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Ransom Love on United Linux, SCO Unix 246

tit4tat writes: "Caldera chief executive Ransom Love confessed to ZDNet UK that "[Caldera is] not moving Open Unix [i.e., the former SCO Unix] onto Intel's 64-bit platform...." I suspected that Caldera bought SCO just to kill SCO Unix, even though they denied it at the time. Now, the first Unix I ever knew is about to be no more. "
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Ransom Love on United Linux, SCO Unix

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  • SCO is gone (Score:4, Informative)

    by codeguy007 ( 179016 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:05PM (#3613552)
    Well considering that SCO sucked why would they ever want to port it to IA-64. No they didn't by SCO to kill it. It was going to die anyway. They bought it for the Intellectual Property and some of the application software that SCO had developed. Also I understand they were interested in SCO's support division.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      SCO UNIX did not suck and was an extremely stable UNIX(tm) for the Intel platform. It was an AT&T variant and was aien to a lot of folks who were BSDers. Suck it did not as long as a competent person admin'd it. It once had a emulation layer that allowed Win 3.x to run with all the apps. And STABLE. Xenix which was an M$ bastardized offshoot was a bit unstable, but worked just fine. I coded a lot of apps and admin'd on both SCO products. I saw my first Xenix running on an i286 with 3 meg of RAM and 10 meg of disk. It will be missed.
      • Xenix which was an M$ bastardized offshoot was a bit unstable, but worked just fine.

        Not quite. What became SCO developed Xenix along with Microsoft. Microsoft eventually lost interest (although into the early nineties there was a port of MS Word for SCO Unix) and the rights to the whole thing came to SCO, in exchange for some royalties of course. SCO Open Server (and Open Desktop, the deceased client version), the older and cruftier of SCO's Unices, is the direct descendant of Xenix. UnixWare (now Open Unix I guess) was originally developed by Novell, and is a more direct branch from the AT&T source.
        • UnixWare (now Open Unix I guess) was originally developed by Novell, and is a more direct branch from the AT&T source.
          Nope, UnixWare is Unix - the real, original source from AT&T. Novell bought it from AT&T in one of their "Let's Out Microsoft Microsoft" spasms.
    • So its no big market loss.
  • granted i've never used SCO myself, but if you're gonna buy a flavor of unix or what not, and don't want to develop and/or support it, the least you could do is release it to the public for free. I like my little OS collection on CD, and I wouldn't mind adding another one to the heap.
  • title (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dionysus ( 12737 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:06PM (#3613561) Homepage
    For some reason I read it as Random Love Unites Linux...
  • good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Roadmaster ( 96317 ) <> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:07PM (#3613571) Homepage Journal
    At long last, and hopefully every single one of my sco-using customers will finally see a reason to migrate from that.

    SCO has got to be the single ugliest, un-friendliest, most incomplete and failure-prone unix i've ever used. I was called in to solve problems even the dedicated admins couldn't, and they always turned out to be windows-like, unexplainable glitches that took lots of kludging around to fix.
    • And yet according to this story Caldera was so terrified of SCO they bought it to kill it.
    • I don't know, my SCO customers are my Bread and Butter customers. I have suggested on many occasions that they should migrate to Linux or BSD, but noooo, they liked the idea of having a support structure, and were very distrustful of a 'free' OS.

      My main reason for recommending a migration was because I often felt guilty of the amount of support Sco needed compared to my Linux customers.

      Oh well, time for me to go and get my MCSE.
  • by BlueLines ( 24753 ) <slashdot&divisionbyzero,com> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:09PM (#3613578) Homepage

    (from the article)

    So OpenUnix will continue in parallel to OpenLinux?
    Yes. Open Unix could well keep going in parallel to OpenLinux. We are not moving Open Unix onto Intel's 64-bit platform, but IA32 will be around for a long time yet.

    Please read the articles before you post them....

    • Indeed. There is no way a start-up could afford to buy an established competitor just to remove them from the market. That's what competition is for.

      Caldera has limited resources. They likely can't afford to pay developers to port an operating system to IA64, so that keeps OpenUNIX on IA32. Meanwhile, Linux is being ported to IA64 by open-source developers, so Caldera gets that move for the cost of testing, not developing.

