SCO vSphere

Virtualising SCO UNIX OpenServer 6 with vSphere 5.5


Rock solid reliability with SCO Unix and VMware vSphere

OpenServer® Release 6.0 is an impressive operating system for low-cost, commodity hardware that features large file support and support for a broad array of modern applications. XINUOS now owns the rights to the name ‘SCO’, XINUOS have released several UNIX-variants, specifically OpenServer & UnixWare. These systems are widely used in small offices, point of sale (POS) systems and backoffice database server deployments.

Using UnXis OpenServer 6 version 1.0.0 for VMware as a base, UnXis has built an optimized virtual appliance for VMware. This virtual appliance uses a subset of existing and updated device drivers that provide optimal performance for vSphere environments with vmware tools pre-installed.

OpenServer 6 is currently not officially supported on vSphere 5.5. However, older releases of SCO OpenServer and UnixWare are supported. You can find the guest OS compatibility matrix here : )

Supported_Guest OS

SCO OpenServer 6: UNIX on Intel x86

New Features:

  • Multi-Processor Support. OpenServer 6 has increased multiprocessor support from 4 to 32 processors, taking advantage of the power of more modern and up-to-date hardware. SVR5 is a hardened kernel that runs on low cost, industry standard servers and is capable of near-linear scaling as resources are added to the system.
  • Ipfilter for Firewall and NAT Functionality. Ipfilter technology allows OpenServer 6 to be configured as a firewall.
  • Multi-Threaded Kernel. By incorporating SVR5 technology into OpenServer Release 6, this kernel now has support for more modern applications.
  • Includes KDE. With the addition of KDE, OpenServer 6 now has a modern, full-featured desktop, enabling a greater ease of use.
  • Increased Memory Support. Memory support increases from 4 GB to 64 GB in OpenServer 6. This enables the product to run and support more powerful applications and hardware
  • IPsec. Encrypts all TCP/IP packets for security, and implements Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionality.
  • OpenSSH and OpenSSL. These network protocols allow for logging into and executing commands on a remote computer. They provide secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network.
  • Kernel Privileges. The SVR5 kernel provides a fine-grain privilege mechanism. Using fine-grain privileges, the system can grant a subset of root powers to binaries, allowing them to achieve specific objectives without exposing the system to potential abuse/exploits.
  • Supports NFS v3 with TCP. Network File System (NFS) is an industry standard protocol for sharing files across networks. NFS v3 adds support for large files and NFS over the TCP protocol.
  • Encrypted File System and Archives. This file system encrypts data stored on the disk. The data can then be de-crypted using private keys.
  • VXFS Filesystem . High performance VXFS filesystem is journaled, ensuring data integrity in case of a hardware crash.
  • Hot-Plug Memory Support. With OpenServer 6 you can add additional memory into the system without a system reboot.

vSphere Supported Features:

  • VMotion
  • Storage VMotion
  • DRS – Dynamic Resource Scheduler
  • HA – High Availability

VMware System Resource Requirements:

Reviewing the documentation there aren’t many restrictions and I’m sure even the smallest environments will be able to support this.

  • A datastore with at least 11 GB of free disk space to hold the OpenServer 6.0.0V for VMware virtual machine. Note that additional disk space can be configured for your virtual machine once the import is complete.
  • A Virtual Switch that can be used as a virtual Network Card by OpenServer 6.0.0V for VMware.
  • At least 1 GB of free memory. Note that the amount of memory used by your virtual machine can be increased once the import has completed.

SCO OpenServer 6 Editions:

  Starter Edition (Trial Entitlement) Enterprise Edition
Users 2 10
Memory 1GB 4GB
CPUs 1 4
Restrictions Special user bump None

First download the OpenServer 6.0.0.V  ISO (which contains the compressed OVF file) –  available here: link


Deployment Instructions:

  1. After you have downloaded the ISO image, extract the ISO file to reveal the OVF file.
  2. Launch the VMware vSphere web client and import the OVF file. Select your vCenter Server Instance -> Actions -> Deploy OVF Template.Deploy_SCO_OVF
  3. On the Source screen browse to the location of the OVF template. Then select Open & Next on the OVF Template details screen.
  4. On the End User License Agreement screen read & accept the EULA.
  5. Review the template details and select Next.
  6. On the Name and Location screen specify a unique name for your Virtual Machine (also specify the inventory location)
  7. Select the host or cluster for the appliance deployment.SCO_OVF_Choose_Nodes
  8. Select the datastore to for the virtual appliance configuration files (this shouldn’t be on an NFS datastore as the appliance requires fully provisioned disks, however as an operating system SCO OpenServer does support NFS v3).Select_storage
  9. Select a virtual network.
  10. Review the summary screen and select next & then finish.Review_SCO_OVF

If all goes well the appliance should be imported into your vSphere environment.

OS Setup Instructions:

  1. Power on virtual machine.
  2. Enter keyboard locale settings.
  3. Accept end user license agreement (EULA).
  4. Select license scenario *(option 5 for a seven day trial).
  5. Enter FQDN hostname (
  6. Enter an IP address / subnet mask & default gateway.
  7. Enter IP address of primary name server.
  8. Review network setup summary.SCO_OVF_Install_Review
  9. Select mail system.
  10. Select language locale.
  11. Enter root password (options: define a password or a pronounceable password will be picked for you).
  12. Select system security level (default : Traditional)
  13. Select your SCO login setting.
  14. Select time zone.
  15. Set name of mail server.
  16. The server will reboot.SC_OVF_Boot
  17. Login & have fun! the KDE also includes the mozilla thunderbird mail client.SCO_OVF_Complete

Reference documents: