[rescue] UnOracle patches for Solaris

Scott Quinn saquinn624 at aol.com
Wed May 19 19:21:14 CDT 2010

SGI had a similar "unofficial hobbyist license", in fact it was (for many
years) much better than Sun's. Officially, and per the EULA, the license was
attached to the machine, so if you bought your machine from Bill the scrapper
you still got the IRIX license. Finding IRIX media was harder, but SGI did
tend to turn a blind eye to people in the very grey market. For a long time,
patches were free and (for IRIX 6.5) m-stream access was free which, while
officially only fixing bugs, also did wind up adding many features over the
course of IRIX 6.5 (which, incidentally, wound up hanging on to life for about
3x the time SGI originally planned).

SGI shot themselves in the foot for the server market in the IRIX 5 era. The
reputation of IRIX 5.1 spread widely (read the internal report that was widely
leaked which represents an excellent example of corporate reflection), and
there were a number of security bugs and insecure default settings that
greatly tarnished IRIX's reputation in the "serious sysadmin" community - this
is one of the reasons that IRIX 6.5 has the System Manager selection to
"improve security". The default settings worked well on LANs where you could
trust your co-workers and the staff was creative types who didn't want to mess
with frustration at permissions and security, but a lot needed to be done to
IRIX to get it to standard for anywhere where security was wanted.

Software also killed the proprietary UNIX workstation market. Whereas you
could buy PC software for U$100-$200, UNIX software was much more expensive.
Part of this was sheer profiteering by the software companies, part of it was
the many incompatible revisions of UNIX that had to have the software ported
to them. Some of the proprietary bits kind of make sense (such as IRIX threads
introduced during the POWER series era, when SMP wasn't well standardized),
but there was no real move to have a standardized programming interface until
UNIX was dying.


More information about the rescue mailing list