      Relax! I doubt any conspiracy is lurking here.

      • >Indeed. There is no way a start-up could afford
        >to buy an established competitor just to remove
        >them from the market. That's what competition is

        you DO buy out your competitor when they start floundring - at the very least, you get a large portion of their customers at a fraction of the cost to you needed to acquire them through traditional channels (competition, sales force).

        At best, you can absorb their "good" technologies, as well as take on some of their sharpest people in areas you need to strengthen.

        Its a damn good way to grow a business.

  • by juan2074 ( 312848 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:09PM (#3613583)
    the first Unix I ever knew
    more like, the worst Unix I ever knew
    • Hmm...

      SCO routinely scores low with sysadmins in every article I have ever read. (Remember, it originally was a Microsoft product :P)

      But Caldera used to be one of the great market leaders in Linux, and they are quickly falling from that position (per-seat licensing often kills their market share, and any Linux vendor whose CEO states that the GPL is bad for business has more problems that I can handle).

      I guess birds of a feather flock together.
  • Are they still denying that they bought SCO just to kill SCO Unix or have they fessed up to it now? Where can we find info on Open Unix and SCO Unix? I have never heard of either.
    • Why on earth would a small player buy another small player just to get rid of a little competition? It's like a small hardware store buying another small hardware store to put them out of business, even though both stores are next to Home Depot and business already sucks.
      • Uhhh, doesn't that happen all the time. It isn't Home Depot that goes out of business. With the competition that the big guy creates usually only one little guy survives. Some people like the little guy but there isn't usually room for many little guys. Only a select number of people are willing to accept the possible higher prices, lower convenience or whatever drawback of the small guy.
  • I mean why should they spend money porting SCO Unix to the IA-64, instead they should spend that effort porting United Linux to the IA-64, plus they have the capital behind them to do it with SuSe, Turbo and Connectiva behind them now. My question is are the 4 companies going to become one now?
  • What a miserable piece of soft links. Just finding your way around the filesystem is a nightmare. You think your finding the right folder then you find out it's linked to another folder.

    The icky scoansi terminal.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe it was your poor grammar and inability to spell that caused your navigational woes.
  • i would have cared 2 years ago, but i have converted all my cooporate servers to use linux with SCO ABI support patched in.

    Works like a charm :)
  • ScoAdmin (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Da_man ( 110788 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:11PM (#3613601)
    I have never used SCO Unix but I have a lot of experience with OpenServer. IMHO "scoadmin", the tool administring everything on a sco box, was a work of art.

    The transparent (to the user) method it had for Kernel compiles is something I would love to see Linux do. Not that I haven't cut a few Linux kernels myself, but it was very neat.

    Another great thing was the software installer, and driver support from major manufacturers. Download drivers from Compaq, go to scoadmin/software, add the new software and it would recompile the kernel if needed. Sweet!!
    • The proper term is "re-linking" the kernel. SCO did not give you the source to the Openserver kernel so therefore you can not compile it.

      The reason why the util is so neat is that you have to re-link OpenServer very often -- it does not have kmalloc (meaning you constantly had to 'tune' different buffers) and it does not support loadable modules.

      BTW I am pretty sure that OpenServer is ported to IA64. . .with that in mind (ahem) I would look at it more as Caldera not counting on the IA64 then Caldera not counting on Unixware.
    • I agree. I would love to see something as complete as scoadmin on linux (redhat). You could configure just about everything from the command line, now all the RH utils are GUI based, requiring X11. It was nice to be able to ssh into a SCO box, and configure a printer. linuxconf had a text based interface, but it is no longer present in RH 7.3. What happened? What is a good text based config utility for RH (besides vi)?
      • Well, I did find:


        but that's still a far cry from scoadmin. Maybe I'll stick too vi, and editing files, and restarting services. At least with that method, if you break something, it's your fault, and not the admin tools fault (or bug, like a lot of the linuxconf modules)
    • Another cool thing about SCO (out of the 3 good things I can say about it) was that the colors of vitual terminals changed. When we migrated to Linux my boss hits ctrl+alt+F2 and says "Hey, they're all the same color!". Is there a way to do this in Linux? it's actually sort of usefull...
      • by markus ( 2264 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @09:20PM (#3614350) Homepage
        Another cool thing about SCO (out of the 3 good things I can say about it) was that the colors of vitual terminals changed. When we migrated to Linux my boss hits ctrl+alt+F2 and says "Hey, they're all the same color!". Is there a way to do this in Linux? it's actually sort of usefull...

