Re: SUMMARY: Solaris 2.2 licensing

From: Barry Margolin (
Date: Fri Jun 18 1993 - 17:14:24 CDT

In article <> you write:
>Not if you come in off another Sun station. Then 1 keyboard=2users ( one
>on the machine the keyboard attaches to and one on the login session)

The license is only talking about the machine you rlogin to, so that one
keyboard is only one user of the destination machine, although it may also
be a user of other machines. But since the question is what kind of
license you have to get for the destination machine, the other machines are
moot (although you will probably have to multiply the answer by the number
of machines that typically have multiple users logged in).

> In
>fact by chain logging in one keyboard with this definition can be as
>many users as you want- even on exactly the smae machine. Great

I'm not a lawyer, but I believe that the spirit of the license is that a
user who uses a loopback rlogin is still just one user.

I don't see why people think this licensing stuff is so wrong, except that
they're spoiled by the lax licenses that Sun offered in the past. They're
simply asking you to pay more if you're getting more functionality out of a
system. If a hundred machines in the network are mounting a workstation's
file systems then it's providing much more functionality than if it didn't
export its file systems. It's being "used" by the hundred users of those
clients, so why shouldn't they count as users for the purpose of licensing?

It used to be that personal workstations were really underpowered and it
was infeasible to use them as file and timesharing servers. So you had to
buy expensive machines to act as servers, and these expensive machines had
correspondingly expensive OS license fees. Now you can use the same cheap
machines that you use as workstations also as servers, so you save lots of
money on the hardware costs. But why is it so wrong for Sun to charge
higher license fees for multi-user servers just like they used to? They've
simply changed from basing the license fee on the size of the machine to
the way the machine is used (the old fee structure simply assumed that big
machines were being used as servers and little machines as workstations).

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

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