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Caldera's Almost-Linux Skips The Linux Kernel 240

Cassivs points to this UnixReview article, which says "Caldera has released Open UNIX 8, which includes a complete GNU/Linux distribution, except that it runs on the SVR5 kernel, acquired from SCO. It uses the same packages as Caldera's OpenLinux 3.1. It should scale much better, and provides a commercial UNIX kernel with the ability to natively develop GNU/Linux applications." It sounds like a non-Linux kernel has advantages on certain hardware, even running exactly the same software otherwise -- I wonder how long that will be true. Caldera has talked about this product, with it's Linux Kernel Personality, for a long time, and this is an informative review for anyone following it.
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Caldera's Almost-Linux Skips The Linux Kernel

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  • Sounds like proprietary open source to me!
  • Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, multi-threaded performance will be an improved vs the linux kernel. It would certainly help some of the java app servers that I'd like to use.
  • GNU UNIX (Score:4, Funny)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @03:58PM (#2173025) Journal
    What is the RMS compatible way to name this?


    I guess GNU really IS UNIX after all!

    • Re:GNU UNIX (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SmileyBen ( 56580 )
      Well on a serious note, this does hint at what RMS means. Most (including me) think he's barmy for insisting on GNU/Linux, but if this system works much like (GNU/)Linux just without the kernel, perhaps he's just being mad for trying to change the way everyone speaks, rather than being wrong. Sounds to me that GNU/Linux without the Linux could be as similar or as different as without the GNU. If that makes sense ;-)
    • Tell me you couldn't see this coming a mile away...I mean really?
    • What is the RMS compatible way to name this?

      Well, reading the article (not the link on, but the article on slashdot), you can see that they are still calling it only 'linux' on the title ("Caldera's Almost-Linux Skips The Linux Kernel"), event tho it doesn't have linux. I can imagine how pissed off the people at the FSF are getting.

      I'm beginning to see RMS's point.

  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @03:59PM (#2173028) Homepage Journal
    so its much like AIX5L wich caldera(SCO) helped them create as far as I can work out
    (any info ?)

    this might be a nice product but it runs on x86 hardware and the clustering is not something that is revelutionary you can get heartbeat for linux and D.Becker seems to have MPI + rest going nicely

    But its a nice way of going about things as proved by the AIX impl

    But IBM sells the hardware thats where they get the suppport contracts from where is Caldera going to get them from ?

    How about geting the UDI project running nicely and chargeing vendors for drivers on unix or about the nice update stuff the caldera has?

    this as far as I'm concerned is the SCO staff trying to accert their will over the company


    john jones

  • i've got a spare box waiting for an OS so I'm gonna burn a cd and give it a try.

  • Caldera is Cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XBL ( 305578 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @04:06PM (#2173046)
    Hey, why does everyone bash Caldera? Because they are not 100% free like Debian? Because they try to make money off a per-plate license?

    Hey, if companies want to pay the per-plate thing, let them. It will be good for Caldera, as they are just trying to survive like the other Linux companies. If Caldera dies, so does some open-source sponsorships and development (like Webmin).

    I personally like the OpenLinux distro. It is very business-like (or maybe MS-like), but that is appealing to me. I don't like looking at retarded penguin animations while I login. It also has some very cool admin tools, especially for servers.

    I am glad to see this Caldera UNIX distro. They are just trying something new, trying to stay in business. That is most important. Stop picking on them.

  • Wow! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    [sarcasm]I can't wait to "upgrade" all my open source servers to this brand new Linux-compatable closed source operating system! Closed source has clearly demonstrated superiority over that so called "open source" system.[/sarcasm]

    Anyone else get the feeling that Caldera is purposely attempting to undermine the Linux market by fracturing it in the same way the old school Unix corporations did?

    • Re:Wow! (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nope, I think it's a good idea. I love all the GNU tools, but sometimes you need a kernel with some real meat to it underneath your system, and for situations like that, Linux just doesn't cut it. I think this is geared towards people who need to harness the real advantages of UNIX, but don't want to go with Solaris or HP-UX and hunt down every tool they need, which can be quite a time-consuming process.
      • by alsta ( 9424 )
        Caldera Open UNIX is nothing but SCO UNIX relabeled. GNU tools have been available for SCO UNIX for quite some time. I wouldn't say that SCO UNIX has "real meat" anywhere. It's the same buggy slow hog it has always been.

