Is it time to switch SCO systems to Linux?
Does this question even need to be asked? Yes, if at all possible,
it is time to convert any existing SCO system to Linux. Or, more
likely, replace the SCO with Linux.
SCO has released their OpenServer 6 product, which finally
achieves what needed to have been done years ago by merging OSR5
into Unixware. OSR6 uses a lot of open source offerings, and of
course has Unixware features that make it attractive, so no doubt
some users will upgrade to that.
I expect that most will be making the move to Linux instead.
SCO administrators shouldn't have great difficulty in making the
transition to Linux, however they shouldn't assume that their
SCO knowledge is completely applicable. Even common every day commands
can have major differences both in syntax and in available features,
so you need to spend time with the man pages or books (see the Linux
section of my Book Reviews)
Obviously the easiest way to do this is to start before you have real
need. Set up a separate box, install Linux, and start testing to see
what will bite you.
Linux technical folk charged with converting a SCO system to Linux may find
themselves in a more difficult situation. You need some familiarity
with SCO to move data, do conversions, etc. but you can find yourself
hampered by less powerful commands, unfamiliar file paths, and other
oddities. You may find that the SCO box lacks basic networking, and
that may not be easy to correct: many SCO systems are so-called
"Host" versions and are incapable of using any networking but ppp over
serial lines. See New to SCO and
Data Transfer for help with that.
Just being in unfamiliar territory can lead you into problems.
For example, let's say you do have the "Enterprise" version that will
let you add a pci network card. You do so, find the "netconfig" command,
and see that bring up a list of nic cards to choose from. You
may think that was correct behaviour, but it was not: the netconfig
should have found that pci card automatically, and the fact that it didn't
means that this box lacks the right nic driver. That can cause
later problems in data transfer or may not work at all.
There are certainly many other problems that may confuse
or slow down the Linux tech person trying to prepare a SCO box
for transition. This website has a tremendous amount of SCO
related material; use the Search at the top of each page to find
Moving systems from SCO to Linux may require relicensing or
buying or creating an entirely new application. Common SCO
applications include many Cobol apps, a lot of home grown or
consultant written FilePro
applications, and RealWorld accounting systems; not to
mention many, many others. SCO was a popular platform for
many, many years, so you may find just about anything running
on it. Fortunately, you have a lot of choice in converting these
apps, and of course many vendors who provided SCO ports have also
ported to Linux: SCO Cobol apps can usually be converted, Filepro
has a Linux port, Counterpoint supports Linux, etc.
The move isn't always going to be easy. I've touched on that
in other articles here. There are many other resources here that
provide assistance in moving SCO systems over to Linux, and
this posting is intended to provide an index for future reference:
Postings related to converting or switching SCO systems to Linux
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