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

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Tue Jan 10 14:16:43 AEST 2017

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 7:58 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 09, 2017 at 02:40:08PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
>> BTW: My statements are from a talk from Bill Joy from the Sun User Group
>> meetings. Bill claimed that he was responsible for the Svr4 kernel and did this
>> on a new location in Denver Colorado that was as a joint venture from Sun and
>> AT&T.
> So I have Bill's home number on my cell phone.  We're not close and I'm not
> going to use up a silver bullet to win this argument but your claim here is
> complete nonsense.  I know the people in the Colorado site and they didn't
> have anything to do with SVr4.  The Rocky Mountain group was working on
> file systems (and produced CVS).  Bill was checked out at this point, he
> was living in Aspen and had very little to do with Sun.  The idea that he,
> Mr BSD, would have been "responsible for the Svr4 kernel" is a joke.  BSD
> and SunOS were so much better, there is no way he would have been for SVr4.

All the Sun guys I knew at Solbourne went on to work at the Broomfield
location at Interlocken. They mostly worked on file system things.
There was a Boulder office that did a port to the Sun Roadrunner, a
386 box that ran SunOS 4.0 and friends. They did other stuff there too
before they were moved to the Broomfield office in a consolidation of
different groups at sun. I'm pretty sure that it would be a huge
stretch to say that the sysvr4 porting was done here, but it was a big
office and maybe a few people were tangentially related to that
effort. There were also some guys in Colorado Springs as well that
moved up to Broomfield. The only big AT&T presence in town at the time
was the buildings that would be spun off into Lucent a few years
later... I'd have to agree with Larry on this point: I doubt that it
was done in the Denver metro area.

Btw, I've lived in Denver since I graduated college and went to work
for Solbourne Computer in 1990. For a while, Sun was making Solbourne
compatible computers...

>> The SunOS-5 kernel and the Svr4 kernel still differ, but they are more close
>> together than Svr4 and Svr3. Note that I did not only write Joliet and
>> ISO9660:1999 support code for SunOS and SCO UnixWare but also for SCO
>> OpenServer that is based on Svr3. So I had legal access to SunOS, Svr4 and Svr3
>> based code. Did you have access to this code? Did you compare?
> I've had legal access to SunOS 4/5, SCO, SVr3, SVr4, and a pile of other
> variants.  And I've been a kernel engineer in all of those.  As in spent
> years as a paid engineer in all of them.  Yeah, I know which is which.
> I've run diff on tons of that code.

That's got me beat. I just had access to SunOS and Solaris... Plus
various Solaris driver works over the years. And it was clear that
Solaris had huge influx of code from SunOS, but it was equally clear
that it was still old-school AT&T Unix from the layout of the sources.
It didn't adopt many of the BSDish things, but opted for the older
file placement and such. SunOS was quite a bit similar to 4.3 net2 BSD
that FreeBSD started out on in lots of ways. Not so Solaris. But I've
only been a FreeBSD committer for the past 25 years or so, so what do
I know. I will admit that the last time I looked at the SunOS sources
was in the early 1990's though. ZFS adopted to the SysVr4 layout, and
so its port to FreeBSD also has the funky layout that had to be
preserved and carefully hacked into place in FreeBSD...


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