Re: SUMMARY: Solaris 2.2 licensing

From: Barry Margolin (
Date: Tue Jun 15 1993 - 11:44:51 CDT

In article <> writes:
>Would someone please explain the ramifications of this?
>If I have a 2-user license and I configure the kernel
>with MAXUSERS=8, it would apper to me that I have violated
>the terms of the license. But will it work? I.e., is
>there any technical lock-out of the additional users?

First, there's no relationship between the kernel MAXUSERS configuration
and the license. That variable simply controls the size of various kernel
tables, which mainly relate to the number of programs that can run
concurrently. If the system is used by a single user who likes to have a
hundred windows open you'll need a larger MAXUSERS.

The name MAXUSERS was chosen because it causes the system tables to be
sized appropriately for that many "typical" users. However, in the years
since that computation was put in place, the resources that a typical user
uses has changed drastically. Prior to window systems, a user rarely had
more than a few concurrent processes (a shell, an application, perhaps a
background process every now and then, or 3-4 applications in a pipeline).
With windows, a user is likely to have several processes running all the
time (a display server, a window manager, clock, load monitor, xterm,
shell, editor, mail reader), with more coming and going as he runs
applications. Therefore, MAXUSERS often needs to be inflated to account
for this.

Sun currently isn't using any mechanism that tries to enforce the 2-user
license. And because of the overly general definition of a "user" (it now
includes NFS and NIS clients), it doesn't seem likely that they will.
Basing it on MAXUSERS would clearly be insane because of the above problem
with the relationship between MAXUSERS and actual users.

Barry Margolin
System Manager, Thinking Machines Corp. {uunet,harvard}!think!barmar

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