    • They're not trying to fracture anything. They're trying to be compatible with Linux. Big difference.

      The old Unix fracturing came about because all the companies deliberately made things non-compatible in a failed attempt to lock in their customer base. In this situation Caldera is bending over backwards for interoperability.
    • Caldera is not trying to take over anything. SCO is a company that has been dying for many, many years.

      They are simply trying to stave off the ultimate fall, much like Silicon Graphics.
  • GNU.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by lga ( 172042 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @04:16PM (#2173066) Homepage Journal
    GNU's Now Unix?

    -- Steve
  • Isnt this just SCO with GNU packages installed?

    The only thing I liked about SCO unix was Merge which became lin4win for linux.
    SVR5 was a little different compared to the BSD and Linux boxes I was used too. Of course I was dealing with some mixed versions of SCO, some in Italian (for Olivetti)...
    But now that im only using Solaris, I dont remember what those differences are! lol
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @04:35PM (#2173108) Journal
    The linux kernel supports large amounts of pc, alpha, and sun devices with a huge amounts of drivers. This one of the reasons why linux is hot and openserver never really took off outside the bussiness world. All the other unix vendors run on expensive proprietary servers with only a limited amount of devices so the kernel can support them. This kernel may or may not be better then linux but I am sure you will need to run it on approved hardware for great device support.

    This is the problem running alternative os's on x86 platforms.

    Caldera needs to hook up with particular OEM's who want to create mission critical using openunix. If caldrea can't convince OEM's that openunix will sell, then the OS is doomed. No sane IT manager would buy an OS without approved hardware. Most Linux servers for example run on Dell or Compaq systems that are linux approved. This issue will not go away unless the kernel is opensourced and the gnu community can write drivers for it. I also hope it doesn't use the openserver libraries. Microsoft made Xenix as proprietary as possible and openserver was based on Xenix. Compiling gnu apps might be difficult. Hopefully OpenUnix's libc libraries are those from AT&T.

    Anyway Caldera is dying. Its a shame because it was my first linux distro. Caldera was ahead in the linux and dos game but they did not have good marketing. Redhat totally took over. Also Ransome love's comments on the evils of gnu and opensource did not help. Client access licenses also hurt it severly. Caldera just got rid of one of the main arguements of using linux instead NT or Unix. The cost and licensing issues for small projects on limited budgets is what linux's key market is. Also linux runs on cheaper hardware. If Caldera keeps this up, then the arguement to use OpenLinux or even OpenUnix is moot. I chose Redhat for my servers thank you.

    • I also hope it doesn't use the openserver libraries. Microsoft made Xenix as proprietary as possible and openserver was based on Xenix. Compiling gnu apps might be difficult. Hopefully OpenUnix's libc libraries are those from AT&T.

      You are on crack. When I last saw SCO Unix (round about 1994) it was fully Posix compliant and any trace of Xenix was (thankfully) obliterated.

    • by warpeightbot ( 19472 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @05:13PM (#2173198) Homepage
      No sane IT manager would buy an OS without approved hardware. Most Linux servers for example run on Dell or Compaq systems that are linux approved.
      Doesn't have to be.

      Any IT lead who's been paying attention knows that you can put together any old white box solution and as long as you use stuff off the hardware HOWTO it's pretty much gonna work... Oh, sure, if you're doing this on a massive scale, getting a batch of ProLiants or PowerEdges is the best way to get hardware support (and not have hardware support tell you to upgrade to the latest version of You-Know-What...).. but for small to medium sized stuff, go see your buyer with your laundry list, wait two days for FedEx, grab the stuff from Receiving, spend a couple of relaxing hours getting your paws in the hardware (you did remember your anti-static wristband, right?) and away from the CRT, and poof, time to load your kickstart CD. Twiddle the BIOS to boot off the CD, F10, go get coffee, kabam. New Linux server for cheap cheap cheap.

      I mean, you do HAVE a couple hours you can take off from reading Slashdot, right? your automation scripts are up to date and will beep your cellphone if there are problems, right?

      Something the PHB's have never figured out is that a good sysadm is first and foremost a lazy-ass s.o.b.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, any "IT Lead" whose been around a while knows that the most problematic boxes in the server room are some whiteboxes that some know-enough-to-be-dangerous tomshardware-reading fuckwit SOB screwed together a couple years ago. Meanwhile the 5 year old Compaqs are just humming along.
    • The whole concept of drivers being inside the kernel suck.

      The kernel should be small and be completely seperate to most drivers, the drivers can have a common well defined strong long lived api so that they are not tied to X.X version.

      We should have linux kernel 2.x.x, and drivers should be in a seperate source tree.

      Wheres our object orientation? Out the window?
      • The kernel should be small and be completely seperate to most drivers...

        This is called a microkernel and is apparently popular with OS researchers. Linus Torvalds explicitly rejected this view, much to the disgust of OS expert Andrew Tannenbaum. Read more here. []

        Wheres our object orientation?

        Most good software, including Linux, is not object oriented. The idea that software must be either object oriented or chaotic spaghetti code is wrong. To put it simply, Linux had to be fast in order to win. OO code tends to be slower.

        You seem to want a microkernel, object oriented operating system. This is the opposite of Linux.
  • does it mean all the modules are compiled in? everything? i mean will i be able to get accleration on my ati 128 rage card without worrying whether it's in there bundled up?

    will it speed things up with better memory mgmt so wine will actually start up faster?

    ok. so it's a commercial unix kernel.. but can i still download it for free.. well......honestly doesnt it matter whether it's free? everything's free anyway. i never pay for a copy of windows.... :)

    well, unless you're running a company, you cant do that...

  • does anyone else the authors complaint that caldera doesnt ship gnome with the system a bit excessive? he calls the omission a "major shortsightedness" on calderas part. keep in mind that this is a 6 processor server How many people are going to acutally care if they dont have a pretty little gnome desktop by default?
    • I do think it's a major shortsightedness... GNOME makes Linux (and not-so-Linux) easier to use for people. That's a big plus. The fact that it's a server version means that only technically competent people will be using it; this part of your post I agree with.

      However, I can't figure out whether your meaning is 1) "server admins don't use gnome", or 2) "server admins know how to compile their own gnome".

      In the first case, I can say that you're probably wrong... I know experienced linux guys who use KDE 1.x series, still... because it came with their distro...

      which leads me to #2.

      Gnome is not exactly easy to compile from source, and good luck finding a binary "gnome distribution" for Caldera OpenNotLinux. I realize that anyone who is technically competant is capable of compiling gnome. However, last time I did just that, it took me about two full days to get every source file and meet all the dependancies. There were (I think) about 60 individual source packages, that had to be compiled in a certain order (yet strangely... a different order than they are organized on GNOME's source download page [], at least on Slackware 7.1). Not fun.
      • Re:no gnome (Score:1, Informative)

        by icewind0 ( 206070 )
        My point wasnt 1 or 2. I guess im envisioning this 5 processor server to be sitting there serving, not a person to be sitting in front of it looking at a pretty desktop running gnome. It does come with KDE2 which makes it easier for people to use (should you need a graphical desktop to admin this thing). Also, it does come with CDE, so thats now two graphical desktops to choose from.

        Whats more, I think the article said the gnome libraries were installed, so presumably, if a developer wanted to run some gnome program (glade for example) all that he would need to do is install the rpm.
        • You don't need a GUI to admin the machine, but it is rather convenient on occasion, especially when doing the initial setup/configuration.