        Of course you can do this. This is just a question of configuring your system properly. You need to edit your /etc/inittab and add apropriate -I parameters for your getty processes:

        1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0681800'
        2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0686800'
        3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0005078'
        4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0681868'
        5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0006818'
        6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6 -I 'ESCcESC[?17;55;248cESC]RESC]P0006878'

        Make sure that you enter a literal escape character for ESC (in vi you do this by preceding it with a CTRL-V, in emacs you must press CTRL-Q first).

        After you have made these changes restart all your getty processes:

        telinit q
        killall -HUP getty

        If you want to know what the escape sequences do, then here you go:

        • ESCc clears the screen.
        • ESC[?17;55;248c gives you a non-blinking red block cursor.
        • ESC]R resets the current palette to its default values.
        • ESC]P0RRGGBB changes the color for the first entry in the palette (i.e. for the background color).
  • SCO is dead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mongoks ( 540017 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:12PM (#3613604)
    Why is this such a shock? Who needs another x86-based Unix at this point? The only thing that kept SCO alive was the system vendors who needed to be able to run on cheap hardware but didn't want to use a "free" OS.
    • Explain why the project I develop for has SCO Openserver running on $35,000 workstations then?

      You'd be surprised who uses it and how much it is still prevalent...
  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:12PM (#3613609) Journal
    Ransom Love

    " The only difference is that the UnitedLinux binaries will not freely distributed. People will be able to download the source code and compile their own binaries, but they will not be able to use the UnitedLinux brand"

    Please people now is the time to rally behind the truely free distros out there. If your going to use linux use Redhat,Debian,Gentoo,Slackware,Mandrake, or any of the other fine binary/iso friendly distros out there.

    While I applaud standards I don't think this is the way to go about it.
    • Uh, this is pretty common practice. For example, you can compile all the source that makes up Red Hat and distribute binaries of it, you just can't call it "Red Hat".

      I assume that they made this decision to try and increase their sales of official boxed products, versus having everyone download a free ISO. There's nothing to stop you from compiling the whole system, building an ISO, and distributing it under the name "Divided Linux".
      • Uh, this is pretty common practice. For example, you can compile all the source that makes up Red Hat and distribute binaries of it, you just can't call it "Red Hat".

        Maybe, but you can also download the binaries from RedHat. You can download the ISOs from RedHat. I'm not going to argue that the UnitedLinux companies are immoral for only distributing the source freely--I mean, that's the whole point of the GPL isn't it? But you have to admit that it is certainly a lot more convienient to be able to download an ISO if you want to try out a distro. In the end, with RedHat planning a LSB compliant distro--and ISO downloads--I really don't think that they will be putting a major dent in RedHat's dominance. Just my 2 cents.

    • Excuse me, but what exactly is your beef?

      All you're restricted from using is the brand. This is a problem? I guess you also can't sleep at night because Linux can't use the UNIX trademark?

      Who cares?? Compile the sources and say they're "UnitedLinux compatible". As long as you don't say "compliant" (which implies passing the certification tests) everything should be peachy.

      You're reading drama into a situation that has none. Promote your favorite distros as much as you want, but don't do so at the unnecessary expense of others, especially when those others are putting forth an honest effort to help Linux.
    • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:45PM (#3613809) Homepage Journal

      Exactly right. This is nothing more than yet another wacky hare-brained Caldera scheme to get people to pay more for Free Software without having to actually do more. United Linux is nothing more than a binary version of the LSB plus some additional, fairly basic, packages. Each of the distributions that is participating will have these packages installed and available. Clearly this is not a revolutionary idea. Caldera, and their new compadres are trying to set this package up to be the "new standard" because they know that otherwise folks will continue to use RedHat as the de-facto standard.

