UnixWare is a Unix operating system. It was originally released by Univel, a jointly owned venture of AT&T's Unix System Laboratories (USL) and Novell. It was then taken over by Novell. Via Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) it went on to Caldera Systems, Caldera International, and The SCO Group before it was sold to UnXis (now Xinuos). UnixWare is typically deployed as a server rather than a desktop. Binary distributions of UnixWare are available for x86 architecture computers. UnixWare is primarily marketed as server operating system.[1][2]

DeveloperUnivel, Novell, SCO, Caldera Systems, Caldera International, The SCO Group, Xinuos
OS familyUnix
Working statehistoric
Source modelClosed source
Initial release1992
Latest release7 Definitive 2018 / 2017 (2017)
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel
Official websiteOfficial website


Univel (1991–1993)

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".[3]

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. Networking support in UnixWare included both TCP/IP and interoperability with Novell's NetWare protocols (IPX/SPX); the former were the standard among Unix users at the time of development, while PC networking was much more commonly based on NetWare.[4]

Destiny was released in 1992 as UnixWare 1.0, with the intention of unifying the fragmented PC Unix market behind this single variant of the operating system. The system was earlier to reach the corporate computing market than Microsoft's Windows NT, but observers of the period remarked that UnixWare was "just another flavor of Unix", Novell's involvement being more a marketing ploy than a significant influx of technology.[4] The OS existed in two editions: a Personal Edition, which included Novell IPX networking but not TCP/IP, and an Advanced Server Edition with TCP/IP 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.[5]

In 1993, Novell purchased USL from AT&T and merged USL and Univel into a new Unix Systems Group.[6]

Novell (1993–1995)

In 1994 Novell released UnixWare 1.1, which included TCP/IP in both the personal and advanced server editions.[7] 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.[8]

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,[9] and to the consumer market in March 1995.[10] 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.[9]

Before SCO licensed UnixWare in 1995, Novell had also announced a project to create a "SuperNOS" based on NetWare 4.1 and UnixWare 2.0 technologies in the future. This, however, never materialized. Instead, a NetWare 4.10 server on Linux was offered as Caldera NetWare for Linux for OpenLinux since 1998, and Novell's Open Enterprise Server finally came in 2005.

Santa Cruz Operation (1995–2001)

In 1995, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) acquired UnixWare from Novell.[11] 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,[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]

SCO released three updates to UnixWare 2.1. UnixWare 2.1.1, released in 1996 achieved Unix 95 branding.[15] 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.[16]

The first results of the Gemini project were made available in early 1998 as UnixWare 7.[17] 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.[18]

UnixWare 7 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.[19]

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.[20]

Caldera Systems, Caldera International and The SCO Group (2000–2011)

On 2 August 2000, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) announced that it would sell its Server Software and Services Divisions, as well as rights to the OpenServer and UnixWare products, to Caldera Systems. In March 2001, Caldera Systems became Caldera International (CII), and the SCO purchase was completed in May 2001. The remaining part of the Santa Cruz Operation company, the Tarantella Division, changed its name to Tarantella, Inc.

Caldera International's initial release of UnixWare was renamed OpenUNIX 8. This release is what would have been UnixWare 7.1.2.

Caldera International renamed itself to The SCO Group in August 2002, after broadening its product line to include mobile products and services.

Later, the newly renamed The SCO Group reverted to the previous UnixWare brand and version release numbering, releasing UnixWare 7.1.3[21] and 7.1.4.[22] No further OpenUNIX releases were made available and OpenUNIX 8.1.2 (OU812) was never released. The SCO Group continued to maintain UnixWare and issues periodic maintenance updates and support.[23]

Between 2007 and 2011, The SCO Group engaged in a series of legal battles. In September 2007, The SCO Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[24]

On 11 April 2011, UnXis bought The SCO Group operating assets and intellectual property rights after having been approved by the bankruptcy court in Delaware.[25][26]

The SCO Group, Inc. then renamed itself TSG Group, Inc., and SCO Operations, Inc. became TSG Operations, Inc.,[27] and in August 2012 filed to convert from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.[28]

UnXis and Xinuos (2011–present)

The rights to Unixware, as well as OpenServer, were acquired by UnXis in 2011.

In June 2013 UnXis was renamed as Xinuos[29] and announced product and availability for SCO UnixWare 7.1.4+,[30] now supporting both physical and virtual machines.

