to display status in a terminal window.

Normal Unix permission and ownership rules apply when accessing and executing a command. That is, the command must be readable, and the user must have execute permission.

The command may use forward or backward slashes as delimiters (/ or \), but should otherwise conform to Unix rather than MS–DOS conventions (case sensitive, and not limited to the 8.3 format).


With E: configured to access the Unix directory $HOME:

RUNUX E:\scripts\my_script


Enables keys which are disabled during the boot phase when SoftWindows is configured to run in Secure Mode.

The keys enabled are F5 and F8. SECURITY.COM should be run from AUTOEXEC.BAT when SoftWindows is in Secure Mode.

SECURITY.COM has no effect when SoftWindows is not in Secure Mode.


Include the following line in AUTOEXEC.BAT:


See also Chapter 8, “Running SoftWindows in secure mode”.


Keyboard definition files, required to provide a correct mapping of certain keyboards when used with SoftWindows.

If required, they are provided as an argument to the KEYB command in AUTOEXEC.BAT.

The appropriate command is automatically included in AUTOEXEC.BAT, if required, depending on the type of keyboard selected when SoftWindows is installed. It will be necessary to add, change, or remove the command if the keyboard type is subsequently changed or you need to use a display which has a different keyboard type associated with it.

If several users are using the same SoftWindows installation and have different keyboard types, it may be necessary to modify the KEYB line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file as required for each user.

These files should be used as indicated below:

Table 11-3. Keyboard Options

Keyboard file

Keyboard type


DEC French and German LK401


HP French, German and UK ITF


SPARC French, German and UK Type 4


SPARC French, German and UK Type 5


DEC French, German and UK PCXAL, HP French, German and UK ITF, HP French, German and UK PS2 (700RX/740), SGI French, German and UK Iris Indigo


For a workstation with a German keyboard, in AUTOEXEC.BAT include the line:


Note: You should also be sure to select the correct keyboard mapping file for the type of keyboard which you have. Refer to Setting up keyboards.

See also C:\DOS\KEYB.COM (standard MS-DOS command).


The SoftWindows token ring ODI driver. It allows PC-based protocol stacks to transmit and receive information via the host's token ring connection.

Note: A SoftWindows network session uses the same physical address of the host on which it is running.

See also “ETHERSPC.COM.”




Loads the MS-DOS MSCDEX.EXE program, to enable a CD-ROM device to be configured as the F: drive.

C:\INSIGNIA\CDROM.SYS, the Insignia CDROM interface driver, must already be loaded in CONFIG.SYS when USECD.BAT is run. The Unix device name is configured in the SoftWindows Open Disk Drives dialog box.



See also “CDROM.SYS,” and “Using CD-ROMs” in the SoftWindows 2.0 for Unix User's Guide.


An application licensing utility that checks licenses for Windows applications. WINLIC.EXE must be loaded when Windows starts up by including a line in the [windows] section of the user's WIN.INI file.

Note: WINLIC.EXE does not need to be loaded if only MS–DOS applications are to be licensed.


In C:\WINDOWS\WIN.INI, include the following line in the [windows] section:


See also “DOSLIC.EXE.”

Unix utilities


Copies old SoftPC hard disk files.

SoftPC used sparse hard disk files, which in some cases might contain a hole in the middle of the disk, whereas SoftWindows disks expand as required and do not contain holes. If you use the normal cp command to copy a SoftPC disk, you may find that the resulting hard disk file is incomplete. The cphd avoids this problem.


cphd oldspc.hdf /tmp/temp.hdf


Starts up SoftWindows in MS-DOS mode.


Starts up SoftWindows in MS-DOS mode, and then runs the MS–DOS ether.bat command to start up the SoftWindows networking.

dostounix and unixtodos

Converts files between MS-DOS text format and Unix text format. This allows you to share text files between MS-DOS and Unix.


To convert AUTOEXEC.BAT to unixauto.bat in Unix format:

dostounix AUTOEXEC.BAT unixauto.bat R

To convert the Unix .profile file to PROFILE.TXT in MS-DOS format:

unixtodos .profile PROFILE.TXT


Creates a new, empty SoftWindows hard disk file without MS–DOS and unformatted with no partitions on it.

To partition and format the disk for use under SoftWindows, start up SoftWindows with the new hard disk file as drive D: and the default SoftWindows hard disk file MS-WIN-311.hdf as drive C:.

Then proceed as follows:

  1. Run the MS-DOS command FDISK to create an MS-DOS partition on the disk.

  2. Select option 5. Change current fixed disk drive.

  3. Select disk 2.

  4. Select 1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive.

  5. Select 1. Create Primary DOS Partition.

    FDISK will now ask you if you wish to use the whole disk for your new partition.

  6. Answer Y.

    Once the partition is made, you can use the E key to exit out of FDISK, which will then reboot SoftWindows.

    Once SoftWindows has rebooted, you must format the D: drive as follows so that it can be used with MS-DOS:

  7. Type the following command at the C:\> prompt:


Alternatively if you want to be able to use the new disk as a bootable C: drive:


The disk is now ready for use.

PS and PSfilter

Overcome a problem that can occur when printing PostScript.

When printing PostScript some MS-DOS or Windows applications include the Ctrl-D character which signifies the end of file to Unix, and this may result in incomplete print jobs.

PS uses PSfilter to extract the Ctrl-D character, avoiding the problem. When setting up your LPT/COM port, you simply need to pass your remote printer name to PS. For example, if you have a remote printer called lp-1, you would use the following:

PS -dlp-1

When printing to a remote printer note that, once the MS-DOS/Windows print job has finished, you should flush the LPT/COM port to indicate to SoftWindows that the job is complete. SoftWindows will then send the whole print job to the remote printer. Alternatively, you can use the Auto Flush feature to configure SoftWindows to automatically send print jobs to the remote printer after a preset time period.

See also “Auto flush,” in the Printing, input, and output section of SoftWindows 2.0 for Unix User's Guide.




Starts up SoftWindows, and then launches Microsoft Windows once SoftWindows has booted.


Starts up SoftWindows, and then runs the MS–DOS ETHER.BAT file to start the SoftWindows networking before launching Microsoft Windows.