      However, Caldera continues to overlook the reason that RedHat became the de-facto standard. That reason is simple. They wrote cool software and gave it away. Because of RedHat's policy of writing GPLed software, their software became the standard and their technology has been adopted by pretty much every other distribution (in one form or another). By and large Linux users, and Linux customers in general, aren't interested in being locked into a single distribution. Nor are they interested in paying per seat licensing fees. Apparently they also aren't interested in purchasing support from companies that sell distributions that rely on such tactics.

      You would think that years of being beaten over the head with a clue stick by the folks at RedHat would have knocked some sense into Mr. Love, but apparently some folks are just amazingly slow learners.

      • IIRC things like RPM and Webmin were written by Caldera and given away. I am sure there are more.
        • Caldera bought Webmin and changed its license to BSD (I believe it was free for Linux only, but I forget the exact details). One would think Caldera continued to develop Webmin at that point, but I'm not sure if they released their work back to the public (with Ransom Love's comments in the past, it is really questionable). Redhat certainly didn't write Webmin though.

          RPM. What do you suppose that stands for? Not Caldera Package Manager, for sure. Could it be... Redhat?

      • However, Caldera continues to overlook the reason that RedHat became the de-facto standard. That reason is simple. They wrote cool software and gave it away.

        Lets not forget that Redhat was the first strong push for a commercial Linux distribution. Redhat wasn't just for hobbiests and covert server projects. They went after the IT Industry as mainstream product. Hiring leaders in various Linux development projects and funding further development is a bonus (and certainly worthy of praise).

        Ransom Love made one good point in the interview. Linux players have to come up with ways to differentiate themselves. This, despite the fact that they all pretty much work with the same pool of software. I have a hard time believing that Redhat wasn't included in the United Linux front because of time constraints. Redhat doesn't need United Linux because Redhat IS the competition.

        So how does Caldera and other United Linux players differentiate themselves from the competition (much less each other)? They have to offer something Redhat doesn't. Let's look at some of their points:

        • Standards - Redhat is already a defacto business standard. There's been talk of the LSB and Redhat has said they would be releasing a distro based on it. Soon. Perhapse sooner now. United Linux might be able to claim a truer standard than Redhat. Time will tell.
        • Software - same pool of software for both Redhat and United Linux. Free or proprietary.
        • Support - Caldera (and I suppose other United Linux offerings) has mentioned 12 months of support with their software package. Redhat comes with limited support on the boxed set, but also sells support packages no matter how you got your distribution.
        • Price - United Linux will be targeted at the enterprise with an enterprise price tag. Redhat is available with enterprise features and price tag. It is available at a desktop price. It is available at a "Pink Tie" price from Cheapbytes. It can be downloaded from any one of a worldwide network of mirrors.

        Caldera and its United Linux brethen look like they're running in to the same problem they had before. This tactic provides little differentiation. And if United Linux members hold to the same marketing plan that Ransom Love mentiones - holding on to binaries - they may find themselves at a loss. Imagine the conversation between management and their IT techies.

        "Uhhhh. Yea. We've decided to go ahead with this Linux thing. But there is so much choice, we're not sure what to consider. There seems to be two solid players here: Redhat and United Linux. Which one will work?"

        "Redhat. I downloaded the latest version last week and put it up on our dev machine. Its been solid - a lot better then the dot-oh release. And I've been running the last release and development updates for the last few months. Its good."

        Management nods their heads and goes back to look up support contracts with Redhat.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      " The only difference is that the UnitedLinux binaries will not freely distributed. People will be able to download the source code and compile their own binaries, but they will not be able to use the UnitedLinux brand"

      Please people now is the time to rally behind the truely free distros out there. If your going to use linux use Redhat,Debian,Gentoo,Slackware,Mandrake, or any of the other fine binary/iso friendly distros out there.

      One very good reason to do this is the GPL. If you distribute the binaries, you MUST make source available. If you distribute binaries ONLY with source, or not at all, you have no further obligation to make source available.

      It seems to me that these folks could distribute their product as a binary plus source set, and not make any downloads available at all. They'd save a lot on bandwidth that way. The fact that they aren't speaks well for their good intent. If you want them to do the compile for you, doesn't it seem decent to pay them for it?