          Many 3rd party softare packages (think, Oracle) don't have a console based installation. Sure, you can run X remotely, and I have done that plenty often, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have Gnome there as a convenience. Presumably once the system is running "for real", you would turn off the X server to conserve resources.
      • i set up FreeBSD servers for a company (web/mail, etc.) and i couldn't find a reason to even install X.
  • by trilucid ( 515316 ) <> on Saturday August 18, 2001 @05:08PM (#2173187) Homepage Journal
    With regard to the kernel itself, what are the ramifications of this structure security-wise? While I know this particular kernel has been around awhile (hell, SCO is ancient), it makes me curious.

    To me, one of the primary advantages of using a Linux kernel is the "many eyes" approach to security. While I appreciate the fact that the distribution using a full suite of GNU/Linux utilities and such, I'd be somewhat apprehensive about the kernel itself (stability through age aside).

    Anyone who has any insight into this, please reply!

    • The vast majority of security holes are not related whatsoever to the kernel... they are application specific.
    • by halbritt ( 30189 )
      Yes, SCO is indeed ancient, but the version of unix that they are releasing is probably one of the truest versions of UNIX that is still being actively developed., if that can be said about any version of UNIX. If you check out Éric Lévénez' UNIX History page [] he has a diagram in PDF and postscript format that shows the evolution of unix over the years. You'll notice that this product is a direct descendent of UNIX System III which was a product developed within AT&T in 1981 and derived directly from Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie's work at Bell Labs.
    • If many eyes aren't looking at every inch of the kernel, open source is worse than commerical software.

      A great example is the Linux implementation of PAM, which is a complete and utter joke.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        There was a post on advogato or kuro5hin a few days ago which said the "many eyes make all bugs shallow" should be "many eyes find all shallow bugs." Which I do believe is true. It is simple to find the occasional assignment or logic bug, but the nonobvious bugs will remain there. Those many eyes are _not_ analyzing the code, but skimming it. I know it is extremely hard for me to find nonobvious bugs when I am "in the zone" so-to-speak. After coming back a day later I may never find the bug. Plus this says nothing about design issues which are larger than the source code itself (and we all know how the open source crowd likes to innovate and design software).
    • You have confused SCO OpenServer (formerly MS/SCO Xenix and SCO UNIX) and this product (formerly Novell/SCO UNIXWare), which is based on UNIX SVR4, just as Solaris is.

      The 'many eyes' may be a minor point, not that lots of smart people haven't seen the UNIX codebase, but if this Unix contains substantially the same userspace as a Linux distro, it will probably have just about the exact same security issues.
  • I wish caldera would get thier naming right, how am I supposed to know which one is Linux XP and which one is Linux ME? :)

  • With debian we have debian on Linux and debian on Hurd.

    So in a way Caldera is a little bit like debian.

    There are other ways Caldera is like debian which I would list if I had time... But I must be off. :( Duty calls.

    • Clearly thou miss understandeth my post!

      Forsooth, I simply stateth that Debian is not unlike Caldera in that they have interchangeth the kernels there unto. Ye Caldera has chosen Open Unix while ye old Debian can found to use HURD or on occasion FreeBSD.

      The similarities there in are obvious to all! Therefore, I must prostest vociferously the my post was most unquestionably On Topic!

      Certainly, thou seemest to be on crack!

  • Hot plug CPU? Hot plug memory? What?

    OK, I know that there's hot-plug disks and even PCI on x86 hardware. But who makes stuff that let's you swap out CPUs and memory? I thought that was Sun territory only.

  • After all that talk about how scalable and powerful the system is compared to Linux, they say that a script that came with the system "locked up" the system and "forced them to reinstall"... That doesn't sound very scalable and powerful to me. I would be interested in hearing more details about the incident. Were they "forced" to reinstall because they didn't know how to fix it, or because it couldn't be fixed?


  • by eap ( 91469 )
    So can I go download a Caldera Unix 8 iso image? I couldn't find one on their site. If I'm not mistaken, they still have to make the GNU tools they use available in source form, right?

    Has anyone found a place where you can d/l this release, or is it only available for purchase?
    • Of course they must provide the source for all the gnu tools they have written themselfs or gnu tools they have modified. But they dont need to make the whole package avaliable for free.
    • No GNU license requires that sources must be in ISO9660 format.

