RE: Solaris source (fwd)

Robert Glamm (
Thu, 1 May 1997 14:20:37 -0500 (CDT)

> >> Solaris is the single best UNIX available right now.
> >> Everyone knows that.
> What experiences have you had administering either DEC UNIX or SCO? I
> administer all three and both of these are *far* easier to administer than Solaris.

This is a subjective statement. It depends on what tools you use to
perform system administration.

> When you consider that 42% of the actual cost of running a computer
> is maintenance and support (compared to 37% for the initial purchase),
> how easy it is to administer is more significant.
> In addition to these three, I have worked with AIX and obviously Linux.
> Given the choice for ease of administration I would take SCO over
> *any* of them. I can sit at one machine and manage users, printers, and
> backups; install software; administer filesystem; etc all from a single
> desktop *without* having to telnet to another machine. Plus it comes
> default with a Web server so any administration aspect that I cannot
> do from the desktop by default, I simply add a new web page.

Point #1 - how long does a telnet take?? Maybe 5 seconds, depending on
how fast you can type your username and password.

Point #2 - the administrative details you mention (users, printers, backups,
software installs, filesystems) are trivial to maintain
_in general_ on any UNIX platform.

Users: edit /etc/passwd on NIS host or local machine,
Printers: add entry to /etc/printcap. I could give you this
one since you'd have to ftp it to every machine, I
suppose. Then again, ever hear of rdist? ;)
Backups: Any reasonable backup software is pretty trivial to
Software installs: Hey, welcome to /usr/local or /opt/local.
One install, many machines.
Filesystems: edit /etc/fstab. Here again, I suppose you'd
have to change it on every machine for an additional
cross-mounted NFS space. Then again, ever hear of
the automounter? ;)

Point #3 (and maybe the main point): Administration is highly personal.
Your preferences for system admin (graphical shell, web pages, etc). are
not what my preferences are (direct manipulation of administrative files).
In my case, it is far easier to administer most Unix machines than a SCO
box because of a more or less consistent administrative file naming
convention and program usage.

> Maybe Solaris has this functionality built in somewhere. However, even the
> NT documentation is better than Solaris. You can't find anything. With SCO
> All the doc, including man-pages and manuals are on-line and based on HTML.
> Therefore, I can access a single set of doc from anywhere on the net, I can
> search, create bookmarks, any anything else you can with Web pages.

I would be willing to bet those HTML-ized man pages just include the cross-ref
links. How about man -k for finding a man page based on keyword? I have
yet to have trouble finding anything (except for printer admin - why in the
hell Sun changed to a system V lp interface I'll never know) on a Solaris
box. Or an SGI box. Or a Linux box. Or a <insert your favorite Unix
system here> box.

> For ease of administration (which has the lion's share of the costs), experience
> has shown me that SCO beats the others without a doubt

Like I said, it depends on what you find easy. It would probably take
me more time to go through SCO's admin shell than it would to directly
manipulate the system through the command line.

"Honestly, it's like shooting  | Bob Glamm  H: +1 612 6239437 W: +1 612 6268981 
 fish in a barrel. Twice. With | URL:
 an elephant gun.  At point    +-----------------------------------------------
 blank range.  In the head." -- from the BOFH files, part 6