Extending the cheap SCO src license

Greg Lehey grog at lemis.com
Tue Aug 4 15:09:47 AEST 1998

On Monday,  3 August 1998 at  9:42:53 -0400, User Rdkeys Robert D. Keys wrote:
>>> OK.  The current SCO license is limited specifically to 16 bit
>>> systems.  We'd like to get, say, System V as well.
>>> Greg
>> After negotiating with SCO, I can safely say that they won't make System V
>> cheaply available for any system, yet. Heck, they wouldn't even let us have
>> the crippled System V for the PDP-11.
> Do any of us really want SysV?  One can get that in a free license for unixware
> or such, as it is, if I am understanding things correctly.

You don't get the source with UnixWare.  And yes, I can conceive that
the sources of old versions of System V could be of interest, if only
for the computer etymologist.  I have a Tandem LXN (68020 based SMP
machine, about 11 years old) which ran an interesting version of
System V.2 and V.3.0.  While I was still at Tandem, I backed up the
last versions of the source (in Austin TX), and unfortunately I didn't
discover that the backup failed until I got back to Germany.  AFAIK
the sources are lost forever: they scrapped the machine shortly

>> You might be lucky to get System III added to the source license, and separate
>> binary-only licenses for certain System V systems. That's another battle, tho.
> Gee, I sense I have stirred up a wee bit of a hornets nest.  For the sake of
> discussion, maybe that is good.
> What I had originally thought was that it might be possible to include under
> the PUPS banner (or whatever it is to be called {PUPS is fine to me}), to
> include orphan unices.  Let me suggest that what I mean by orphan unices is
> a flavor of unix in binary or source that is essentially commercially past
> history.  That would specifically be to keep from camping on SCO's
> income.

In principle, not a bad idea.

> What might be considered an orphan unix?  One might consider things
> like the BSD tree to be orphan, as it relates to non-commercial use
> (one would consider BSDI commercial, but most of the others
> non-commercial maybe).

Well, there are plenty of people actively working on the BSD tree.  I
wouldn't consider it orphan.

> One might consider something like Coherent to be non-commercial anymore.
> Although that is not a ``true'' unix, it sure looks and feels the same
> and quacks very much like a V7 or early SysV.  Xenix falls into the same
> quacks like a duck category.  Although Xenix is still used commercially,
> it may be be time to begin to consider that we might, in due time, aproach
> SCO to offer a hobby style Xenix license of some sort.

I think you would run into extreme resistance inside SCO at the
moment, more than you would for, say, System V Release 1.  Although
it's obsolete, it wasn't that long ago (3 years?) that it was earning
more money for SCO than Open Deathtrap was.

> I would not expect them to offer source, although that might be
> workable after time.  One might consider the old RT and PS/2 unices
> (AOS and AIX 1 and 2) to be orphanware.  I am sure there are others.
> Perhaps even the 3Bx kind of thing could be suitably binary hobby
> licensed.  I would have a hard time imagining that SCO would
> consider the old ATT boxes any sort of a moneymaker these days.
> Where SCO would feel that we are too close to home, then maybe only
> a binary license of some sort would be all that we could
> collectively expect.

What would you do with a binary license.

> What about something like 386BSD?  That began in the 4.3BSD era if I
> am reading things corectly, and it sure walks and quacks like the
> real thing.  These kinds of things, I would think, are of merit to
> keep archives of, for the purposes and goals that we collectively
> seem be be heading towards.

FWIW, 386BSD is available in source form.  Dr. Dobbs still has a
CD-ROM that you can buy.  But 386BSD also evolved into FreeBSD, NetBSD
and OpenBSD, all of which are still alive, kicking and further
developing.  Anything but orphans.  I'm writing this on a FreeBSD

> If nothing else, the discussion is good.....


See complete headers for address and phone numbers
finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key

Received: (from major at localhost)
	by minnie.cs.adfa.oz.au (8.8.8/8.8.8) id WAA18632
	for pups-liszt; Tue, 4 Aug 1998 22:56:43 +1000 (EST)

More information about the TUHS mailing list