      No GNU license requires that sources be distributed to the public at large.

      Unless you're a Caldera customer who received GNU software with Open UNIX 8, they have no legal, moral or ethical obligation to give you anything.
  • Ok it runs on the X86 platform... why?
    I used to run SCO, I was a SCO fanatic back in the 286/386 days I have cince replaced SCO with linux and BSD because I dont have to fork over tons of money to support new hardware, I can modify the kernel, and I got the DEV kit for free instead of $950.00!! Except for having someone to sue in case it crashes what is the use? it offeres no advantages whatsoever.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This sounds to be a serious contender, if it is GPL or LGPL. I couldn't tell from the article.
  • Big deal (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrdisco99 ( 113602 )
    IBM did this last year with AIX 5L. AND, it'll run on PPC, x86, and IA64. This was IBM's fork of the fabled Monterrey project (Unix' most promising vaporware) which died as soon as SCO got bought. I guess SCO's fork is just now coming out.

    Of course, when I submitted the story, it got rejected.

  • Maybe a few years ago, the SCO kernel was a bit better than the Linux kernel, but today, I see little or no advantage. In fact, Linux has better driver support and a more active user community. And being able the modify the kernel source code is useful even for end users (a quick hack to get a slightly different version of some piece of hardware working, for example).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Caldera, from the beginning, has tried to be the Microsoft of Linux. Most recently, Ransom Love has taken to publicly slagging the GPL, and has said they were looking for ways to proprietize their stuff so they can rape the users more fully. This looks like the beginning of it.

    I haven't liked, or trusted, these guys for at least 5 years. I used to use Caldera, but now, I've sworn off them more than I've sworn off Windows.

    Slack, Debian, Redhat, BSD, whatever. They're all better than Caldera, just because of the "Caldera Attitude". Ransom Love thinks he deserves a stable of Ferraris for packaging someone else's code and selling it.

    Bah. I'd use Windows before I use Caldera.
  • Not much new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alsta ( 9424 ) on Saturday August 18, 2001 @06:39PM (#2173436)
    I maintain two SCO UnixWare 7.1.1 servers and they do run like dogs. Linux is much faster and arguably better. Granted, UnixWare has VxFS included, but these days when we have JFS and XFS ported to Linux, that's really a non-issue too.

    The SVR5 implementation of UnixWare had to be rehashed in order to increment version numbers and issue a new product. So Caldera slaps in a few things:

    1) Fix apparent bugs
    2) Attach more integrated GNU packages to the main distro
    3) Update the Linux emulator to support more system calls

    But this does not in my opinion warrant a whole new major version number. They have done pretty much nothing else with the distro. I will not be upgrading the 7.1.1 servers here as they will be phased out, but also because there is really no reason to.

    Caldera is doing nothing but reselling the SCO product line. Of course they are, since there is an installed base and they can charge the same as SCO charged for it. The Linux business is, just as somebody very insightfully said, hurting them. They can't demand license fees, because all one has to do is to go to RedHat. They can't fix their distribution too much, because they become incompatible with RedHat that way. They can't charge much more than RedHat for their distro either, because not that many people would buy it. Perhaps OpenLinux is a bit ahead of its time? Probably so, but that doesn't solve their problems.

    I think Caldera is realising that it has at least a temporary cash cow with SCO and thus tries to get its moneys worth. It seems to be forgetting that the business practices of SCO practically brought them to their knees and Caldera is just walking in their foot steps. The only difference is the name. Which I by the way find is pretty lame. There is nothing Open about SCO UNIX and there never was. The development kit is aged and not very good at all. SCO managed to sign some contracts with third party vendors to include some apps with their distro. These are still coming for Open UNIX. Compaq has an agreement with SCO (Caldera too?) as an OEM. This means that a customer can buy a Compaq server with Open UNIX rather than Windows NT/2000. But the sales of these are very slim.

