[TUHS] the guy who brought up SVr4 on Sun machines

Ed Carp erc at pobox.com
Wed Jan 4 22:24:30 AEST 2017


That's a good question. I was working for Sun at the time, and no one
I know was in favor of the switch - all we knew was that Scott McNealy
was cramming it down the throats of both Sun and Suns customers (or
that was the perception, anyway). I think they lost a lot of customers
because of that.

On 1/3/17, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 03, 2017 at 10:23:28PM -0500, Dan Cross wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 10:00 PM, Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:
>>
>> > On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 7:41 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
>> > > I was in building 5 at Sun when they were switching to SVr4 which
>> > > became
>> > > Solaris 2.0 (I think).
>> >
>> > Solaris 2.0 was the first SVr4 version of Solaris. 4.1.{1,2,3} were
>> > still BSD based, and Solaris 2.0 was SunOS 5.0 and OpenWindows.
>> >
>>
>> My favorite version number was SunOS 4.1.4U1: I was told that the ``U1''
>> meant, "you won", as in "you won. Here's another BSD-based release."
>
> That might have been the Greg Limes release.  I may be all wrong but
> someone, I think it was Greg, busted their ass to try and make SunOS
> 4.x scale up on SMP machines.  There were a lot of us at the time that
> hated the SVr4 thing, it was such a huge step backwards.
>
> I dunno how much you care about Sun history, but SunOS, the BSD based
> stuff before 5.0, the engineers and the customers *loved* it.  I was
> not the first guy who worked until midnight on that OS, I wasn't even
> on the radar screen.  Guy Harris worked on it, tons of people worked
> on it, tons of people poured their heart and soul into it.  It crushed
> us when they went to SVr4, that shit sucked.
>
> My boss, Ken Okin, paid me for 6 months to go fight management to stop
> the switch to SVr4.  It was more than a decade later that I learned
> that the reason for the switch was that Sun was out of money and AT&T
> bought $200M of Sun stock at 35% over market but the deal was no more
> SunOS, it had to be SVr4.
>
> I really wonder what the world would look like right now if Sun had
> open sourced SunOS 4.x and put energy behind it.  I wrote a paper
> about it, I still wonder.
>
> http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/bitmover/lm/papers/srcos.html
>


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