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SCO UnixWare.jpg
Company / developer Univel, Novell, SCO, Caldera Systems, SCO Group
OS family Unix
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Initial release 1992
Latest release 7.1.4 MP4 / June 11, 2008; 5 years ago (2008-06-11)
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
License Proprietary
Official website SCO UnixWare 7.1.4

UnixWare is a Unix operating system maintained by The SCO Group (SCO).[1][2][3] UnixWare is typically deployed as a server rather than desktop. Binary distributions of UnixWare are available for x86 architecture computers. It was originally released by Univel, a jointly owned venture of AT&T's Unix System Laboratories (USL) and Novell. UnixWare is primarily marketed as a reliable, scalable, secure Unix server.[4][5]


Univel (1991–1993)[edit]

After the SVR4 effort to merge SunOS and System V, AT&T's Unix System Laboratories (USL) formed the Univel partnership with Novell to develop a desktop version of Unix, codenamed Destiny. [6]

Destiny was based on the Unix System V release 4.2 kernel. The MoOLIT toolkit was used for the windowing system, allowing the user to choose between an OPEN LOOK or MOTIF like look and feel at run time. In order to make the system more robust on commodity desktop hardware the Veritas VXFS journaling file system was used in place of the UFS file system used in SVR4.

Destiny was released in 1992 as UnixWare 1.0 in two editions - a Personal Edition which included Novell IPX networking but not TCP/IP and an Advanced Server edition which included TCP and other server software. The personal edition was limited to two active users, while the server edition included an unlimited user license. Around 35,000 copies of UnixWare 1.0 were sold. [7]

In 1993, Novell purchased USL from AT&T and merged USL and Univel into a new Unix Systems Group. [8]

Novell (1993–1995)[edit]

In 1994 Novell released UnixWare 1.1, which included TCP/IP in both the personal and advanced server editions. [9] The MOTIF 1.2 runtime libraries were included for COSE compliance. NUC (NetWare Unix Client) software was included for integration with Novell NetWare servers. The Advanced Merge application was installed on both the server and personal editions to allow running DOS and Windows 3.1 applications.

Novell later released bug-fix versions 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and finally 1.1.4 on 19 June 1995. [10]

UnixWare 2.0, based on the Unix System V release 4.2MP kernel, which added support for multiprocessing, began shipping to OEMs and developers in December 1994, [11] and to the consumer market in March 1995. [12] Both the personal and server editions supported two processor systems, with the possibility of buying extra Processor Upgrade licenses for the server edition. Supported multiprocessor systems included standard Intel MP 1.1 SMP machines and Corollary C-bus systems. The system supported NetWare ODI network drivers in an effort to increase the number of supported network interfaces. Other new features in the release included a POSIX Threads library in addition to the older UI threads library. [11]

The Santa Cruz Operation (1995–2001)[edit]

In 1995 The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) acquired UnixWare from Novell. The exact terms of this transaction were disputed (see SCO vs Novell); courts have subsequently determined that Novell retained the ownership of Unix.

When the transfer was made public SCO announced that it would work towards merging UnixWare with its OpenServer SVR3.2 based OS, [13] but the first release of UnixWare from SCO was version 2.1 in 1996. At the release of UnixWare 2.1 it was announced that the proposed UnixWare/OpenServer merger was known as project Gemini, to be available in 1997 and a 64-bit version of UnixWare was to be developed for 1998. [14]

One controversial change was the adoption of an OpenServer like user licensing policy. The Univel and Novell releases of UnixWare allowed 2 users on the personal edition or unlimited numbers of users on the server edition. With UnixWare 2.1 the server edition included a license for up to 5 users. Customers wanting more users could buy 10, 25, 100, 500 or unlimited user license extensions.[15]

SCO released three updates to UnixWare 2.1. UnixWare 2.1.1, released in 1996 achieved Unix 95 branding. [16] UnixWare 2.1.2 and 2.1.3, available in 1998, were largely bug fix releases.

