[Smaug] A quick scripting puzzle

Meg McRoberts dreidellhasa at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 19 18:55:40 PST 2005

This is very interesting...  How many ex-SCO-ites are
on this list?  This isn't exactly how it looked from
the inside...

Xenix ran on the 286.  SCO UNIX was based on the SVR3
kernel, which SCO licensed from AT&T.  I think the original
UNIX systems SCO produced were marketed as SCO UNIX, then
the marketing folks changed the name to OpenServer to reflect
what was then an "open architecture" -- certainly not Open
Source but with full support for third party software at
both the user and kernel level.  As I recall, for a year
or two, we had the non-graphical SCO UNIX and OpenServer
was SCO UNIX with X11 and the graphical desktop on top.

We did invest a lot in providing backward compatibility
for Xenix drivers and applications and almost everything
did run on OpenServer.

SCO had a phenomenal licensing agreement for the SVR3
kernel so it was never feasible to port to an SVR4 base
although we incorporated many SVR4 features into the
OpenServer kernel.

UnixWare as well as ownership of all the SVR kernels came
with the 1995 acquisition.  The original plan was to do
a system that incorporated the elegant kernel technology
of UnixWare with the OpenServer user interface, which was
very popular with the customers.  Alas, political skirmishes
prevented that from happening at the time although I hear
that the new release does exactly that.

It is interesting that the view from outside SCO is that,
since SCO could run most Xenix applications and drivers,
it WAS Xenix...


--- Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting cerise at armory.com (cerise at armory.com):
> > OpenServer took much of its userspace from SCO XENIX and much of the
> > underlying structure from SCO UNIX.
> There was an import of some code into XENIX from SysV r3, under
> a licence deal from AT&T -- not from "SCO UNIX", as there was (really)
> no such thing at the time.  (See below.)
> [The Open UNIX aka ex-UnixWare product:]
> > I can only attest to a horrible userspace.
> Oh yeah.  
> I was proud owner in around 1989 of AT&T System V release 3.22, which I 
> picked up for $50 from Data Preference in San Mateo:  It was just
> thoroughly awful in dozens of ways, including the absence of "Berkeley 
> enhancements" that were later merged into the system when they created
> System Vr4.  It didn't last long on my system, since I knew from using
> BSD at Evans Hall, UCB, that Unix didn't _have_ to suck that badly.  The 
> only part that I kept (for a decade) was the shelf of manuals that came
> with it.  That part was cool.  
> I also bought and used for a while, a couple of years later, one of
> Novell's UnixWare releases (based, obviously, on SysVr4).  That was one
> of the ones that included the ability to run Win16 desktop applications,
> which was really wacky to see on your Motif/X11 desktop.  The suckage
> was gone, but it was a little ponderous and slow, and I pitched it for
> 386BSD 0.1 and later Linux.
> > Now, SCO UNIX (also known as SCO SystemV/386) coexisted with XENIX
> > (and, in fact, I have a handy driver book here which details the
> > differences between the two and the steps needed to port drivers from
> > one to the other.  That particular line disappeared as OpenServer
> > became the clear choice between the two.
> Um, "SCO System V/386" was yet another name for one of the XENIX
> releases.  It's entirely possible they might have paid AT&T the
> necessary trademark licensing fees to use the name "UNIX" for one of
> those, but it really never was _UNIX_ in the sense that its foundational
> kernel, libs, and other basic architecture were still XENIX, not UNIX.
> That was the product line that eventually came to be called Open Server,
> which is what they (or rather, their Utah successor in interest) call it
> now.
> That's all one product, not two.  XENIX = SCO System V/386 = Open Server.
> If they called that thing "SCO UNIX" during the pre-Novell-deal time
> period (which is possible, though I never saw it), then that was
> strictly a marketing label:  It was still really XENIX.
> SCO didn't have a "genetic" UNIX (to borrow Peter Salus's term) until
> the 1995 purchase of certain (disputed) UnixWare rights from Novell.
> _That_ is SCO Group's second product line.
> But, frankly, I considered both of them pretty terrible even compared to
> 386BSD 0.1.  ;->
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