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UnixReview.com: OpenUNIX 8 - Linux Without the Linux Kernel

Aug 18, 2001, 16:00 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Perlow)

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Not long after the acquisition, signs of Caldera's actual plans arose: to create a Super Unix, one that would be binary-compatible with the Linux OS, feel and act like Linux, but be far more scalable and palatable to the needs of corporate IT. At the time, many critics scoffed at Caldera for their proprietary motives (not to mention accusing them of forking Linux). Others doubted (and still doubt) that Caldera had the technical proficiency to accomplish this ambitious goal.

Exactly a year after the merger, Caldera has finally released OpenUNIX 8 -- the successor to SCO's UnixWare 7.1 OS. Strictly from appearances, very little has changed. The kernel remains the ultra-scalable SVR5, which supports extremely large amounts of memory (up to 4 GB of "general-purpose" memory and 64 GB of "special-purpose" memory, which requires additional code in your application), dozens of parallel CPU's, journaling filesystems using Veritas's 64-bit VFS (which supports volumes theoretically into the tens of thousands of terabytes), as well as the latest I2O/hot-pluggable server hardware from HP, Compaq, Dell, and IBM.

However, this is where the similarities end. OpenUNIX 8 introduces a new subsystem, the Linux Kernel Personality, or LKP, which attempts to reproduce a fully-compatible Linux distribution, including a development environment with all the relevant libraries and Linux system calls hosted within native Unix, but without a Linux kernel. As it has been stated elsewhere in the trade press, Caldera's business objective with LKP is to supply a single development target (the Linux application binary interface) while providing Linux applications with the highly scalable and stable nature of the SVR5 kernel. Did they manage to pull it off? Read on."

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