[TUHS] XENIX or UNIX? (was: Surprised about Unix System V in the 80's - so sparse!)

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Thu Mar 18 11:15:28 AEST 2021

On Wednesday, 17 March 2021 at 21:33:37 +0100, Josh Good wrote:
> Hello UNIX veterans.
> So I stumbled online upon a copy of the book "SCO Xenix System V Operating
> System User's Guide", from 1988, advertised as having 395 pages, and the
> asked for price was 2.50 EUROs. I bought it, expecting --well, I don't know
> exactly what I was expecting, something quaint and interesting, I suppose.
> I've received the book, and it is not a treasure trobe, to say the least. I
> am in fact surprised at how sparse was UNIX System V of this age, almost
> spartan.

I'm surprised that nobody else mentioned this, but XENIX System V and
UNIX System V were two very different beasts.  I've used both, and
XENIX is considerably worse.

> And that's it. The communications part only deals the Micnet (a
> serial-port based local networking scheme), and UUCP. No mention at
> all of the words "Internet" or "TCP/IP", no even in the Index.

It was available, and I had it installed.  In fact, somewhere I still
have the media, though it's unlikely that they're still readable.  But
like Interactive UNIX System V/386 (if I have the names, it was
commercially oriented and sold each individual component separately,
separate media, separate documentation, and these bloody license keys.

> I'm probably spoiled from Linux having repositories full of packaged
> free software, where the user just has to worry about "which is the
> best of": email program, text editor, browser, image manipulation
> program, video player, etc. I understand this now pretty well, how
> spoiled are we these days.

Yes, I had BSD/386 at the same time I actually had to use XENIX, and
the difference was like night and day.  I moved as much of my
development environment to BSD as possible, not helped by XENIX's lack
of NFS.  I'm not sure it even had X.

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