SUMMARY: Slow selection service under 4.1.3_U1 and OpenWindows

From: Mike van der Velden [4243] (
Date: Sat Sep 24 1994 - 02:22:09 CDT

This is not a summary to a question I asked previously. I just ran into
this problem recently (and obviously others on this list did as well),
and I thought I'd try to save some people some grief by sending this out.
The word SUMMARY is in the subject to make sure that this message is

WARNING: Do not install *only* the "recommended" patches on SunOS 4.1.3_U1

The Problem
I have seen at least two other people post to sun-mangers with this same
problem, asking for a solution.

I did what I assume most people do. I received a bunch of new machines,
and proceeded to install the latest and greatest version of SunOS on them:
4.1.3_U1. Next, I checked out SunSolve and determined all of the
"Recommended Patches" that I needed to install, and installed them.
I installed no more, and the only patch I skipped was the libc jumbo patch.

All of my users complained about selection being verrry veerrryyyy
sllooooowwwwww. The first time one tried to do a double click in a
window that had just received the focus, it would take up to 8 seconds --
that's right -- EIGHT seconds for the selection to complete! Mailtool
was the one that most people complained about.

In our troubleshooting, we noticed that a machine with generic 4.1.3_U1
loaded, ie. no patches, ran fine! No selection slowness was noticed at
all. I decided to load the Recommended Patches on the generic system
one at a time to see when the selection slowness started. Making an
intelligent guess, I installed 101452-61 first. Bingo! After loading
this one patch, the selection service slowed to a crawl.

At this point, I called the SunService 800 number, to report a bug
in patch 101452-61.

The Solution

There is no bug in 101452-61 relating to slow selection service. The
solution requires one to run a couple of poorly documented commands:


1. SunService told me that after installing SunOS, one must run the
    "install_openwin" command. This has been a requirement for a long
    time, I was told. I looked in all of the SunOS installation
    manuals and release notes, but there was absolutely *no* mention
    of this command anywhere. Further, this command has never been
    mentioned in *any* Sun SysAdmin course I have ever been on! I
    challenged SunService on these points, and after some digging, the
    engineer told me that it is documented on page 10 of the "Installation
    and Start-Up Guide for OpenWindows Version 3 for SunOS 4.1.x". Some
    of the people around here who have been around SunOS for a bit longer
    than I have suddenly remembered that this used to be a requirement
    a long time ago, but not anymore.

This by itself did not solve the slow selection problem. The next
step did.

2. One of the first things the Sun engineer asked me was, "Are you
    running OpenWin 3.0 or 3.0_U1?" I replied, "Well, I installed it
    all from the 4.1.3_U1 CDROM, so I imagine I'm running OW3.0_U1."
    Not! Apparently, OW3.0_U1 is just a suite of 19 patches applied
    to OpenWindows 3.0. Unless you explicitly install those patches,
    you are still running Openwindows 3.0, not 3.0_U1. So what's the
    big deal about this anyway? All the OpenWindows patches listed
    in the "Recommended Patches" list are labelled "Openwindows 3.0",
    aren't they? In a logical world, I guess this would be the case.

    I turns out that 101452-xx is one of the patches included in the
    3.0_U1 patch suite. The "Recommended Patches" list contains
    just 4 of the 19 3.0_U1 patches. Installing just those four without
    the other 15 will cause one to experience the slow selection
    service problem mentioned above.

    To install the 3.0_U1 patch suite, one must run the "extract_patch"
    command. This command is mentioned in several places, but always
    as an aside. It is not included in the "Summary of Upgrade Process"
    section (2.2 of the Solaris 1.1.1 System Installation manual).
    Further, no where does it outline what will happen if you *don't*
    run this command.

After running the extract_patch command the selection service returned
to normal. Since then, I have installed the latest version of all
OW3.0_U1 patches, and all is fine.

Hope that you find this information useful, and that it saves you
all the grief we suffered through.

Mike van der Velden                            email:
System Administrator, Engineering Systems      phone:  604-293-1611, x4243
Glenayre Electronics, Ltd.                     fax:    604-293-4317
Vancouver, BC.  V5K 5B8

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