Version history

Year Release Company Codebase Kernel version Description
1991UnixWare 1.0UnivelSVR4.21Personal Edition, Advanced Server
1993UnixWare 1.1Novell1Personal Edition, Advanced Server
UnixWare 1.1.1Novell1
UnixWare 1.1.2Novell1
UnixWare 1.1.3Novell1
1995UnixWare 2.0NovellSVR4.2MP2.1Support for SMP
UnixWare 1.1.4NovellSVR4.21Final release of UnixWare 1
1996UnixWare 2.1Santa Cruz OperationSVR4.2MP2.1
UnixWare 2.1.1Santa Cruz Operation2.1.1
UnixWare 2.1.2Santa Cruz Operation2.1.2
1998UnixWare 2.1.3Santa Cruz Operation2.1.3Final release of UnixWare 2
1998UnixWare 7Santa Cruz OperationSVR57.0.1A "merge" of UnixWare 2 and OpenServer 5
UnixWare 7.0.1Santa Cruz Operation7.0.1
1999UnixWare 7.1.0Santa Cruz Operation7.1.0
2000UnixWare 7.1.1Santa Cruz Operation7.1.1
2001Open UNIX 8Caldera International7.1.2
2003UnixWare 7.1.3The SCO Group7.1.3See also Smallfoot (SVR6)
2004UnixWare 7.1.4The SCO Group7.1.4No longer included the Linux Kernel Personality[31]
2004UnixWare 7.1.4 MP1The SCO Group7.1.4Maintenance pack 1
2005UnixWare 7.1.4 MP2The SCO Group7.1.4Maintenance pack 2
2006UnixWare 7.1.4 MP3The SCO Group7.1.4Maintenance pack 3
2008UnixWare 7.1.4 MP4The SCO Group7.1.4Maintenance pack 4
2013UnixWare 7.1.4+Xinuos7.1.4Virtualisation Support[30] for VMware ESX
2015 UnixWare 7 Definitive Xinuos 7.1.4+ Compatible with previous supported UnixWare versions
2017 UnixWare 7 Definitive 2018 Xinuos 7.1.4+ In-place upgrade from previous supported versions

SCO Skunkware and open source

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 software.[32]

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.[33][34]

See also


  1. Andrew Josey, UnixWare Frequently Asked Questions (General), retrieved 2008-05-21
  2. Andrew Josey, UnixWare Frequently Asked Questions (Developer), retrieved 2008-05-21
  3. "Unix Labs and Novell plan join venture, reveal bones of mass distribution alliance". Computer Business Review. 25 October 1991. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  4. Radding, Alan (28 June 1993). "UnixWare: Bringing shrink-wrapped Unix to the masses". InfoWorld. pp. 65–66.
  5. Blakeley, Michael (21 March 1994). "UnixWare grows up; Novell's revamped SVR4.2 environment proves very workable". PC Week.
  6. "Novell formally announces the Unix Systems Group". Computer Business Review. 7 July 1993. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
  7. NOVELL RELEASES VERSION 1.1 OF UNIXWARE, Computergram, 13 January 1994, retrieved 2008-10-31
  8. "UnixWare 1.1.4 Electronic Update Release", Press release, Novell, June 19, 1995, retrieved October 31, 2008
  9. "UnixWare 2 Product Announcement Questions& Answers", Press release, Novell, March 1995, retrieved November 1, 2008
  10. "Novell Showcases UnixWare 2 Solutions At Uniforum '95", Press release, Novell, March 7, 1995, retrieved 2008-10-31
  11. Novell Completes Sale of UnixWare Business to The Santa Cruz Operation, retrieved 2007-07-14
  12. SANTA CRUZ, HP, NOVELL CARVE UP UNIX BETWEEN THEM, Computergram, September 21, 1995, retrieved November 1, 2008
  13. 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 November 1, 2008
  14. SCO UnixWare 2.1 Application Server (PDF), SCO
  15. 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 November 1, 2008
  16. Compaq Integrity XC server launched, 1998-08-11, retrieved October 7, 2008
  17. UnixWare 7: revolution or revision?, Timothy Parker Consulting Incorporated, March 1998, archived from the original on November 14, 2007, retrieved November 1, 2008
  18. SCO GEMINI TO DEBUT AS UNIXWARE; COMPAQ GETS CHUMMY, Computergram, 19 August 1997, retrieved November 1, 2008
  19. SCO DATA CENTER UNIXWARE TO DEBUT AT CEBIT, Computergram, 25 February 1999, retrieved November 1, 2008
  20. Orlowski, Andrew (2000-06-26), "SCO, Compaq ServerNet-less clusters", The Register, retrieved 2008-10-28
  21. UnixWare 7.1.3 Review - OSNews.com, retrieved 2007-07-14
  22. The SCO Group, Inc., retrieved July 14, 2007
  23. Harbaugh, Logan (August 10, 2004), "Review: UnixWare 7.1.4 is suitable for basic server duty", www.Linux.com, SourceForge, Inc., retrieved May 21, 2008
  24. The SCO Group Files Chapter 11 to Protect Assets as It Addresses Potential Financial and Legal Challenges. The SCO Group, Inc. press release, September 14, 2007 Archived September 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  25. "UnXis Completes Purchase of SCO UNIX Assets" Archived 2011-11-14 at the Wayback Machine, press release, April 11, 2011
  26. Harvey, Tom (April 11, 2011). "SCO closes sale of Unix system to Nevada company". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  27. "Certificates of Amendment to the Debtors' Certificates of Incorporation (Exhibit A)" (PDF). Secretary of State of the State of Delaware/Groklaw. May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  28. "SCO Files for Chapter 7: "There is no reasonable chance of 'rehabilitation"". Groklaw. August 7, 2012.
  29. Snyder, Sean. "Xinuos | Press Release - UnXis renamed Xinuos". www.Xinuos.com. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  30. Snyder, Sean. "Xinuos - Press Release - UnixWare 7.1.4+". www.Xinuos.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  31. "Groklaw - Questions About the Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) and the GPL". www.Groklaw.net. March 4, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  32. Ronald Joe Record, "Open Source Components in SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare", SCO Forum 2004, retrieved April 2, 2008
  33. Ronald Joe Record, "Open Source Birds of a Feather", SCO Forum 2002, retrieved April 2, 2008
  34. 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 May 13, 2008
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