SUMMARY: wabi experiences

From: Bernhard Weinelt EED/BQ (
Date: Thu Apr 20 1995 - 09:40:23 CDT

Hello comp.sys.sun.admin-readers,

some two weeks ago, I asked the following in this newsgroup
about experiences with Wabi. Below, you will find a summary
of the answers.

In article <> I wrote:
: Hello Administrators,

: we would like to bring some MicroSoft programs to our Sun's,
: and to us it seems that Solaris 2.4 with the bundled Wabi
: could be a solution.
: The problems we have seen so far is that we need to install
: Microsoft Windows and every single further package in the
: Homedirectories of the users, which will make almost iden-
: tical copies (except for some setup and config files).

: We don't want to waste all that disk space, but the "net-
: work installation" (or whatever that thing is called in
: MS jargon when you have a separated shareable read-only
: part of the software, and a prototype of the writable
: parts to be copied for each user) unfortunately fails.

: Did somebody succeed in doing that?
: And how do you make sure that you do not have more users of the
: MS products than purchased licenses? Or do you have a license
: for each Workstation which is able to mount the MS software?

: Please answer via mail, I'll summarize in about one week
: after I had a short vacation :-)

: Thanks a lot.

: Bernhard

There seem to be three different methods to install MS
software for multiple users under Wabi, without installing
the software once per user:

1.) Some people installed the MS software for one user,
    moved the resulting ~/wabi file tree to a common
    location. There, they made all files world- (or at
    least group-) writable.
    All users of the MS software have a symbolic link
    ~/wabi to that common location.
    Shall work fine for a limited number of users.
    Drawback: all use one common setup, i.e. somebody
    changing a parameter file does the changes for all
    of the users.

2.) In method two, again a "normal" installation is done
    for one user. The resulting file tree is again moved
    to a common location, but there all files are made
    read-only. In ~/wabi of each wabi user, a complete
    directory tree is created which contains symbolic
    links to all files which are regarded to be read-only.
    Files which also need to be writable are copied
    (rather than symbolically linked) in the local tree,
    where they are made writable (Mainly, these are .ini
    and .cfg files).
    With this approach, some people came down to 0.5MB
    per user....

3.) Some succeeded in a network installation of MS software
    in a shared file system. For each user, a "client"
    installation has to be done. This ends in about
    10 MB per user.
    Remark: it seems to cause problems to do a network
    installation from within wabi. A workaround is to
    do this installation on a networked PC on an im-
    ported file system. This file system can reside
    on a sun and can be used by wabi (or other clients)
    after the installation through the PC is finished.

I haven't had the time yet, but I think I will go for
solution number 2.

Regarding the aspects of legal use of licenses, I got the
following information from within our company (this might
only be valid because of a general agreement between
Ericsson and MicroSoft; I don't know if this is generally

PER wabi USER, we have to have ONE valid Windows license.

The licenses of the applications, like the parts of the
Office series and MS projects (the only products we are
interested in) are regarded as floating licenses.
So we need to check how many of these licenses we have
concurrently in use.
Since there is currently no tool support for that, it is
enough to do regular (oral) investigations and to report
and pay for the resulting number. This is currently
handled on a trust basis!
Note: if you have an MS Office License, than this is
only ONE floating license for EITHER of Word, Excel, ..
rather than ONE floating license for EACH of Word, Excel...

Thanks to all who responded:

"William I. Kuo" <>
gmatchet@sol.UVic.CA (G.J.G.M.) (Dave Newell) (Bob Haar) (Timothy Lorenc) (Tomas Svennung) (Andrew R. Tefft) (Stefan Frick)
William I-Feng Kuo <ikuo@chem.UCSD.EDU> (Himanshu Gohel (DMIP)) (Robert Pasken)

If you have further comments and ideas, don't hesitate
to contact me. Thanks in advance.


Bernhard Weinelt		EED/BQ, TMOS Quality & Methods
Ericsson Eurolab Deutschland	Tel. : +49 2407 575 143
Ericsson Allee 1		Fax  : +49 2407 575 150
52134 Herzogenrath		MEMO : EED.EEDBEW
Germany		Electronic mail:

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