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What's New in UnixWare 2

Articles and Tips: article

Manager of Technical Marketing
Novell Unix Systems Group

01 Mar 1995

This AppNote provides an overview of the new features of UnixWare 2. Many of these features provide new or enhanced capabilities over UnixWare 1.x. UnixWare 2 addresses problems that existed for UnixWare 1.x users.


Users of UnixWare 1.x who are looking to upgrade to UnixWare 2 want to know about the changes they will see in the newest version. UnixWare 2 offers many features that provide new or enhanced capabilities relative to UnixWare 1.x. This AppNote, designed as a quick overview, confines itself to a discussion of the new features that we consider to be of major importance (for example, the integratedmultiprocessor support) or features that have been significantly changed.

Major New Features

UnixWare 2 offers users the following new features:

  • Multiprocessor support

  • API set for MP access

  • Up-front, automatic and faster installation

  • Expanded hardware driver support

  • Motif standards

  • Graphics adapters

  • Access control list

  • Language compilation system

  • Enhanced desktop support

  • Improved support for TCP/IP networking environments

  • Improved NetWare integration

  • New and improved desktop tools

These features are described in the following paragraphs.

Multiprocessor Support

The UnixWare operating system kernel is now multithreaded and fully preemptable. This means that the entire system, including any portion of the operating system kernel itself, can be scheduled onto any available processor in an MP system at any time.

This use of multiple threads and preemption results in drastically increased system throughput; any executable component of the system, whether in the kernel or in the user process space, can execute as soon as one of the system processors becomes available. All components of the operating system, including the process scheduling code, the memory management code, the file system code, and the networking subsystem and device drivers, can run concurrently on any system processor at any time.

To bring UnixWare up with MP support, you must have an Intel-based PC system containing more than one 486 or Pentium processor. You need to install the "OS Multiprocessor Support" package when installing the OS.

This package automatically detects the MP architecture of the system on which you're installing UnixWare and loads the correct OS platform support module. Supported MP architectures include:

  • Intel MultiProcessor Specification v 1.1 (all compliant systems)

  • Compaq Proliant MP Systems

  • AST Manhattan MP Systems

  • Systems that use the (OEM-provided) Corollary C-Bus MP Architecture Tricord MP systems

  • Olivetti MP Systems

This list of architectures covers a greater breadth of machines than does any other OS in the industry that claims multiprocessor support.

API Set for MP Access

UnixWare 2 also provides full programmatic access to the new multiprocessor support using UnixWare threading APIs. Programmers can use these APIs to develop UnixWare applications that take full advantage of the multithreading and multiprocessing capabilities of the operating system. A programmer can define and schedule multiple threads of execution within a single process address space and specifically assign portions of a program to run concurrently on available system processors.

UnixWare also supports a full suite of inter-thread and inter-process synchronization primitives. Or you can type the following commands at a UnixWare shell prompt:

% man thread % man synch % man mutex

It's also worth mentioning that virtually all the system shared objects and libraries are "thread-safe," meaning that they can be called from multithreaded applications without the need for the programmer to be concerned about re-entrancy problems (unlike the case with Windows).

Automatic Installation

The UnixWare 2 installation can now auto-sense the presence of all supported hardware in EISA, PCI, and MCA bus systems. This auto-sensing feature covers specialized SCSI adapters for hard disks, tape drives, and CD-ROMs, as well as EISA- and MCA-based networking adapters for all of the popular topologies (Ethernet, Token-Ring, FDDI, and so forth).

UnixWare 2 also features a new Device Configuration Utility (DCU) that lets you configure into the system devices that can't be safely auto-detected at installation time. The DCU alleviates the need to configure certain host bus adapters and network adapters at specific IO, interrupt, and memory addresses for the purposes of OS installation. You can install UnixWare 2 on systems containing supported peripheral adapters at any IO address, memory address, or interrupt.

Up-front Installation

The UnixWare 2 installation determines and verifies the system hardware configuration. It also asks the installer about all pertinent installation parameters prior to the main installation of the operating system onto the hard disk. This means that you can't cause the OS installation to fail by giving an incorrect parameter to the system after you've already made a significant time investment in the installation procedure.

Faster Installation

Installing UnixWare 2 should take most users between one-half and one-third the time required to install an "equivalent" UnixWare 1.1 system.

Expanded Hardware Driver Support

UnixWare 2 has taken advantage of the proliferation of LAN adapter drivers for the NetWare network operating system and can run NetWare 32-bit ODI drivers virtually unmodified. As initially shipped, UnixWare 2 contains support for more than 40 Ethernet and Token-Ring LAN adapters - substantially more than any previous UNIX operating system for the Intel platform. UnixWare 2 also contains support for all the popular SCSI host bus adapters from major vendors such as Adaptec, Future Domain, and BusLogic.

Motif Standards

The UnixWare 2 GUI is now built on the X Consortium's X11 Release 5 and Open Software Foundations Motif interface standards. UnixWare 1.x didn't use Motif as its default interface and had only an X11 Release 4 X Server.

