SUMMARY: How can i use ULTRAs in a SunOS 4.1.x network?

From: Detlev Habicht (
Date: Thu Jul 18 1996 - 03:18:40 CDT

Hi all.

thanx for all the answers.

This was my question:

 I have a network with 15 Suns running SunOS 4.1.x. All Suns have only
 the / and /usr filesystems and they mount the rest via automounter
 from one Sun, running as (NIS and file) server (/home, /usr/openwin, ...).

 Now i have the first 2 ULTRA 1 with Solaris 2.5.1.

 My problem is, i can't switch the whole system to Solaris 2.5.x, but
 i want to use the ULTRAs.

 I need now some ideas how i can integrate the ULTRAs in the network,
 running the required Solaris 2.5.1 and the people here can work with the
 SunOS applications. Perhaps it is also possible to run the old OpenWindows
 in such an enviroment?

 My wish is: The ULTRAs boots the 2.5.x kernel and runs OpenWindows from
             Solaris 1.x and all other SunOS-applications.

             Is this possible?

And now the answers. One thing is no point for discussion: we can't change
our 4.1.x-server to Solaris 2.x now. We have special CAD software running
and we can't buy all the new versions for 2.x.

I can't make a good summary now, because i must test all the hints now.

But i think, important is:

1. Don't use Openwin from Solaris 1.x

2. NIS is working, you don't need NIS+, so automounter is also working

3. Many 4.1.x applications will run, have a look for /usr/4lib on the Ultras

4. There are SunOS 4.x patches for NIS+ and file locking available

I am looking for this patches mention by Robert Pasken. I don't find any
4.1.x patch on the 2.5.1 cdroms (and i have three in the distribution).
Perhaps someone can tell me the right numbers (for a 4.1.3 server).


 Detlev  | Institut fuer Mikroelektronische Systeme, Uni Hannover
 Habicht | D-30167 Hannover +49 511 7624992

Some answers and thanx to all the people here (i think, you will find here several ideas):


From: Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>

*ALL* OS parts must be from Solaris 2.5.1 (/opt, /usr, /usr/openwin, /usr/dt)

As for the rest, yes you can run SunOS 4.x applications on them, except for: - programs such as top, lsof - compilers

But remember that SunOS 4.x applications run slower under Solaris 2.x than native applications, they typically consume more memory too. ---

From: (Dave Plummer) We have almost exactly that configuration here. Users NFS mount directories from the Ultra and it NFS mounts them from the 4.1.x systems. In addition, there is no problem with running regular 4.1.x binaries on the Ultra.

We run the Ultra as an NIS client to an NIS server on one of the 4.1.x boxes.


From: (Anthony Worrall) You will need to use the OpenWindows 3.5 that comes with Solaris 2.5.1 on the Ultras. I assume that /usr/openwin is mounted from the auto_direct map. On the Ultras use an auto_master file with the line

/- /etc/auto_direct

and copy the auto_direct map (minus the /usr/openwin line) into /etc/auto_direct file with /, /usr and /usr/openwin on local disk. (If you only have one disk on the machines then just use one partition it make life much easier).

Or you could have an auto_direct file of the form

/usr/openwin localhost:/local/openwin +auto_direct


From: (Don Catey)

The Ultra's can be configured as NIS clients and NFS automounting works fairly the same.


From: Alex Finkel <> I don't think that the older openwindows (with SunOS 4) will run properly under Solaris2, but you should be able to use X clients from SunOS4 with the Solaris Openwindows. One thing you can do in a mixed environment where users have a common home directory mounted over the net, is to put the following in the users .cshrc file (if using C-Shell).

# Include the following for SunOS/Solaris determination. # set OSMAJ=`uname -r | awk -F. '{print $1}'` if ( $OSMAJ == '5' ) then setenv OPENWINHOME /usr/openwin # Where the Solaris 2.x Openwin dir is else setenv OPENWINHOME /u1/openwin # Where the SunOS4 Openwin is endif

Then have users change their PATH statement to use $OPENWINHOME instead of specifying /usr/openwin, or similar.

Now when a user logs into either OS, they will automatically use the correct openwindows executables.


From: john heasley <>

i assume you mean without interfering with the sunos automounted stuff. i used an env variable, OS=`/bin/uname -s``/bin/uname -r`, in the automounter start-up. then made a dir on the file server called SunOS4.1.4 and SunOS5.5 which held each os's executables. the automounter map then reads openwin server:/export/$OS:&


From: Martin Espinoza <>

You don't want to run the old openwindows, which isn't possible anyhow.

You should be able to run any old openwindows applications with the new openwindows.


From: (Patrick M. Landry) Solaris 2.5 ships with a version of openwindows. There are a few minor differences in some of the applications (such as the mailtool being MIME compliant) but nothing that should bother the users. Also, most tools that are compiled for SunOS 4 will run on the Ultras just fine. I have an Ultra on my desk in the same situation as you. I mount the local binaries from the same server that the SunOS 4 machines do.


From: John Justin Hough <>

It can't run openwindows version 1, but with luck it might run your applications if the compatibility libraries in /usr/4lib are included in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH.


From: Glenn Satchell <>

The Ultras come with Openwindows 3.5.1, which is pretty much the same as the SunOS OW. Solaris 2.x has a binary compatability mode which allows it to run _most_ SunOS applications. NFS, etc, is compatible between SunOS 4.x and Solaris 2.x.

My suggestion would be to run the Solaris 2.5.1 version of openwindows and then use the binary compatability mode to run your SunOS programs. However, there is a performance penalty of upto 10% running in compatability mode. This shouldn't matter that much as the Ultras are very fast. ---

From: (Robert Pasken)

During the install process specify that you want to use NIS from ANOTHER Sun host (you cann't NIS on the Ultra's) and that you want to mount the home directory from the SunOS-4.1.X hosts. You will need to install a patch on the 4.1.X machines so that file and record locking will be done correctly, but that patch should still be on the Solaris CD-ROM. You will also need to install the binary compatablity package (BCP) on the Ultra's. This will allow you to run SunOS-4.1.X apps on the Ultra's. Hopefully, the older Sun's are running 4.1.3 and hence you can use openwindows to open windows on either the Ultra's or the the Sun's interchangeably. I have done this here mixing Sun-3's, Sun-4's Sparcstations and Ultra's fairly seamlessly

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