SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 new features and notes


SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 is based on the SCO System V Release 5 (SVR5) UNIX kernel. The new SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 kernel provides many enhancements and improvements over the original SCO OpenServer System V Release 3.2 kernel, as well as some differences.

Some of the highlights of the advanced SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 kernel include:

Linking the kernel

Enhancements in the SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 link kit have expanded the options for how you relink the kernel.

The /etc/conf/cf.d/link_unix script is retained and functions as it did on SCO OpenServer Release 5 systems, with one exception: when link_unix(ADM) is executed with no options, it does not prompt whether to use the kernel for the next reboot nor whether to rebuild the kernel environment. Instead, it executes idbuild(ADM) with no options, as described below.

When you use the /etc/conf/bin/idbuild command with no options to build the kernel, it records the fact that a kernel relink is necessary. A relink is automatically performed the next time the system is booted. This new behavior allows you to minimize the number of relinks that are run when adding kernel components or packages. See the idbuild(ADM) manual page for more information.

To avoid the need for a second reboot, you can run /etc/conf/cf.d/link_unix with the -y option. Note that all kernel configuration changes must be made before running link_unix -y. Be sure that you only run link_unix -y once and reboot the system immediately afterwards. Alternatively, you can use idbuild -B to rebuild the kernel immediately.

Dynamically Loadable Kernel Modules

Dynamically Loadable Kernel Modules (DLKMs) allow system resources to be conserved and allow you to make changes in the kernel configuration without the need to bring the system down and back up again. DLKMs are kernel modules that can be loaded automatically while the system is running. This allows you to keep the kernel smaller because unused drivers are not loaded into memory.

Examples of DLKMs are device drivers, filesystems, and STREAMS modules. Previously, to install and use a new module, you had to rebuild the kernel and reboot the system. Now, you can use a DLKM and avoid this work and the delay. Floppy disk drivers and mouse drivers are two examples of kernel modules that are typically configured as DLKMs.

Dynamically Loadable Kernel Modules can be autoloaded by the kernel, or demand-loaded or -unloaded by you. You should not need to demand-load modules. The system does not allow you to demand-unload a module unless it is no longer in use. Note that demand-unload is not a widely used function and should be used with some caution. It could expose rarely observed problems in the driver you unload. See ``Managing dynamically loadable kernel modules'' and the idbuild(ADM) manual page for more information.

Enabling the kernel debugger (KDB)

The SCODB kernel debugger is no longer part of the product. SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 provides the kdb(ADM) kernel debugger in its place.

kdb(ADM) is not enabled by default. To enable it:

  1. Edit /etc/conf/sdevice.d/kdb and /etc/conf/sdevice.d/kdb_util and make the following change in both files:

  2. Run the following commands:

    # /etc/conf/bin/idbuild -M kdb_util
    # /etc/conf/bin/idbuild -M kdb
    # modadmin -l kdb_util
    # modadmin -l kdb

Once kdb is enabled, press <Ctrl><Alt>d to enter the debugger. Then you can run scodb to enter a SCODB-like command line interface.

Handling panic dumps

SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 is designed to save panic dumps if the system detects one is present upon reboot. By default, panic dumps are saved in /var/spool/dump. The dumps are saved as files using the following naming convention:


where YYYY-MM-DD.hh:mm are the year, month, day, hour, and minute, respectively, of the panic dump.

Note that the files are compressed with bzip2 and thus use the .bz2 extension.

The manner in which panic dumps are saved can be customized in the /etc/default/dump file. Options include:

/var/spool/dump by default

set to bzip2

no encryption if unset, or you could opt to use crypt

To analyze a saved panic dump, run the following commands:

cd /var/spool/dump
bunzip2 panic.YYYY-MM-DD.hh:mm.bz2
/usr/sbin/crash -n /stand/unix -d panic.YYYY-MM-DD.hh:mm

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SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 -- 05 June 2007