In 1998 Compaq released a package known as the Integrity XC consisting of a single-system image cluster of Proliant servers with a version of UnixWare 2.1, UnixWare NonStop Clusters. [17]

The first results of the Gemini project were made available in early 1998 as UnixWare 7. [18] SCO named the kernel version Unix System V release 5. The system was largely based on UnixWare 2.1, with features for driver compatibility with OpenServer, allowing use of OpenServer network drivers. System administration utilities from OpenServer, scoadmin, replaced the original UnixWare sysadm utility. Major new features of UnixWare 7 included multi-path I/O, large files and file systems and support for large memory systems, [19]

A surprising feature of UnixWare 7 was that it lacked the Xenix compatibility features of both its ancestors. This was for licensing reasons, to avoid paying Microsoft for the code that they had included in SVR3.2.

In 1999 SCO released the UnixWare 7.1 update which increased the number of editions, the Business (5 user), Department (25 user) and Enterprise (50 user) editions replaced the earlier personal and server editions. The WebTop application from Tarantella, Inc. was included. [20]

In 2000 SCO released the UnixWare 7.1.1 update. Simultaneously the UnixWare NonStop Clusters 7.1.1+IP single-system image cluster package was released. This new package allowed commodity hardware to be used as well as the proprietary Compaq hardware supported by the earlier Integrity XC product, and was directly available from SCO.[21]

In 2001 SCO sold their Server Software and Services divisions together with the rights to the UnixWare and OpenServer products to Caldera Systems.

Caldera/SCO/The SCO Group (2001–present)[edit]

In 2001 Caldera Systems purchased the Server and Services divisions of The Santa Cruz Operation which included both the OpenServer and UnixWare product lines. Caldera subsequently changed the company name to SCO and then, after broadening its product line to include mobile products and services, to The SCO Group. Caldera's initial release of UnixWare was renamed OpenUNIX 8. This release is what would have been UnixWare 7.1.2. Later what was then the newly renamed SCO would revert to the previous UnixWare brand and version release numbering, releasing UnixWare 7.1.3 and 7.1.4. No further OpenUNIX releases were made available and OpenUNIX 8.1.2 (OU812) was never released. The SCO Group continues to maintain UnixWare and issues periodic maintenance updates and support.[22]

Timeline of UnixWare[edit]

Year Release Company Codebase Kernel version Description
1991 UnixWare 1.0 Univel SVR4.2 1
1993 UnixWare 1.1 Novell 1
UnixWare 1.1.1 Novell 1
UnixWare 1.1.2 Novell 1
UnixWare 1.1.3 Novell 1
1995 UnixWare 2.0 Novell SVR4.2MP 2.1 Support for SMP
UnixWare 1.1.4 Novell SVR4.2 1 Final release of UnixWare 1
1996 UnixWare 2.1 Santa Cruz Operation SVR4.2MP 2.1
UnixWare 2.1.1 Santa Cruz Operation 2.1.1
UnixWare 2.1.2 Santa Cruz Operation 2.1.2
1998 UnixWare 2.1.3 Santa Cruz Operation 2.1.3 Final release of UnixWare 2
1998 UnixWare 7 Santa Cruz Operation SVR5 7.0.1 A "merge" of UnixWare 2 and OpenServer 5
UnixWare 7.0.1 Santa Cruz Operation 7.0.1
1999 UnixWare 7.1.0 Santa Cruz Operation 7.1.0
2000 UnixWare 7.1.1 Santa Cruz Operation 7.1.1
2001 Open UNIX 8 Caldera Systems 7.1.2
2003 UnixWare 7.1.3 The SCO Group 7.1.3
2004 UnixWare 7.1.4 The SCO Group 7.1.4 No longer included the Linux Kernel Personality[23]
2004 UnixWare 7.1.4 MP1 The SCO Group 7.1.4 Maintenance pack 1
2005 UnixWare 7.1.4 MP2 The SCO Group 7.1.4 Maintenance pack 2
2006 UnixWare 7.1.4 MP3 The SCO Group 7.1.4 Maintenance pack 3
2008 UnixWare 7.1.4 MP4 The SCO Group 7.1.4 Maintenance pack 4

