From: John P . Looney (valen at domain redbrick.dcu.ie)
Date: Thu 08 Apr 1999 - 13:53:37 IST
On Wed, Apr 07, 1999 at 01:48:00PM +0100, Noel.C.Carroll at domain life.friendsfirst.ie mentioned:
> Hope everyone had a good weekend! 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? Where
> does Linux beat it and is it still being develoiped?
As someone that spend a year (give or take) as a SCO admin, I'll let you
in on a few things.
First of all, it's a bit shite. that's an overview of sorts. However, my
knowledge is mainly based on SCO 3, which I used about 4 years back (long
time in computing terms - I was using Linux 1.2.13 at the time), so it
could have changed a bit. However, thinking how many differences there are,
between Solaris 2.3 and Solaris 2.7, I'm think most traits are the same.
Firstly, it's SVR4, not the BSD hybrid that we all know an love linux to
be. SVR4 means it's more like commerical unixen, than BSD variants. If you
purchase it, TCP/IP, the compiler, NFS, header files, and documentation all
all "you have to pay extra" components. It has ksh as it's "best shell",
rather than bash, "ps aux" doesn't work, stuff like that.
It installs X with the Motif Window Manager (did I mention Motif costs
extra?), which is a horrible thing. It's "uncoloured" Motif 1.2, which is
very blue. More modern versions come with CDE (nice, but not exactly
It's NFS performance is really poor. Once any machine mounts a drive on a
SCO box, each NFS process uses 100% of CPU - it starts 8 processes by
default. I don't know why it does this. Where I was working, we replaced
the main SCO server with a FreeBSD machine. Big performance increase. It's
networking in general is very very slow. Where I worked, it was so slow,
that for their own product, they rewrote the networking stacks to get a
You better not be too fond of rebooting. One time in 4, when we tried to
reboot a SCO box, it would hang on the way down. Hard reset the machine 4
times, and you'll have to reinstall. That bad.
SCO does come with STREAMS (optional extra), and a few other goodies. It's
SMP is very good, but of course, Uniprocessor is a tad slow anyway...as far
as i know, SCO is still COFF format for it's binaries, so shared libraries
are horrible to make up. I've had huge problems with compiling freeware
software on SCO (not as bad as Ultrix, but close).
SCO is nasty. Avoid it. If you want a commerical Unix for your PC, try
-- 'As my grandmother used to say, as she worked away on her spinning wheel, "Those who do not remember history, are doomed to repeat it, especially if they change the addressing modes, or wordsize of their architechture"' - Peter Van Der Linden
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