    If I was on the board of Caldera, I would swiftly make some changes in the licensing schema of Open UNIX. Granted, it can't be GPLed because of thirdparty proprietary code. But I would definately make it more available. They charge for a media kit ($65) and only give a single user license to non-commercial use. That is an enforced license which means that the system only accepts one concurrent login. This is useless for the hobbyist, so they aren't spreading the word. They have to make UNIX as exciting as Linux in order to prevail. Sure, charge the big corporations license fees. But the small businesses and home users who want a UNIX server should have to pay nothing for it.

    Caldera can't do this because they would lose money that way. Some old SCO shops aren't that big and would then fall under the clause of a free OS. That means that the distribution may go up but it doesn't give them a larger revenue stream right away. Look at Sun and the free Solaris offer. Lots more people use it now, but Sun can't start charging for it unless it's for a huge server (8+ CPUs). Sun has revenue from other things, mainly their hardware. Caldera only sells software. A big catch 22.

    If Caldera continues like this, they will either have to sell of the SCO division or perish. What if they can't sell it off? Will SCO UNIX become abandonware or can it be opened before they close the doors? Will SCO UNIX (read SVR5) die and be buried because it can't be opened? Would be a terrible loss.

    Then there is the conspiracy deal. What if Microsoft would buy the UNIX copyright and codebase? They could stash the code in the trash can and be done with that threat. Sun could have its license revoked or perhaps be charged so much for license fees that they couldn't maintain SVR4 Solaris anymore. I know they aren't paying any royalties now, but surely that could be circumvented... That would be the true extinction of UNIX as we know it. Good in one way, but bad in others.

    What if Sun bought the copyright? Or IBM? Whoever will own it in 10 years, will the codebase be opened? Who knows, but I will be following this subject over the next few years.


    • Re:Not much new (Score:2, Informative)

      Quite a few years ago, Sun paid a BIG chunk of
      money to own the full rights to their Sys V code.
      Something approaching $100 M if I remember. They
      paid this big chunk of money so they wouldn't be
      affected by this sort of situation.
      • Yes, but licenses can be changed. There are always ways around something one does not wish to honor. There is no love lost between Microsoft and Sun and should Microsoft obtain this it could deliver a fatal blow to Sun.
      • I don't recall the amount (I think it was about half of what you state), but it was significant. It's worth noting that Sun, IBM, and Compaq are the only computer companies on the planet that own enough of their own core technologies to be at least somewhat immune from extortion at the hands of the likes of Intel and Microsoft. *Everyone* else is vulnerable and not fully capable of controlling of their future.
  • This reminds me of when people ran OS/2 in oder to develope for Windows 3.1

    This product may appeal to companies who see the need to develope for Linux but turn those nose up at actually having to run it.

  • As many have stated, GNU utilities are nothing new to SCO (cf. Skunkware). For those who aren't quite knowledgeable of SVR5, there *are* serious advantages to running a UNIX(tm) kernel as opposed to Linux. Not all of these are hardware related.

    UNIX(tm) has TLI and STREAMS support. Linus has explicitly decided that TLI is to be passed over in favor of sockets, and STREAMS isn't to be supported at all (leading to some hackneyed workarounds regarding ptys). So for those of you who will say "big deal, SCO kernel has some better hardware/threading/${FOO}, we'll develop the drivers/mutexes/${BAR} for it," there are some things that will never, ever be put into the main source tree due to administrative decision.

    Yes, TLI and STREAMS have inherent performance penalties, but they provide a much more sane API for driver development. Hardware today is fast enough to handle a small performance penalty that Linus' 386 could not.

    In short: This is a good thing, because it presents a system which runs on x86 which has significant DESIGN differences. Someone has opted for the other fork of the tradeoff branch; assuming the standard utilies and libc are in sync with Linux's GNU toolkit, this means that the same application can take advantage of two different paradigms for two different situations (BSD/sockets vs TLI+STREAMS). I guess this is like the BSD/a.out vs. Linux/ELF scenario of a couple years back. Each system has its pros and cons, programs are source compatible to work with either.

    Now that *that* little ruckus has been resolved...

    So this really is nothing new. UNIX kernel, (optional) GNU utilities (e.g, Skunkware). Most big UNIX vendors distributed UNIX utilities (Sun, SCO/Caldera,etc) with GNU utils. Hell, NeXT made gcc their default compiler (and charged thousands of dollars for it. Ha!). And it's a good thing. I'm glad.