SCO Skunkware / Open Source[edit]

All versions of UnixWare have included significant open source components including BIND/X11/Sendmail/DHCP/Perl/Tcl and others. Later releases are bundled with numerous additional open-source applications including Apache, Samba, MySQL, PostgreSQL, OpenSSH, and Mozilla.[24]

All versions of SCO operating system distributions including UnixWare also have an extensive set of open source packages available for free download via the SCO Skunkware site.[25][26]


  1. ^ The SCO Group, Inc., retrieved 2007-07-14 
  2. ^ UnixWare 7.1.3 Review - OSNews.com, retrieved 2007-07-14 
  3. ^ Novell Completes Sale of UnixWare Business to The Santa Cruz Operation, retrieved 2007-07-14 
  4. ^ Andrew Josey, UnixWare Frequently Asked Questions (General), retrieved 2008-05-21 
  5. ^ Andrew Josey, UnixWare Frequently Asked Questions (Developer), retrieved 2008-05-21 
  7. ^ Blakeley, Michael (21 March 1991), "UnixWare grows up", PC Week 
  8. ^ NOVELL FORMALLY ANNOUNCES THE UNIX SYSTEMS GROUP, 7 July 1993, retrieved 2008-10-30 
  9. ^ NOVELL RELEASES VERSION 1.1 OF UNIXWARE, Computergram, 13 January 1994, retrieved 2008-10-31 
  10. ^ "UnixWare 1.1.4 Electronic Update Release", Press release (Novell), June 19, 1995, retrieved 2008-10-31 
  11. ^ a b "UnixWare 2 Product Announcement Questions& Answers", Press release (Novell), March 1995, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  12. ^ "Novell Showcases UnixWare 2 Solutions At Uniforum '95", Press release (Novell), March 7, 1995, retrieved 2008-10-31 
  13. ^ SANTA CRUZ, HP, NOVELL CARVE UP UNIX BETWEEN THEM, Computergram, 21 September 1995, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  14. ^ SCO Unveils Enterprise Class Operating System; Release of SCO UnixWare 2.1 Paves Way for Next-Generation UNIX Systems, Business Wire, 12 February 1996, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  15. ^ SCO UnixWare 2.1 Application Server (PDF), SCO 
  16. ^ SCO Announces UNIX 95 Compliance Update to its Performance Leading, Enterprise-Class Operating System; SCO UnixWare Product Update Delivers Improved Performance, Single UNIX Specification Compliance, and Year 2000 Date Processing, Business Wire, 25 November 1996, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  17. ^ Compaq Integrity XC server launched, 1998-08-11, retrieved 2008-10-07 
  18. ^ UnixWare 7: revolution or revision?, Timothy Parker Consulting Incorporated, March 1998, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  19. ^ SCO GEMINI TO DEBUT AS UNIXWARE; COMPAQ GETS CHUMMY, Computergram, 19 August 1997, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  20. ^ SCO DATA CENTER UNIXWARE TO DEBUT AT CEBIT, Computergram, 25 February 1999, retrieved 2008-11-01 
  21. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (2000-06-26), "SCO, Compaq ServerNet-less clusters", The Register, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  22. ^ Harbaugh, Logan (2004-08-10), "Review: UnixWare 7.1.4 is suitable for basic server duty", http://www.linux.com/ (SourceForge, Inc.), retrieved 2008-05-21 
  23. ^ http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090304032134127
  24. ^ Ronald Joe Record, "Open Source Components in SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare", SCO Forum 2004, retrieved 2008-04-02 
  25. ^ Ronald Joe Record, "Open Source Birds of a Feather", SCO Forum 2002, retrieved 2008-04-02 
  26. ^ Mohr, Jim (May/June 2000), "Free Network Software from SCO", SCO World (Mountain View, CA 94040: Venture Publishing Inc.), Vol. 7 (number 3), archived from the original on 2001-02-28, retrieved 2008-05-13 

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