Perhaps the most visible and useful enhancement Motif provides to the desktop is support for a user-configurable menu system. You can invoke this system by depressing the right mouse button while the pointing device is situated anywhere over the screen background. Also, the inclusion of the Motif 1.2 dynamic libraries provides full programmatic access to the Motif interface.

Graphics Adapters

On the subject of the display subsystem, UnixWare 2 now supports an extremely comprehensive set of high-performance accelerated graphics adapters. Using the new graphical display configuration tool, users can select from more than 40 different graphics adapter cards from more than 20 different vendors, including the very new ATI Technologies Mach 64 adapter and Number Nine adapters. UnixWare 2 also provides generic drivers for various graphics chipsets. These drivers should work with numerous no-name offerings that use chipsets supplied by an OEM (for example, The S3 chipsets).

Access Control List

UnixWare 2 contains a new Access Control List (ACL) package that improves on the traditional security semantics of the UNIX file system. Using ACLs, system administrators can control access to UnixWare files and directories down to individual user granularity. (Traditional UNIX security only allows per-file or per-directory access control down to the granularity of the file's owner, users within the files, group ownership, or all other users of the system.)

Language Compilation System

UnixWare 2 contains a bundled C language compilation system that developers can use to compile pre-written UNIX C source code without having to purchase the separate SDK. Developers already familiar with UNIX development who feel they don't require special tools and documentation can also take advantage of the bundled C compiler to develop their own applications. Novell envisions, however, that most professional developers will still want to purchase the SDK to get C++ capabilities, a full set of development documentation, a graphical debugging tool, and a comprehensive set of example sources.

Enhanced Desktop Support

The UnixWare 2 desktop has been enhanced to support "Cut, copy, and paste" functionality directly on the desktop as well as the ability to navigate the desktop functionality within a single window. (It's no longer necessary to pop open multiple windows to descend and ascend window hierarchies.)

Improved Support for TCP/IP Networking Environments

This improved support includes:

  • Support for the Network Information Service (NIS)protocols popular in Sun workstation environments. UnixWare 2 systems can act as both NIS clients and servers on an NIS network.

  • Support for TCP/IP protocols over an OSI 802.2 media access layer on Ethernet networks (The Ethernet_SNAP frame type) and Token Ring networks (the TOKEN-RING_SNAP frame type).

  • The ability to perform network installations over TCP/IP as well as IPX (see below).

  • All major TCP/IP protocol parameters configured into the system at installation. These parameters include the systems IP address, subnet mask, default router, DNS domain, and domain name server(s).

  • The ability of UnixWare systems to retrieve their IP addressing information from a BOOTP server located on the network.

  • A graphical "Internet_Setup" application available from the desktop under "Admin_Tools->Networking." You can use this application to configure TCP/IP-related services on a UnixWare system (for example, DNS, NIS, routing configurations, and so forth) as well as to generally probe the internet domain name system for system names and addresses.

Improved NetWare Integration

This improved integration includes:

  • Fully multithreaded, 32-bit IPX implementation, including support for IPX routing and SPX II (both new in UnixWare2). Programmatic access to the IPX/SPC protocols is through the standard UNIX Transport Layer Interface (TLI).

  • An integrated NetWare UNIX Client File System that allows UnixWare 2 systems to access NetWare file systems, volumes, directories, and files transparently. The UnixWare 2NUC file system features improved access control integration between NetWare and UNIX file systems.

  • Support for bi-directional print job passing between NetWare servers and UnixWare 2 systems. (UnixWare 1.1 supported only the spooling of print jobs from UnixWare systems to NetWare-based printers.) UnixWare 2 contains an implementation of the NetWare "RPRINTER" protocol that allows jobs spooled to NetWare print queues to be sent to UnixWare-connected printers.

  • Inclusion of DOS and Windows-based terminal emulators that allow terminal access to UnixWare application servers from NetWare networks. Both emulators can be used on IPX-based NetWare clients to connect through to UnixWare systems and act as PC-ANSI,DEC-VT52, DEC-VT100, or DEC-VT220 based terminals. The MS-Windows emulator also contains support for advanced features such as scripting, auto-login, graphical keyboard remapping, configurable window scrollback, and international character sets.

  • Support for the Simple Network Management Protocol over the IPX/SPX protocols as well as over TCP/IP.

  • Integrated support for Novell's Storage Management Services (SMS) protocols and functionality. This new support allows SMS-compliant backup products running in the NetWare environment to back up UnixWare systems using SMS.

  • Support for auto-authentication to NetWare servers. UnixWare desktop users who have synchronized accounts across multiple NetWare servers no longer have to manually authenticate themselves to every server they access. After authenticating themselves to one server, UnixWare 2 will automatically authenticate them to the other servers they regularly use.

  • An improved implementation of the NetWare Service Advertising Protocol (SAP) that makes UnixWare independent of the NetWare operating system on NetWare networks. Previous toUnixWare 2, some UnixWare applications that used IPX/SPC protocols required that a NetWare server be present on the network to maintain SAP data. This is no longer the case.