    • Some other features that Unix System V concentrated heavily on were support for symmetric multiprocessing (not just 2-4 processors but much larger numbers) and schedulers designed to handle hard real-time constraints, e.g. aircraft control or chemical process control applications that get really grumpy if you don't handle them every millisecond, on the millisecond. The real-time *has* gotten much easier since the days of the 386 and its ~5 bogomips, but it still takes grunging through the entire kernel and finding anything that blocks critical resources and makes sure the blocking is limited to short enough time periods to meet the constraints.
  • by mikethegeek ( 257172 ) <blair@NOwcmifm.c ... M minus language> on Saturday August 18, 2001 @07:59PM (#2173671) Homepage
    In my job as a QA tester, we run many different NOS's for compatibility. OpenUnix 8.0 is virtually no different from Unixware 7.1.1, other than the fact that Caldera logos have replaced SCO ones. Big freaking deal.

    The OS is still cumbersome to install, and far less user friendly than any Linux distro. Of course, SCO is a true enterprise server Unix, which is it's sole (vanishing) advantage over Linux.

    I was extremely disappointed that 8.0 lacked ANY improvement in user friendliness, which is the major thing I expected Caldera to bring to SCO. Caldera's Linux distros (which I also test) probably have the best installer of any Linux (though I really like TurboLinux's text mode installer). Also, the SCO shell lacks all of the user-friendliness the GNU BASH shell has, which makes it one of the hardest command lines to master (particularly when you first Unix exposure was the friendly BASH command line).

    OpenUnix 8.0 is nothing more than a "slap our new name on it and get it out" to generate new revenue release. I'd advise anyone running 7.1.1 to wait until 8.1. Unfortunately, licensing isn't the ONLY one of MS's business practices that Caldera is imitating.
  • Great. Another article that as a lot of technical possibility, and all I hear are license considerations and politics. Anybody want to enlighten the rest of us as to why exactly this release is significant? Is the OpenUNIX kernel somehow better than the Linux kernel? At what things? What's the VM system look like? Real meaty stuff that nobody seems to talk about...
    • I've said it in a few other posts. Caldera Open UNIX is a repackaged, rehashed SCO UnixWare. That's all. The kernel is the UnixWare SVR5 kernel. Slow and buggy and a pain to work with.

  • Of course, the dream thing would be if they officially supported an open-source kernel, too (not necessarly Linux).
    But I would settle on a close-source kernel (after all, nobody should know their CPU better than themselves) toghether with all the open-source goodies which I love, officially compiled and supported by SUN.

    Thanks to sites like freesolaris [] ( once openly linked by SUN, but now no more ), I already have somethink like this ( also because most SUN software has orrible price/quality ratio. Take Forte, for instance ...).

  • I had to set up a server running SCO Unix for a large web site. It was years ago, in the Linux 1.2 days.
    SCO was a pain to install, there was even no driver for our classical adaptec adapter. We had to call the support and wait during one week to have a fucking floppy disk with the driver.
    Then, compiling anything on the box (like the first release of the "Apache" server) was a pain. A lot of libraries like 'crypt' were missing. I had to tweak the source code a lot, port external libraries, etc. to have something that worked on SCO.
    And the kernel crashed. I rebooted, and a lot of files were corrupted, including almost everything in the /etc directory. I had to reinstall everything from scratch. One day of uptime, wow.
    It finally worked, I just had to import the existing web pages and images from a DAT tape. Guess what ? Only 2 Gb tapes were supported by SCO, and the support center was unable to help.
    I ended up wiping the hard disk, and installed Linux. Everything worked perfectly, and what took me an entiere week of work with SCO was redone in 3 hours with Linux.
    SCO has probably improved since, but I don't trust that operating system any more. It was dog slow, it was a hell to compile anything on it, the default shell was an horror, it didn't support common hardware...
    If you don't like the Linux kernel, watch out for Debian/OpenBSD instead.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972