    • United Linux: If you aren't with us your with the Terrori-MS-sists.

      It is either United Linux or those guys.

      ( Avoid those peace loving RedHatters... )

    • How is this different from any other Linux distro that has a trademark? You can't build Redhat from sources, burn it onto a CD, and call it "Redhat". You can't do it with Mandrake. You can't do it with Slackware. I'm not as familiar with the others, but Slackware has specific rules about calling a CD "Slackware". You have to have your CD laid out in a certain manner with certain files, etc.

      You can of course call those CD's "Redhat Derived", or "Unofficial Mandrake Burnings", or "Remarkable Slackware-Like Distro".
    • United Linux == Limited Unix
  • by Scareduck ( 177470 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:12PM (#3613610) Homepage Journal
    ... SCO sucked? It was late to market with every major improvement of BSD, had obnoxious licensing restrictions enforced by code (which was easily overridable -- just drop in a Linux-derived /bin/login with some obvious patches), and did its best to be absolutely unusable as hell at all times. The only way to fix it without Linux was to install the unsupported Skunkware CD, which made life tolerable, but never fun. SCO's dead? Well, good riddance, say I. (Oh, and did I mention it derived from Microsoft's Xenix? All the more reason to stake the bugger.)
  • by marian ( 127443 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:13PM (#3613615)

    My own experiences with SCO have all been awful. Having been forced to install it in order to qualify some products with it for a customer, it was a nightmare. The documentation is bad enough that it makes life more difficult that if it wasn't there in the first place. The people at SCO were universally unhelpful, even when we were contacting them to BUY their product. It was a disaster and I can't say I'm sorry to see it go.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember trying to get standard Unix source code to compile under SCO? Remember dinking with the makefiles, the oddball compiler flags, and non-standard libraries? I sure do. I remember how much I hated SCO and longed for a real Unix. The SCO compiler was closer to Microsoft QuickC (it was an MS compiler!) than it was to ATT cc. It was a royal pain in the ass to use, and I do not hold out nostalgia for those days of pain.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember that Caldera has finite resources, they cannot afford to port the system to many architectures. That might be a good move, considering the fact that Intel's IA-64 architecture has not made significant inroads into the market. Now if they move it to AMD's Hammer series or the alternative 64 bit extension to the IA-32 processor family that would make sense.
  • by Shisha ( 145964 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:17PM (#3613647) Homepage
    In the article it says, that they will only release the source code, but that they will sell the binary distributuins. I guess that means no more downloading of ISO installation images.

    I'm wondering, though, what would they do if someone just decided to download the source code (I guess SRPMS), compile them and the install program and bang it all on a install CD?

    Apart from that I like the United Linux idea. The guy has a point about not competing in an area where there's no differentiator between the different distributions. I mean Apache will still be Apache, Squid will be Squid and Postfix..., you get the idea, no matter who packages it (I know that they sometimes apply extra patches, but on the whole, if it's important then all will have it).
  • Open Source? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by comcn ( 194756 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:19PM (#3613659) Journal

    So UnitedLinux will remain an open-source project?

    Absolutely. The only difference is that the UnitedLinux binaries will not freely distributed. People will be able to download the source code and compile their own binaries, but they will not be able to use the UnitedLinux brand.


    Caldera will provide the product through its reseller channel; one problem that resellers currently face is that Linux is free. This way we give them more of a profit motive to sell Linux, because by adopting UnitedLinux they can generate more revenue.

    Huh? So anyone can download the source and compile, (can't call it UnitedLinux, no problem), but you have to buy the binaries (no problem). Doesn't their business model fall apart when people start burning copies of the binary CDs for their friends?

    This is, of course, allowed by the GPL, which most of UnitedGNU/Linux will be licenced under, I assume.

    • Re:Open Source? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phexro ( 9814 )
      It sounds like they are just raising the barrier to entry. If you want to download the source & build your own copy, go right ahead. But you already have to have Linux (possibly some othe *nix with a cross-compiler) installed, as well as the ability to compile all those packages. And I'd be surprised if they released tools that made it easy to build the binary installation CDs.