  • Full programatic access to SAP that now enables UnixWare 2 applications to advertise their services to the network without the aid of NetWare.

  • An enhanced "NetWare Calls (nwcal) "library. Using this library, UnixWare 2 applications can authenticate themselves to the NetWare environment and perform NetWare-specific tasks such as querying bindery information, modifying NetWare file system attributes, and so forth.

  • The ability of the UnixWare 2 network installation feature (the ability to install a new UnixWare system from another UnixWare machine already on the network) to operate over TCP/IP as well as IPX. This capability allows new UnixWare application server systems to be installed and deployed across TCP/IP networks from a central server.

New and Improved Desktop Tools

These tools are under Admin_Toolsand the Applications and Preferencesfolders.

The following tools are found under Admin_Tools:

  • A new GUI tool for configuring high resolution display adapter drivers into the X server. The tool supports autodetection of the chipset being used in the system and a "Test Mode" to ensure that a driver works before you install it. All drivers support numerous color depths, resolutions, refresh frequencies, and monitor sizes.

  • A GUI tool that allows you to configure the new and improved UnixWare installation server. You can now configure the installation server to allow network installation of any UnixWare add-on package or application (not just the generic system packages). You can also configure it to either leave the package sources on a backup storage device (for example, CD-ROM or cartridge tape)or load them on to the installation server's hard disk for permanent availability. The configuration tool can also retrieve packages from other install servers on the network.

  • The ability to access the Device Configuration Utility (DCU) from the desktop. This ability is particularly useful for changing hardware parameters after installing the system. For example, if you need to change the IRQ on a network adapter for some reason, you can do the DCU to change the driver configuration to match the new setting on the hardware.

  • A new GUI utility for configuring the UnixWare e-mail subsystem. You can use this tool to configure the SMTP and "mailsurr"-based e-mail system without having to edit complicated configuration files and parameters. The MHS GUI administration for UnixWare's SMTP<-<MHS e-mail gateway is still provided in UnixWare 2.

  • Great improvement to the Printer_Setup GUI over that in UnixWare 1.1. You can use it to configure UnixWare as both a print server and a print client to other UnixWare systems, other System V-based UNIX systems, other Berkeley UNIX-style UNIX systems (for example, SunOS), and remote NetWare servers and clients. It's also simple to configure and administer multiple local and remote printers. The new support for the NetWare RPRINTER protocol is also visible within this utility.

  • A new Processor_Setup GUI tool that allows administrators to check the status of the available CPUs in a multiprocessor system. On some MP systems, you can use this tool to bring processors on- and off-line while the system is actually running.

  • A new graphical system monitor application (called System_Monitor) that provides a real-time graphical display of the systems processor utilization (system, user, and idle), system memory utilization, status of the system swap area, and information on context (process) switching. This utility can also log the real-time information to a file and replay that data at a later time.

  • A System_Tuner application that lets you adjust system variables to optimize operating-system performance for a variety different needs. A real-time help system fully explains all the tunable parameters.

  • A "Get_Inet_Browser" icon that provides information to the user on how to obtain and install the latest World-Wide Web browsing tools over the InterNet from Novell's anonymous FTP service.

The following tools are found under the Applications folder.

  • A new icon editor that allows users to design their own desktop ICONS for double-click access to UnixWare applications and data files from the desktop.

  • A much-improved desktop e-mail application for displaying and sending e-mail, maintaining distribution lists, and a performing variety of other e-mail functions.

  • Access to the new "DynaText" online help system. The Dynatext format is compatible with the online documentation provided with the NetWare online documentation system, and the GUI document browser is largely compatible with its non-UNIX counterparts. UnixWare 2 includes dynatext online help for every component of the system, including the UnixWare development environment (if the SDK is installed). Containing both text and graphics, the online documentation is fully searchable. Extensive hyperlinking cross-references related documentation within the system.

  • An easier-to-view "Message_Monitor" application that displays system-generated messages to desktop users.

  • A new "Remote_Login" ICON that allows desktop users easy access to remote UnixWare and non-UnixWare systems via the RLOGIN protocol.

  • If the SDK has been installed, an extensive graphical debugger program is available here. This is a fully source-level debugger that graphically shows program flow and state information as a process runs. As well as having a full set of application debugging features, the program has the necessary "extensions" to support debugging a multithreaded program in MP and non-MP environments.

An extensive set of tools to configure the Motif and desktop environment is available under the Preferencesfolder.

In addition to the aforementioned graphical debugger, the software development kit also contains support for object-oriented development using C++. (The compiler bundled into the base product is for the standard C language.)


UnixWare 2 addresses the major problems that existed for UnixWare 1.1 users. This new version is easier to administer, and it provides additional help for the programmer. Easier installation, enhanced hardware support, enhanced NetWare integration, and improved desktop tools combine to give UnixWare 2 the features you need in the UNIX/NetWare environment.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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