On Wed, 07 Apr 1999, you wrote:
> A friend of mine offered me a SCO Unix CD
>the other day. I don't know what version it is but I was wondering if anyone
>has used SCO Unix? Is it any good? I'm sure its probably not as up to date
>as Linux RH5.2 but is it worth my while giving it a try in x86 format?
I have used SCO's products on and off since 1985. They were good once.
I would not particularly recommend SCO Unix now. What version is it?
If it's a UnixWare version (2 or 7, there was no 3, 4, 5 or 6), then it's very
similar to the last commercial UNIX from AT&T. UnixWare was the name Novell
gave to AT&T's Unix when they bought Unix Systems Labs in '93 or '94.
If it is then watch out for...
1. Weird networking problems. AT&T and derivitives don't have system level
sockets. Instead there is a programmers' interface called the TLI (transport
layer interface), also known as XTI by the X/Open folks. Sockets are
implemented as a library on top of this but also using Sys/V semaphores
to provide apparent atomicity of the socket calls. You might think that this
doesn't matter unless you are programming network software. It does. There is
very little network software written with sockets that won't need very low
level tweaking to get it to work reliably. And there is plenty that doesn't
work reliably at all.
2. Want to run Java programs? Expect problems with threads and see 1. above
3. As with most commercial Unixes the utility programs such as editors (vi
etc.) are unbelievably primitive and ancient. Of course you can go and get all
the open source equivalents and build them yourself.
4. Do you want to do development work? You may find that the CD you have
does not include any development tools. SCO typically sell their so-called
Universal Development Kit (C/C++ compilers etc) as a separate product.
If your SCO is an OpenServer, then it's a descendent of Xenix - the original
SCO 16 bit UNIX clone offering, which was originally ported to the 8086, 80286
and 80386 by Microsoft. This is more like a BSD Unix. I don't know as much
about this today (I did when it was Xenix) but its networking is definitely
better. Points 3 and 4 above hold true.
does Linux beat it and is it still being develoiped,
Linux beats it in almost every possible way - reliability, ease of
installation, range of hardware supported, general support (unless you want to
pay $$$$$$$$$$$$), range of software available for it etc. etc.
Yes, SCO still exists and they are still selling their Unix wares quite
successfully in corporate America. They are still developing Unix based
products, but not as fast as the open source community does.
DISCLAIMER: ALL THE ABOVE IS DEFINITELY A PERSONAL OPINION!!!
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