      Of course, anyone who already has a Linux box and the ability to compile all that source probably is going to be running [] something else [] already [], and won't be inclined to switch. Besides, if you want to compile all that crap, why not just run Gentoo, LFS, or *BSD?

      • It sounds like they are just raising the barrier to entry.

        Or they're simply creating a market for Cheapbytes' new offering right next to "Pink Tie Linux" - "Untied Linux".
    • Doesn't their business model fall apart

      Isn't this what Suse does now? My recollection is there's no way to download, for no money, a Suse ISO, at least no way that Suse sanctions. Since I don't want to tray and download 8 zillion tarballs and compile them all (many dependent on other things being compiled/installed first), if I wanted to run this version, I'd buy the box set.

      Of course, I just download Redhat, so your basic point may be right on, after all.
  • No Weeping here. (Score:4, Informative)

    by LowellPorter ( 466257 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @07:22PM (#3613676) Journal
    The wholesale company I work for used SCO Unix for 12 years. Our customers would dial into it with our windows software to order product. The last few years was a real pain in the butt. SCO Unix didn't have many device drivers, was hard to install even with the recommended hardware, and crashed too often.
    Four years ago when I started working for the company, I recommended Linux. My boss didn't want to use it because at the time there were no companies that had decent support. Last year we finally switched to Red Hat. They have decent support. The only big problem with RH is being able to install from a backup tape. SCO unix had utilities for this that worked well. With Linux this is much more difficult.
    We have been more than satisfied since the switch to Red hat.
    Good Riddance to SCO. It was good at one point, but they let it fall to peices.
  • So, in case they really "kill off" SCO Unix, what happens to the source? There must be some things vaulable in there, I hope they are contributed to United Linux.

    Even better would be to publish all of it as GPL code, but that will probably not happen because part of the code might be licensed from third parties. (Also, of course no GPL'ing will take place as long as IA32 Open Unix is "still around on the market"...)
    • Even better would be to publish all of it as GPL code, but that will probably not happen because part of the code might be licensed from third parties.

      UNIX has been around for such a long time, and there are so many cooks with a hand in that stew... I think gettting all the folks together to relicense it will be a serious undertaking. Just think, Microsoft's XENIX is a part of it now, so now you have to (possibly) ask Billy Boy to relicense under the GPL. Hmm, how likely is that?

  • But the day I heard SCO was acquired by Caldera, I knew it was over. It was only a matter of time.

    I asked our CEO very shortly thereafter...So when are we migrating Oracle over to Linux? "Never!" was his reply. I suppose he didn't realize then that SCO was no longer going to be a viable option as a mission critical platform.

    I certainly can't say it surprises me. I mean look at Caldera's track record. Maybe someone over at the new UnitedLinux should consider giving them the boot before they take that down the tubes too.

    BTW...I'm not being a troll. I'm just a little over opinionated about this I suppose. It's just difficult to have any respect for a company that takes anything they have of any value and pisses it away.

  • Good lord, it's not dead yet? I had the 'opportunity' to work with SCO a year after I was introduced to Linux. Not what I would say I had in mind when I started studying Linux to get a UNIX job.Do I have tales to tell.
  • No room for SCO (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brsmith4 ( 567390 )
    There are too many other projects out there right now for Caldera to be messing around with SCO. I think its attention should be on this United Linux thing (tacky name btw). Get that running on IA64 with enterprise features and reliability. Give SCO to the OSS developers that may want to borrow a few ideas. In addition, what does caldera have to gain from continuing work on an OS which is being replaced by more competent, open sourced equivalents (not quite equivalent)? I think it would help them to support the platform (for those unfortunate souls still clung to it) financially, but its time to phase it out. As for 'United Linux', I think I will keep my box 'United' with a clean copy of slack.
  • any OS that allows you to backspace over the login prompt needs to be destroyed!
  • I totally don't agree with the poster of the article about bemoaning the eventual deprecation of SCO Unix. While I have fond memories also an SCO system, I have a much clearer vision now. We need to more toward open programs and operating systems.

