Virtual SCO – or getting SCO OpenServer 5.0.7 running as a VM

SCO unix has been about for quite a long time – its been used been many providers of applications since it is relatively stable but since SCO applied for Chapter 11 in the US – I have had my doubts about its future and the role of migration to other platforms to protect clients investments in a SCO based application.

In this context I’ve been looking at the current state of play in virtualisation to see if this could throw a lifeline to applications currently stuck on hardware that would be hard to replace due to the age and specificity of the hardware as supported by SCO. What I am looking for here is simply a virtual sco machine to allow testing of DR and data transfer from an existing sco server – not trying to duplicate the exact configuration of the machine and OS.

So I can report that it is possible to get a SCO system up and running on VMware Workstation by following the steps below. One caveat – the Xwindows based login screen for the console does not work and I suspect I will simply change the startup to not bother with it..

The steps

You will need the iso image from the sco web site for 5.0.7 (this is the version the client I have in mind has – I suspect later version should work similarly) – the location is and you want the link marked “July 2005 CD1 recut”.

Start VMware workstation and create a new vm as other / other since SCO is not a recognised guest OS. Take the details for memory etc but change disk size if you need to. With the iso image you downloaded and burnt to CD – in the cd drive – start the VM and hit return when prompted by the boot: prompt.

There about 10 screens that you will have to go through – the one you need to get the eval license for requires you to open the infolicenseevalkeys.txt file and locate the details. Note that the EVAL60SMP license number is the one to use (even though this is 5.0.7). Key in the details as shown int the file in the two dialog boxes and a third will appear for the License data information which is also in the evalkeys.txt file.

The only changes I made during the installation were to assign an IP address, subnet mask, gateway and dns entries that relate to my network. The network card is auto detected. You will also assign a root password.

Complete the installation and test your new creation by telneting to the machine from another pc once you have restarted the machine at the final stage.