    I look forward to the time when all programs will be free and open and similiar to the standard Linux utilities (grep, more, fsck, and so forth) in that programs do one thing, and do it well. Once this happens, and programs are generally well-understood like engineering principles, law principles, or medical principles, then programmers will be there to provide a service, like engineers, lawyers, or doctors. I only see this happening once the programs' source is open.

    We (programmers) need to continue to move toward the "programming as a service" scenario. We need to get away from the "write the program once and sell a million copies and get rich" philosphy.

  • I'm not so sure of that at all.

    I would think a lot of things are not being ported, because it's bombing.

  • I suspected that Caldera bought SCO just to kill SCO Unix, even though they denied it at the time.

    Actually that would be silly for them to do since SCO was already dieing. What they did was buy a company that gave them a base of customers who wanted to run Unix on x86. Furthermore they got access to any technology that SCO had developed. So to suggest they were just trying to off them seems simplistic. If they wanted to get rid of them, why would they still be offering upgrades?
  • OpenUnix 8 is the successor to Unixware 7. Unixware was created by Novel based on the SysV R4 code, when SCO bought it they continued working on it and got it up to SysV R5. Then Caldera bought most of SCO, and created OpenUnix 8 which is a merger of the SVR5 Unixware and many features from Linux.

    SCO OpenServer 5 is based on SysV R3. It does not suck, and it does do all of the things Bill Gates claims Windows does only better and much more stable.

    If Caldera has no interest in porting Unix to the IA-64 platform, it is now time to open source the AT&T Unix code base. I would love to have several proprietary Unix features available to the world (pg for one)...

    I've used SCO Unix since the OpenDesktop days and I like it!

    Just my $0.02 worth.
  • I always had the feeling that SCO actually stood for "Symlinks, can't overdo". Then the engineers went on a mad spree to prove that statement incorrect.

    Half or more of the files on the systems I had were symlinked by default to something like /var/sys/SCO/install/SCO5432/HJ5678RTYrftyfgF 5w/etc/bin/opt/suck
  • I've got a collection of 'dead PC operating
    system' CDs that'll make nice wall art some
    day. I guess I'm defining "dead" as an
    operating system that you can't buy anymore
    or is otherwise unsupported today.

    So far, I have original install CDs from:

    SCO Openserver 5
    Novell UnixWare
    BeOS (but just a demo CD, sigh)
    An old DOS CD

    Anyone have any suggestions on CDs to add?
    I'm still looking for a rare CD of a
    rumored version of AIX that was for the PC,
    not RS/6000. Never seen it, though. And
    I missed out on the chance to get that
    CP/M CD a while back.
    • Interesting idea... don't think you'll ever find a CP/M or Xenix CD, but I could be wrong. Back then, all they put on CD was large shareware collections (PC-SIG, etc.) Wasn't much need when the OS of the day could fit on a 360K floppy. So unless you stretch your scope to early Windows and NetWare versions, not sure what more you would find out there on CD. Old Slackware, maybe? ;)
  • If/when Caldera drives a stake through the heart of SCO Unix, it will bring an end to what was a very interesting journey for Unix in general. The trail of this version of Unix back to it's origin really strikes at the heart of where *ix is at this point in time. Going back to AT&T and Sun and the OSF (DEC/IBM/et al). Those of us who are old timers will silently mourn the day when it does pass, as it will represent a passing of a generation gone by.

    • Yeah, but having done the SVR3 generation of Unix (incl. older Dynix/PTX for Unisys platforms, egaaaaddds), it's better to look back and say "wow, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the quirks anymore". Or the days where making it Internet ready meant you had to hack somebody's BSD sockets package to get things connected... hehe, when 'networking' meant UUCP. Those are good old days I can do without.
  • ransom note (Score:5, Funny)

    by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @08:00PM (#3613898) Homepage

    wE hAVe YoUR UniX. PlaCE tWEnty
    THOusaNd DolLarS IN UnMArkeD
    hUNdreD DollaR BiLLs in OuR
    PaypAL AccouNT By JuNE 1St
    or wE WiLL kiLL -9 IT.

  • Not well known (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PD ( 9577 )
    It's a little known fact that Sun Microsystems considered using SCO Xenix on their systems before deciding the write their own. The reason they wrote their own was that their main competitor, Apollo, had a fully System 7 compliant UNIX implementation, and DEC was rumored to be releasing that as well on their VAX hardware. Sun decided thta Xenix wasn't UNIX, so they wrote their own.

    True story.
    • Huh? How did they "write their own" by taking doing a (tags-query-replace "BSD" "SunOS") in GNU Emacs (which did exist at the time)??

      I don't know what you're smoking, but it must be good.
    • Re:Not well known (Score:5, Informative)

      by edhall ( 10025 ) <> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:32PM (#3614633) Homepage

      It's not well known, because it isn't true.

      Sun's OS derived directly from BSD. One of Sun's founders, Bill Joy (now their Chief Scientist), was one of the primary developers of BSD and one of the people responsible for getting BSD to run on the 68000 (which was the processor used in the first Suns).

      At the time, Apollo didn't even run Unix, but rather their own OS named "Domain." To compete, Apollo modified Domain to support a Unix emulation (including a switching mechanism based on conditional symlinks). Domain didn't die until HP bought Apollo, though I believe they did ultimately port native Unix to Apollos just before then.

  • The issue is not to compete with Red Hat but to look at how we can grow Linux on a worldwide basis.

    Nice try to play up to the Linux community Mr. Love. Caldera buys SCO and whatever community spirit was with it went away, Here's what Love really should have said:

    "Well, considering my big cakehole has pissed away any chance at the Linux community ever respecting me or my company, I have decided to gather the other distributions, in the spirit of 'unifying Linux for our customers' bring Linux into the next decade. Oh, and since I have no idea how OSS works (lost my copy of ESRs book), we'll make the distribution of the binaries illegal, because damnit, Red Hat keeps GPLing all their software, and we just can't have that."

    Face it Love, Red Hat is successful because it caters to business needs, and CONTINUTES to GPL it's products. You're anti-OSS views are the reason no one wants to use Caldera. If you take from the community, you better give back.

    Don't blame Redhat because you've made a poor investment in a proprietary Unix company. Sucks that SuSE is stuck with these guys.
  • Good ridance to the legacy of Xenix.

    Thank God!

    Just my $0.02

  • To the comments on "Die XENIX Die", OpenUNIX is NOT tho old SCO code base.

    OpenUNIX 8 is basically UnixWare with Linux binary support and some new driver stuff in it - SCO has been a supporter of Project UDI [] since the beginning, and this is there new kernel Device Driver Interface.

    The old SCO 5, SVR3 based, file system symlinked to an ounce of it's life code base is called OpenServer. Still being sold, though I bet it's had a fork stuck in it for quite some time.

  • My first time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ratbert42 ( 452340 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @08:47PM (#3614179)

    Now, the first Unix I ever knew is about to be no more.

    Ironically, the first Unix I ever used was Microsoft Xenix on the 68000 Tandy.

    • Just in case you didn't realise it, that MicroSoft Xenix is actually the same thing as SCO Unix (well, if it carried the Xenix name it was an earlier version, but the same codeline, the same unix.) SCO was Microsofts outsourcer - MS didn't actually write Xenix, they just bought the license and hired SCO to do it. Eventually MS lost interest in Xenix, so SCO bought the license and renamed it SCO Unix...

      • Nope, as others have said previously, SCO Unix was based on the AT&T source (which is why they could brand it as Unix reather then Xenix). It was a different source base and development continued on the Xenix line in parallel for a while afterwards.
        • Not quite true. Xenix was based on the AT&T source - the SysIII source. AT&T didn't license the Unix name at the time, just the code - that's why it was called Xenix instead of MS Unix to begin with. SCO updated it with Berkeley components, SysV compatibility, and so forth.

          The part you are correct on, however, is that SCO Unix reflects a new (in '89) license from AT&T, which included rights to the name Unix as well as the actual SysV code.

  • I wonder if this is an anti-trust violation. Given that none of the 4 companies has a monopoly, I would guess not. They do say they are open to any company joining. So what if Microsoft joined?

  • Now, the first Unix I ever knew is about to be no more.

    And I say good riddence! SCO was a miserable little Unix.


Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser