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From: d...@panix.com (Dan Simoes)
Newsgroups: comp.os.coherent,comp.os.linux
Subject: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: 17 Jun 1993 09:46:09 -0400
Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC
Lines: 43
Message-ID: <1vpsj1$j25@sun.Panix.Com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: sun.panix.com

Granted, it's summer and most students are away, but 3-5 postings???
(In comp.os.coherent).
Has everyone gone and switched to Linux?

Let's talk about Linux for a second, and compare it to Coherent,
from what I have gleaned by reading c.o.linux for a few weeks:

Coherent			Linux
========			=====
Mostly SysV			ditto, more so
No networking (pending)         yes
COFF binaries	(i.e. SCO)	no	
terrible i/o			much better
limited device support		tons
dos commands			ditto
no dos emulator			beta, "works w/60% of programs"
stable				???
small, easy to install		bigger, perhaps harder (haven't done it)
software hard to port		much, much easier and more of it
toll-free tech support		none
limited internet support	look at the volume of c.o.linux!
no X (Answer or MWC will cost)  Xfree386 1.2 and 1.3 (free), Motif (costs)
large user base (?)		much. much larger
$99+update+DDK+X+networking...  free (other than media/dist. costs)

I think Linux is positioning itself to clobber Coherent.  Many of the
suggestions made in this group over the past few years are now ready
in Linux, while MWC is still developing these, at (understandably)
extra cost to their user base.

I'm about ready to take the Linux Challenge (TM).
How about everyone else?  Thoughts, comments?

I'm crossposting this to the linux group in case I've made any
blatantly wrong statements about linux.  If so, please correct me.

Looking for the best home Unix box (TM),

| Dan |
-- 
Dan Simoes                                       Voice: 914.747.2900 x415
Danix Consulting                                 email: d...@panix.com or
Yorktown Heights, NY                                     d...@danix.uucp

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: clau@acs.ucalgary.ca (Christopher Lau)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 16:51:19 GMT

dans@panix.com (Dan Simoes) writes:
> Granted, it's summer and most students are away, but 3-5 postings???
> (In comp.os.coherent).
> Has everyone gone and switched to Linux?
> 

Probably..  I have- at least for the time being.  I've been using
Coherent since the 3.0.0 days, but I've finally decided to try
Linux- and guess what?  I liked it- I liked it enough that I backed up
my Coherent partition and gave it to Linux.  I don't know if I'll
go back to Coherent once 4.1 comes out..  we'll have to see!

Anyways, what does Linux have going for it over Coherent:

   1) Decent I/O speed and a relatatively fast file system.
      I/O bound tasks (such as news unbatching) don't make the
      system grind to a halt when another disk access is requested.
      (I think this is actually related to the next point as well)
   2) A *REAL* scheduler- I can actually have virtual console
      sessions going with Bash as the shell, 3 of the sessions
      running GNU make and gcc and still have reasonable response-
      and I'm only running it on my spare box- a 386/20, (my work
      box, a 386/33 is still grinding away on SCO Unix).
      Coherent on the other hand dies a horrible death if I have
      two sessions and a gcc compile going in just one of them.
   3) More SysV than Coherent, also includes some BSD stuff.
      This make it easier to port software, although Linux's /usr/include
      directory structure sometimes actually complicates things.
   4) Job control- Even with virtual consoles available, I find job
      control especially useful.  I could do without it, but having
      it is sure nice.

> Let's talk about Linux for a second, and compare it to Coherent,
> from what I have gleaned by reading c.o.linux for a few weeks:
> 
> Coherent                   Linux
> ========                   =====
> Mostly SysV                ditto, more so
                             + BSD extensions

> No networking (pending)    yes
  KA9Q available for Coh.

> COFF binaries (i.e. SCO)   no 
This is one place where Coherent will always have the edge- I don't
think that Linux will ever be IBCS2 compliant.

> terrible i/o               much better
> limited device support     tons
> dos commands               ditto
> no dos emulator            beta, "works w/60% of programs"
I've found that the dos emulator really isn't of much practical use yet.
The problem is that it's a "client-only" type emulator- there's no
kernel support for it as there is for things like vpix (vpix adds over 600k
to the SCO kernel)

> stable                     ???
It's proven stable on my end so far..  knock on wood! :-)

> small, easy to install     bigger, perhaps harder (haven't done it)
Linux is definitely bigger- 30 disks for the full SLS distribution,
but it isn't any harder..  Both proceed in about the same way: boot floppy,
fdisk, reboot, mkfs, install each disk.  The only difference is that the
MWC install is automated, and the SLS install requires that you log in
and type 'fdisk', 'mkfs' and 'doinstall' rather than doing everything
automatically.

> software hard to port      much, much easier and more of it
I've found that as long as the software doesn't use anything that
Coherent doesn't have (sockets, low level SysVisms that Coh doesn't
support.. stuff like that), porting on Coherent and Linux is about
the same.  On the other hand, if they require lots of SysV or BSD
support, Linux is the only way to go.

> toll-free tech support     none
I don't recall MWC having toll free support??  The have free support,
but you pay for the phone call.  Linux has net support, and a panel
of volunteer Linux-gurus (linux-support@sunsite.unc.edu) that will
help you out.

> limited internet support   look at the volume of c.o.linux!
> no X (Answer or MWC will cost)  Xfree386 1.2 and 1.3 (free), Motif (costs)
I don't have any experience with the Answer X, but Xfree for Linux
is a real pain to set up (tweaking Xconfig for working monitor modes).
In addition, Linux seems to have severe problems with serial mice
(at least in my experience and those of three other people I know running
Linux)

> large user base (?)        much. much larger
> $99+update+DDK+X+networking...   free (other than media/dist. costs)
It's free if you get it via FTP or BBS, but if you order it from
SLS, it's about $120 for the full distribution.  Updates cost $1.50/disk
or something like that.

> I think Linux is positioning itself to clobber Coherent.  Many of the
> suggestions made in this group over the past few years are now ready
> in Linux, while MWC is still developing these, at (understandably)
> extra cost to their user base.

Looking at the cost of Coherent:
        Base System      $100
        Updates           $50   (at *least* two, at approx $25/each)
        DDK               $50
        GCC               $50
        X                $250   (was that the price for Ans X?  I don't remem)
        Networking       ????
        ---------------------
        ?usable system = $500

On the other hand, you can get a "real" Unix SysVR4 from Univel for $395
+$495 development system, or look at other SysVR4's like UHC, which offer
everything for only $395!!!!

The cost of Coherent *looks* small at first, but when you add up the costs
of everything else you'll need to make it usable, Coherent is no longer a
cost-effective solution.  Especially with prices of commercial Unix products
coming down and with the availablility of freely distributable clones like
Linux.

Unless MWC gets their act together, I think they'll definitely lose in
the long run.

> I'm about ready to take the Linux Challenge (TM).
> How about everyone else?  Thoughts, comments?
> 
> I'm crossposting this to the linux group in case I've made any
> blatantly wrong statements about linux.  If so, please correct me.
> 
> Looking for the best home Unix box (TM),

For stability and compatibility, a commercial Unix is still the way to
go..  That's why Linux isn't going on my work box...  yet :-) !

> 
> | Dan |
> -- 
> Dan Simoes                                       Voice: 914.747.2900 x415
> Danix Consulting                                 email: dans@panix.com or
> Yorktown Heights, NY                                     dans@danix.uucp
-- 
Christopher Lau                      |    Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor,
The University of Calgary            |    not an engineer!
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engg. |    Well, you're an engineer now..
lau@enel.ucalgary.ca -OR- clau@acs.ucalgary.ca -OR- root@fusion.cuc.ab.ca

Newsgroups: comp.os.coherent,comp.os.linux
Path: gmd.de!Germany.EU.net!mcsun!uknet!cf-cm!cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Message-ID: <1993Jun17.182637.25727@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <1vpsj1$j25@sun.Panix.Com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 18:26:37 GMT
Lines: 38

In article <1vpsj1$...@sun.Panix.Com> d...@panix.com (Dan Simoes) writes:
>Let's talk about Linux for a second, and compare it to Coherent,
>from what I have gleaned by reading c.o.linux for a few weeks:
>
>Coherent			Linux
>========			=====
>Mostly SysV			ditto, more so 
					Actually more POSIX than SYSV.
>No networking (pending)        yes 
					(not yet perfect)
>COFF binaries	(i.e. SCO)	no  
					(pending - but not immediately)
>no dos emulator		beta, "works w/60% of programs"
					60% maybe, 60% of useful programs - not
					in my experience. 
>stable				???
I've been running Linux without networking, and my machine was up
42 days, and only went down to swap a serial port. With networking
on a busy network uptime is normally n days (n < 7).

>small, easy to install		bigger, perhaps harder (haven't done it)
Coherent is much much easier to install. If you want an easy install
get the MCC Linux release. Its much easier to install.

>no X (Answer or MWC will cost)  Xfree386 1.2 and 1.3 (free), Motif (costs)
Once networking appears and Coherent gets virtual memory I'm fairly sure
a free X server port will magically appear. These things happen thanks to
a lot of very hard working people.

>I think Linux is positioning itself to clobber Coherent.  Many of the
>suggestions made in this group over the past few years are now ready
>in Linux, while MWC is still developing these, at (understandably)
>extra cost to their user base.
It will be interesting. Coherent is still smaller and better documented
especially as a newbie unixoid system. Also bear in mind Linux doesn't
really tick with under 4Mb of RAM. Coherent is great in 2.

Alan

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: eric@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 19:05:19 GMT

In article <Jun17.165119.35560@acs.ucalgary.ca> 
clau@acs.ucalgary.ca (Christopher Lau) writes:
>> COFF binaries        (i.e. SCO)   no 
>This is one place where Coherent will always have the edge- I don't
>think that Linux will ever be IBCS2 compliant.

        I am not sure how important this will be in the future, since the world
is going to a SVr4 ELF style of executable.  Nonetheless, there is the
beginnings of kernel support for iBSC2, and I have patches that implement the
easy ones.  Someone is looking at some of the others.

        I should point out that my current interest is in being able to
directly run SVr4 ELF binaries under linux, and currently on my linux box I can
run some medium size programs (i.e. gas assembler) which were compiled and
linked under SVr4 for native use.  There are still some additional issues that
remain to be resolved, but with time I think that this will get to be quite
usable.

>Looking at the cost of Coherent:
>        Base System      $100
>        Updates           $50   (at *least* two, at approx $25/each)
>        DDK               $50
>        GCC               $50
>        X                $250   (was that the price for Ans X?  I don't remem)
>        Networking       ????
>        ---------------------
>        ?usable system = $500
>
>On the other hand, you can get a "real" Unix SysVR4 from Univel for $395
>+$495 development system, or look at other SysVR4's like UHC, which offer
>everything for only $395!!!!

        This is where Coherent is between a rock and a hard place.

-Eric
-- 
"When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he
found himself changed in his bed into a lawyer."

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: hcp@csx.cciw.ca (H.C. Pulley)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1993 12:37:55 GMT

I can say I like Coherent because you get a manual, tech. support and it is 
easy to install.  Just a few disks.  How many hours do you want to spend 
ftping the Linux SLS, copying it to DOS floppies and then loading them in?  Too
much hassle for me.

Also, how many SVGA cards does XFree86 support in 1024x768x256 mode?  Not
nearly as many as Answer Software and Consulting's package.  The package from
Answer for Coherent is much easier to install for all video modes.  Does 
everyone know their monitor frequencies?

And I don't have enough disk space to hold the SLS and all of my own files.  I 
*only* have 125MB set aside for UNIX.  The SLS with X is about 70-90MB, I 
think.  This doesn't leave much space for my files or mail or news.  
Coherent+gcc+X will be much less than that (50MB at most).

And if you want Coherent, gcc and X, the previous price layout is wrong:

        Coherent         $99.95
        gcc              $49.95
        X11R5           $137.00 (without O'Reilly books)
        -----------------------
                        $286.90

With the O'Reilly books, X11R5 is $299.  Even without those books, at the base
price of $137 you get manuals with it.  You don't get real paper manuals with
Linux.

The DDK is not needed to run X or gcc.  If you want to develop device drivers,
then it is $49.95.

So for $286.90 you get a system with 2 C compilers (MWC's is so fast that I 
only use gcc when I must for ANSI or for the final version; better 
optimization), full X development, manuals, tech. support line, COFF & iBCS
compatibility, unlimited user license.

While there are now some 'big' commercial UNIXes for under $500, most of those
kits include NO C compiler, 2 user license, etc.

And there is one more hidden advantage for Coherent: it is commercial so it has
commercial software and hardware support, but the commercial software is priced
to match Coherent's price.  Take dBMAN V: for Coherent 4.0: $99.95, for
SCO & UNIX386: $399.95, Sun SPARC: $595, AIX RS/6000: $895.  People have said,
"Why get UNIX verions? They are expensive and I can emulate DOS versions." 
Coherent versions may not be expensive.  And how much software runs on that
emulator anyways?  Not all of it.  And if you're just going to emulate DOS
programs, why run Linux anyways?

What happens to me if I lose my internet link?  How will I ftp my Linux 
updates?  What if I have neither internet nor usenet?  How will I get my 
support?  With Coherent all I need is a phone and I have support.

Yes, Coherent is missing some things right now (TCP/IP, fast I/O, paged virtual
memory) but I can wait.

And when I read the Linux FAQ recently it said that shared memory and 
semaphores aren't yet done for Linux?  Have they been implemented yet?  
Coherent has SysV compatible versions of each.

Harry
-- 
         hcp@csx.cciw.ca          |This message released|It takes all kinds,
  hcpiv@snowhite.cis.uoguelph.ca  |to the PUBLIC DOMAIN.|and to each his own.
==================================+=====================|This thought in mind,
Stay away from the DOS side, Luke!|Un*x don't play that.|I walk alone.

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1993 14:38:17 GMT

In article <1993Jun18.123755.7732@csx.cciw.ca> 
hcp@csx.cciw.ca (H.C. Pulley) writes:
>I can say I like Coherent because you get a manual, tech. support and it is 
>easy to install.  Just a few disks.  How many hours do you want to spend 
>ftping the Linux SLS, copying it to DOS floppies and then loading them in?  Too
>much hassle for me.
>
>Also, how many SVGA cards does XFree86 support in 1024x768x256 mode?  Not
>nearly as many as Answer Software and Consulting's package.  The package from
>Answer for Coherent is much easier to install for all video modes.  Does 
>everyone know their monitor frequencies?


I have spent far more hours than I care to admit trying to get Linux to
run. I have now got it to the point where it will lock up on a blue
screen when I try to start X. I sent a request for help to the support
address over a week ago and haven't heard back yet. I may end up posting
on comp.os.linux, but I have trouble trying to keep up with the 100+
postings per day.

As for COHERENT, I got it installed and running in about 30 minutes, and
the GNU upgrade took another 30 minutes. When I found a bug in the atan2
function in /lib/NDP/libm.a (about the only problem I have had), I sent a 
report to support@mwc.com at 4:00 PM (central time) and found a uuencoded 
replacement for that routine (complete with install instructions) in my mbox 
at 9:00 pm that night. Also, I can't tell you how nice it is to be able
to run the same binaries at home on COHERENT that I run at work on SCO
Unix!



Linux and COHERENT are based on two different philosophies. You can save
CASH with Linux, but are almost certainly going to spend a lot more
time. And for many of us, time is money. As soon as COHERENT includes
TCI/IP, I plan to install it on my graduate students' system (I'm just
running it at home now). I've been quite pleased with the OS itself and
the support I've received.


Jim West
Assistant Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Oklahoma State University
jwest@jwest.ecen.okstate.edu


(Obviously no connection to MWC)

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 93 20:30:07 GMT

In article <1993Jun18.143817.25986@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu> 
u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086) writes:
>In article <1993Jun18.123755.7732@csx.cciw.ca> 
hcp@csx.cciw.ca (H.C. Pulley) writes:
>>I can say I like Coherent because you get a manual, tech. support and it is 
...
>
>I have spent far more hours than I care to admit trying to get Linux to
>run. I have now got it to the point where it will lock up on a blue
>screen when I try to start X. I sent a request for help to the support
>address over a week ago and haven't heard back yet. I may end up posting
>on comp.os.linux, but I have trouble trying to keep up with the 100+
>postings per day.
>
>As for COHERENT, I got it installed and running in about 30 minutes, and
>the GNU upgrade took another 30 minutes. When I found a bug in the atan2
>function in /lib/NDP/libm.a (about the only problem I have had), I sent a 
>report to support@mwc.com at 4:00 PM (central time) and found a uuencoded 
>replacement for that routine (complete with install instructions) in my mbox 
>at 9:00 pm that night. Also, I can't tell you how nice it is to be able
>to run the same binaries at home on COHERENT that I run at work on SCO
>Unix!
>
>
>
>Linux and COHERENT are based on two different philosophies. You can save
>CASH with Linux, but are almost certainly going to spend a lot more
>time. And for many of us, time is money. As soon as COHERENT includes
>TCI/IP, I plan to install it on my graduate students' system (I'm just
>running it at home now). I've been quite pleased with the OS itself and
>the support I've received.

I for one, fail to see the validity of this comparison.
What does trouble configuring X under Linux, have to do with
installing text mode, just 6 disks, proprietary with no source code,
Coherent?   X windows is problematic to install, on any box, except 
Coherent of course :-).

Anyways a locked up blue screen may mean something as simple as a misconfigured
mouse.  Usually, you just use control-alt-backspace to kill the server,
and then you can read the error message on the screen.  If you are
doing this, and your PC is just locked up, the instructions indicate
that you should do:

        startx >& x.log

So you can see what is happening after a reboot.

Peter

BTW:  As vendors go, I have heard that Coherent ranks among one of the best
for support, particularly in view of their low price.  For some, it is
clearly the best choice.  Linux just has more feature check boxes.

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1993 22:17:34 GMT

In article <1993Jun18.203007.21176@sol.UVic.CA> 
pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald) writes:
>In article <1993Jun18.143817.25986@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu> 
>u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086) writes:
>>In article <1993Jun18.123755.7732@csx.cciw.ca> 
>>hcp@csx.cciw.ca (H.C. Pulley) writes:
>>>I can say I like Coherent because you get a manual, tech. support and it is 
>...
>>
>>I have spent far more hours than I care to admit trying to get Linux to
>>run. I have now got it to the point where it will lock up on a blue
>>screen when I try to start X. I sent a request for help to the support
>>address over a week ago and haven't heard back yet. I may end up posting
>>on comp.os.linux, but I have trouble trying to keep up with the 100+
>>postings per day.
>>
>>As for COHERENT, I got it installed and running in about 30 minutes, and
>>the GNU upgrade took another 30 minutes. When I found a bug in the atan2
>>function in /lib/NDP/libm.a (about the only problem I have had), I sent a 
>>report to support@mwc.com at 4:00 PM (central time) and found a uuencoded 
>>replacement for that routine (complete with install instructions) in my mbox 
>>at 9:00 pm that night. Also, I can't tell you how nice it is to be able
>>to run the same binaries at home on COHERENT that I run at work on SCO
>>Unix!
>>
>>
>
>I for one, fail to see the validity of this comparison.
>What does trouble configuring X under Linux, have to do with
>installing text mode, just 6 disks, proprietary with no source code,
>Coherent?   X windows is problematic to install, on any box, except 
>Coherent of course :-).


Ok, first I apparently didn't make it clear that getting X running was
the last of a long line of problems in getting Linux running. I will try
to list them off. I was trying to install based on the SLS FAQ at first.
Don't flame me for not having the Linux FAQ all along. I didn't know the
damn thing existed for quite a while.  First, I couldn't figure out how to 
set the partition to a Linux extended partition. If you look at the SLS
FAQ, they create a Linux/MINIX partition (ID 81) and then use mke2fs to
create the file system. There is no mention whatsoever that you have to
change the ID to 83(?) to get the extended filesystem. I just happened
to stumble upon it after a great deal of screwing around. To make
matters worse, they then recommend using "fsck -av PART".  Ever try that
on an extended file system? I reinstalled more than once because I
thought I had screwed up. If fsck says a file system is f***ed up, I
tend to believe it. After some more messing around and searching, I
stumbled on e2fsck. However, there was again no mention of it in the SLS
installation. And don't give me the "everybody knows that" crap. I have 
found that every UNIX guru knows about the file system differences, but I 
have no intention of becoming a UNIX guru, just someone who uses UNIX-like 
OS's to get work done.

Next came installing TCP/IP. I forget the name of the configuration
file, but the instructions say to change the example IP addresses to the
correct ones. Unfortunately, I changed one address from the SLS address
to my own. As our resident guru later explained, the shell script it
was in said "do what it is I'm supposed to do if the host IP address is NOT
equal to this value". So you have to know shell script to get everything
running. This cost quit a bit more time.

Then when I first tried to get X running (by this time I had found the
Linux-FAQ), I used exactly the same Xconfig I'm using now, and it would
try to enter graphics mode, die, return to text mode but with greatly
distorted characters. At that point, I decided to punt on Linux all
together (this was in March).  However, a few weeks ago I saw that there
was a new SLS release with a correction to the Xconfig file and decided
that since I now knew how to get everything else going, it should be a
snap. That got me to the point I described above.

>
>Anyways a locked up blue screen may mean something as simple as a misconfigured
>mouse.  Usually, you just use control-alt-backspace to kill the server,
>and then you can read the error message on the screen.  If you are
>doing this, and your PC is just locked up, the instructions indicate
>that you should do:
>
>       startx >& x.log
>
>So you can see what is happening after a reboot.
>

That is exactly what I did. It tells me the mouse has been found, but
there all kinds of broken pipes. Being a non-guru, that means absolutely
nothing to me. I sent a report to linux-support@sunsite.unc.edu but
haven't heard anything back. I had scanned comp.os.linux to see if
anyone else reported the problem, but never saw anything. Based on my
previous post here, I got a message saying that it would be uncool to
post an XFree question on comp.os.linux, that it should be on 
comp.windows.x.i386unix. This is despite the fact that the Linux-FAQ is
full of XFree questions. (Yes, he pointed out that there is an article
posted every day called "Read Before You Post" (or something like that).
I had never seen it because I simply do not have the time to read 100+
postings a day. I had always thought that reading the FAQ was the way to
go. Most of my sessions consisted of "/ XFree". BTW, that turned up about
5 per day even though it is uncool.) I have posted the problem statement
on comp.windows.x.i386unix if you want to take a look.


My point in this is that Linux is a pain in the butt to get going unless
you know exactly what to do ahead of time. I had none of the problems
with partitions, etc. with COHERENT. Nor did I have a problem setting up
serial communication on COHERENT (which is certainly comparable to setting
up TCP/IP on Linux). The difference is automated installation, 
documentation, and support.  COHERENT lacks some (many?) of the features
of Linux, but when it is added you can damn well be sure you can get it
going with a minimum of trouble. (I don't have Answer's X (yet), but
based on the posts I've seen it is simple to install.) And when you need 
help, you can ask without worrying about getting deluged with flames because 
you broke some rule about posting despite your best efforts.

Stepping down from the soapbox,

Jim


>Peter
>
>BTW:  As vendors go, I have heard that Coherent ranks among one of the best
>for support, particularly in view of their low price.  For some, it is
>clearly the best choice.  Linux just has more feature check boxes.

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 93 05:41:06 GMT

In article <1993Jun18.221734.13120@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu> 
u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086) writes:
....
>Ok, first I apparently didn't make it clear that getting X running was
>the last of a long line of problems in getting Linux running. I will try
>to list them off. I was trying to install based on the SLS FAQ at first.
>Don't flame me for not having the Linux FAQ all along. I didn't know the
>damn thing existed for quite a while.  First, I couldn't figure out how to 
>set the partition to a Linux extended partition. If you look at the SLS
>FAQ, they create a Linux/MINIX partition (ID 81) and then use mke2fs to
>create the file system. There is no mention whatsoever that you have to
>change the ID to 83(?) to get the extended filesystem. I just happened

There is no mention of it, because it is not true.  The partition type/ID
is irrelavant.

>to stumble upon it after a great deal of screwing around. To make
>matters worse, they then recommend using "fsck -av PART".  Ever try that
>on an extended file system? I reinstalled more than once because I
>thought I had screwed up. If fsck says a file system is f***ed up, I
>tend to believe it. After some more messing around and searching, I
>stumbled on e2fsck. However, there was again no mention of it in the SLS
>installation. And don't give me the "everybody knows that" crap. I have 

Funny, e2fsck has been in the SLS README for 3 months.

>found that every UNIX guru knows about the file system differences, but I 
>have no intention of becoming a UNIX guru, just someone who uses UNIX-like 
>OS's to get work done.
>
>Next came installing TCP/IP. I forget the name of the configuration
>file, but the instructions say to change the example IP addresses to the
>correct ones. Unfortunately, I changed one address from the SLS address
>to my own. As our resident guru later explained, the shell script it
>was in said "do what it is I'm supposed to do if the host IP address is NOT
>equal to this value". So you have to know shell script to get everything
>running. This cost quit a bit more time.

Well I read this last paragraph 3 times, and I still don't know what you
are saying.

However, setting up SLS simple TCP/IP is

        edit /etc/hosts
        run hostcvt.build

All these instructions were in the /etc/hosts file. It even sets up the name 
server for you.  Again, setting up TCP/IP under Coherent is probably easier ;-)

>My point in this is that Linux is a pain in the butt to get going unless
>you know exactly what to do ahead of time. I had none of the problems
>with partitions, etc. with COHERENT. Nor did I have a problem setting up
>serial communication on COHERENT (which is certainly comparable to setting

Well, MWC is paid to support you.  Linux users are not.  
Both X and TCP are large, complex packages.  I am not an expert in either.
But I know enough about them to discount your above statements.

Peter

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1993 14:29:20 GMT

In article <1993Jun19.054106.7102@sol.UVic.CA> 
pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald) writes: 
>In article <1993Jun18.221734.13120@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu> 
u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086) writes: 

>....
>>create the file system. There is no mention whatsoever that you have to
>>change the ID to 83(?) to get the extended filesystem. I just happened
>
>There is no mention of it, because it is not true.  The partition type/ID
>is irrelavant.

I kept getting errors something like "file system xxxx blocks larger
than currently supported by Linux" when I had an ID of 81. Also, it kept
saying "mounting invalid filesystem" at boot. Are you just supposed to
ignore those error messages? If so, that is "not good".

>
>>to stumble upon it after a great deal of screwing around. To make
>>matters worse, they then recommend using "fsck -av PART".  Ever try that
>>on an extended file system? I reinstalled more than once because I
>>thought I had screwed up. If fsck says a file system is f***ed up, I
>>tend to believe it. After some more messing around and searching, I
>>stumbled on e2fsck. However, there was again no mention of it in the SLS
>>installation. And don't give me the "everybody knows that" crap. I have 
>
>Funny, e2fsck has been in the SLS README for 3 months.

e2fsck is not mentioned in the SLS README, the SLS FAQ, nor the Linux
FAQ. I just downloaded them from tsx-11.mit.edu again to make sure. Run
a grep and see. (mke2fs is certainly in there).

>
>>found that every UNIX guru knows about the file system differences, but I 
>>have no intention of becoming a UNIX guru, just someone who uses UNIX-like 
>>OS's to get work done.
>>
>However, setting up SLS simple TCP/IP is
>
>       edit /etc/hosts
>       run hostcvt.build
>
>All these instructions were in the /etc/hosts file. It even sets up the name 
>server for you.  Again, setting up TCP/IP under Coherent is probably easier ;-)

Is that so? I thought I had to edit the files individually. I got that
idea from the networking FAQ (I don't have it in front of me now, so I
can't tell you how I got that idea.) But again, the situation is that
once you know exactly what you are doing, it is easy, but getting to
that point is a difficult process.

>
>
>Well, MWC is paid to support you.  Linux users are not.  

That has been my point all along. This whole thing started when someone
claimed that Linux is going to overwhelm COHERENT because has more
features, is simpler, and has better support via the net. Other than
more features, this simply isn't true.

>Both X and TCP are large, complex packages.  I am not an expert in either.
>But I know enough about them to discount your above statements.

Discount my statements? That I had trouble getting things going because
I didn't know what I was doing and couldn't find the documentation to
figure it out on my own? I have trouble seeing how you can discount an
admission of ignorance.

Jim

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 93 16:37:35 GMT

In article <1993Jun19.142920.11309@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu> 
u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086) writes:

>>Funny, e2fsck has been in the SLS README for 3 months.
>
>e2fsck is not mentioned in the SLS README, the SLS FAQ, nor the Linux

I stand corrected.  It is mke2fs that is mentioned.  It was assumed that
the user would notice the difference between "mkfs" and "mke2fs", and
look in /usr/src at the provided sources for these programs and the
documentation, and thereby resolve the issue.    The e2fsck program
is not required for installation.  The standard solution is to
use "find / mke2fs*" to locate any relevant information.  You
it seems missed the clue.

...
>>>create the file system. There is no mention whatsoever that you have to
>>>change the ID to 83(?) to get the extended filesystem. I just happened
>>
>>There is no mention of it, because it is not true.  The partition type/ID
>>is irrelavant.
>
>I kept getting errors something like "file system xxxx blocks larger
>than currently supported by Linux" when I had an ID of 81. Also, it kept
>saying "mounting invalid filesystem" at boot. Are you just supposed to
>ignore those error messages? If so, that is "not good".
>

I suspect that you made the error of trying to use mkfs instead of mke2fs, 
and blamed it on the partition type.  You have jumped to the wrong conclusion,
as the following dump of my partition table shows:

        root@softland:/# fdisk /dev/sda
        The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 1029.
        This is larger than 1024, and may cause problems with some software.

        Command (m for help): p

        Disk /dev/sda: 64 heads, 32 sectors, 1029 cylinders
        Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 bytes

           Device Boot  Begin   Start     End  Blocks   Id  System
        /dev/sda1   *       1       1     100  102384    6  DOS 16-bit >=32M
        /dev/sda2         101     101     401  308224   81  Linux/MINIX
        /dev/sda3         402     402     902  513024   81  Linux/MINIX
        /dev/sda4         903     903    1079  181248    5  Extended
        /dev/sda5         903     903     919   17407+  81  Linux/MINIX
        /dev/sda6         920     920     936   17407+  81  Linux/MINIX
        /dev/sda7         937     937     953   17407+  81  Linux/MINIX
        /dev/sda8         954     954    1079  129023+  81  Linux/MINIX

...
>>All these instructions were in the /etc/hosts file. It even sets up the name 
>>server for you.  Again, setting up TCP/IP under Coherent is probably easier ;-)
>
>Is that so? I thought I had to edit the files individually. I got that
>idea from the networking FAQ (I don't have it in front of me now, so I
>can't tell you how I got that idea.) But again, the situation is that
>once you know exactly what you are doing, it is easy, but getting to
>that point is a difficult process.

There is some conflicting information.   However, anyone who has every
used TCP/IP, usually heads straight for the /etc/hosts file, and if you
did that you would see this:

#--------------------------------------------------
# This file is an attempt to simplify network configuration to just
# this file, plus the externally set host and domain name (see below).
# Entries up to the first dashed line are used at bootup by
# /etc/inet/rc.net, so be careful changing them.  Note that the
# hostcvt.build command only works if all hosts are on one network.
#
# Instructions:
# - Set the IP number for your host, network, and router(opt).
# - Add any other local hosts you need, then exit the editor.
# - Set your host name (/etc/host and first entry this file).
# - Set your domain name using (/etc/domain and this file).
# - Rebuild the named files (by running /etc/hostscvt.build).
# - Or skip nameserver and set /etc/host.conf to "order hosts".
# - reboot

I don't know how it could be clearer.
...
>>Both X and TCP are large, complex packages.  I am not an expert in either.
>>But I know enough about them to discount your above statements.
>
>Discount my statements? That I had trouble getting things going because
>I didn't know what I was doing and couldn't find the documentation to
>figure it out on my own? I have trouble seeing how you can discount an
>admission of ignorance.

The statements I was discounting are:
        - Serial configuration is as difficult as Network configuration
        - Linux X config is hard & Coherent non X config  -> Coherent is easier
        - The partitioning docs are misleading


I am not responding to this in order to bash you in public.  Rather,
I wanted to point out something.

SLS installs require the user to take a few small steps on their own.
Namely, fdisk and mke2fs.  Coherent, leaves nothing to chance, and
provides a complete install program that incorporates these steps.
With SLS, the vast majority of people do the install without a hitch.
However...

A small percentage of perfectly intelligent and able individuals will
be unfortunate enough to take the wrong turns, at the wrong time,
and jump to the wrong conclusions, and end up frustrated.  Probability
demands it.  

Please respond via email, as this subject is now in my kill file.

Peter

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: gah@netcom.com (Gregg Hungerford)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1993 14:04:10 GMT

 I'm having problems with some of the arguments on both sides...
 First, virtual memory is a wonderful thing, but you better have a
really fast disk drive. I have a Sun with a scuzzi that runs at
8ms. It's just adequate. I had a mips magnum with fast (3ms) drives.
It hummed. On my pc's, I have ide (15-16 ms). That's way too slow.
When paging occurs on these, things CRAWL.
 XWindows is a great thing but it requires a lot of system. The mips
machine I had came originally with 32 meg of ram. It ran so-so until
I upgraded to 64 megs. Then it was great. Running coherent OR linux
in a system with that kind of resource makes no sense at all. These
are LOW END operating systems. Also, unless you've got a magnifying
glass handy, you really need a good 19" monitor. As for processor
power, you need a lot to make xwindows run. I'd think a 40mhz 386
would be barely adequate.
 As for cost, my time is a real cost to me. The constant upgrades of
linux are why I abandoned it. 
 As far as installing software, I've done most of the major packages
(elm,nn,cnews,perl etc) on a number of boxes. It's NEVER easy. I can
think of very few situations that didn't require some fiddling. There
seems to be an impression here that a better os is going to mean that
typing in 'make' is going to compile anything. It just isn't so.
 Perhaps my needs are very different, but I bought coherent to run on a 
system I put together out of spare parts. I could have spent as much on
a memory manager alone. I run it into a window in os/2 and really get
the best of both worlds.
 As far as I'm concerned, simplicity IS beauty and coherent fits that
bill. Linux is trying to be too much at once and seems in a constant
state of flux. If a person had a lot of free time, linux could be
fascinating, but I needed something to 'glue' my spare part system
together and coherent surpassed my expectations...
 Gregg
-- 

Gregg Hungerford - Boulder Creek, Ca.
gah@netcom.com   72115.540@compuserve.com 

From: pd@doc.ic.ac.uk (Philip Daniels)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: 20 Jun 1993 17:31:50 +0100

In article <gahC8xB2y.Cur@netcom.com> gah@netcom.com (Gregg Hungerford) writes:
[IDE vm is too slow]

> XWindows is a great thing but it requires a lot of system. The mips
>machine I had came originally with 32 meg of ram. It ran so-so until
>I upgraded to 64 megs. Then it was great. Running coherent OR linux

  So if you find paging too slow on a PC use the same solution you used for
the MIPS box, add more RAM. Seems pretty obvious to me!

>in a system with that kind of resource makes no sense at all. These

  Depends on what you are doing doesn't it? Actually, one could make a very
good argument for running Linux on such a system - since it is so small and
tight it would make far better use of the available hardware. I know that I
could run X very satisfactorily in 32Mb, thanks.

>are LOW END operating systems. Also, unless you've got a magnifying
>glass handy, you really need a good 19" monitor. As for processor

  Hmm, I run on a 14'' Ok and I think there is very little need to go over
17'' unless you are doing CAD or development work, where having a lot of 
screen real estate really helps.
  BTW, what's a "high end" operating system? One so bloated in can't run X
in less than 64Mb of RAM? Sounds like those MIPS people should look into
porting Linux :-)

>power, you need a lot to make xwindows run. I'd think a 40mhz 386
>would be barely adequate.

  Type of video system is very important. I run X at more than acceptable
speed on my 486SX-25 / S3 combination.

> As for cost, my time is a real cost to me. The constant upgrades of
>linux are why I abandoned it. 

  As others have pointed out in other threads NOBODY FORCES YOU TO UPGRADE.
(but you can if you want to, and it's FREE, yippee!!)

[...]
> As far as I'm concerned, simplicity IS beauty and coherent fits that
>bill. Linux is trying to be too much at once and seems in a constant

  eh?
-- 

 - Phil.        (pd@doc.ic.ac.uk)

Brain failure (cerebral coretex dumped)

From: muts@muts.hacktic.nl (Peter Mutsaers)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
Subject: Exaggeration of X11 RAM usage (was Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1993 22:29:21 GMT

On 20 Jun 1993 17:31:50 +0100, pd@doc.ic.ac.uk (Philip Daniels) said:

> XWindows is a great thing but it requires a lot of system. The mips
>machine I had came originally with 32 meg of ram. It ran so-so until
>I upgraded to 64 megs. Then it was great. Running coherent OR linux

  PD>   Depends on what you are doing doesn't it? Actually, one could
  PD> make a very good argument for running Linux on such a system -
  PD> since it is so small and tight it would make far better use of
  PD> the available hardware. I know that I could run X very
  PD> satisfactorily in 32Mb, thanks.

It is true that X requires much RAM, but people tend to exaggerate
more and more. 32 MB, even 64?!?

My 'top' says that at the moment my X11 server is 1.8M, my ctwm window
manager is 300k, and the xterm is also 300k. That's simply all of the
RAM taken by X11. Of course if you open dozens of windows it gets
more, but because of linux's shared text and libraries it won't make
much difference even. An extra xterm takes away another 180k (where I
have a very long history in the xterm).

The situation for Sun's X11 with display postscript, and for SGI with
motif (and no shared library) is much worse however. But linux X11 can
be run very comfortably in a machine with 8M.
-- 
______________________________________________________________________
Peter Mutsaers       |  Bunnik (Ut),     |      Quod licet bovi,
muts@muts.hacktic.nl |  the Netherlands  |      non licet Jovi

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: jwinstea@jarthur.claremont.edu (Jim Winstead Jr.)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1993 00:41:33 GMT

In article <gahC8xB2y.Cur@netcom.com> gah@netcom.com (Gregg Hungerford) writes:
> First, virtual memory is a wonderful thing, but you better have a
>really fast disk drive. I have a Sun with a scuzzi that runs at
>8ms. It's just adequate. I had a mips magnum with fast (3ms) drives.
>It hummed. On my pc's, I have ide (15-16 ms). That's way too slow.
>When paging occurs on these, things CRAWL.

I disagree about performance (having used virtual memory on my
system), and you're ignoring one thing: having virtual memory allows
you to do a heck of a lot more with already existing resources.

Most 386 owners are going to have something like 4-8 MB and about 150
megs of hard drive space (very similar to my setup). Having virtual
memory allows you to run large processes without sinking lots of money
into extra memory.

Also, I understand that Coherent lacks a number of other virtual
memory-related things that make its memory usage far less efficient.
I can't imagine a system without demand paging and shared libraries.

> XWindows is a great thing but it requires a lot of system. The mips
>machine I had came originally with 32 meg of ram. It ran so-so until
>I upgraded to 64 megs.

That's a MIPS machine - I run XFree86 1.2 on a 386/25 with only 8 megs
of memory, and it works great. Scrolling speed could be a notch
faster, but that's not a problem with memory, that could be fixed
with a faster processor or an accelarated video card.

>Also, unless you've got a magnifying glass handy, you really need
>a good 19" monitor.

Hardly.  Running my 14" monitor at about 800x600 gives me plenty of
room to work, especially with the virtual screen size of 1024x1024 and
the virtual screens afforded by my window manager.

>As for processor power, you need a lot to make xwindows run. I'd think
>a 40mhz 386 would be barely adequate.

As I said above, I disagree - I have no problems with calling my
system (a 386/25) more than adequate.

Please base your opinions on some sort of practical experience - it
sounds like you're making wild-assed guesses based on absolutely no
experience with similar systems.

> As for cost, my time is a real cost to me. The constant upgrades of
>linux are why I abandoned it. 

Abandoned Linux or abandoned upgrading? Nobody says you have to run
Linux 0.99pl10. At least with Linux you have the option of upgrading
often for advanced functionality, and you don't have to wait for MWC
to decide it's time to release the next version.

It just depends on what you're looking for - features "on demand" or
the stability of a commercial release. I would argue that with Linux
you can get both.

> As far as installing software, I've done most of the major packages
>(elm,nn,cnews,perl etc) on a number of boxes. It's NEVER easy. I can
>think of very few situations that didn't require some fiddling. There
>seems to be an impression here that a better os is going to mean that
>typing in 'make' is going to compile anything. It just isn't so.

I didn't need to do annoy twiddling when I installed perl - a quite
major package. Compiles and runs out of the box.

It's not always hard.
-- 
loveritablessencentipedependentalism+      Jim Winstead Jr. (CSci '95)
andaterrificklengtherealityearguessy|      Harvey Mudd College, WIBSTR
mpathybridgenerationiceremonymphysic|   jwinstea@jarthur.Claremont.EDU
alendareadvertisexpresshothoughthend+ or jwinstea@fenris.Claremont.EDU

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: u1086aa@unx.ucc.okstate.edu (11086)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1993 00:51:49 GMT


OK, this is my final post on this. Promise.

As a result of this little flame war that you all enjoyed so much ;-), 
I finally got the final problem with my Linux installation solved. I
can summarize my experiences as follows:

Problem: Couldn't get the filesystems set up right
Reason for problem: Carefully reading the documentation, following it,
                    and heeding the error messages

     Obviously, when the documentation says run fsck on an extended
     filesystem, you should automatically know to run e2fsck. And when
     the kernel says it is mounting a bad filesystem, obviously 
     that can mean it really is mounting a good filesystem. (And despite
     what a previous poster said, it really did say bad filesystem. Our 
     resident Unix (but not Linux) guru who helped sort out the TCP/IP 
     mess saw it and said I had to re-install.)



Problem: Could not get TCP/IP going
Reason for problem: Carefully reading the documentation and following it

     If we read the following excerpt from the Linux NET-FAQ,

          "NOTE: If you have SLS then the "install.net" file isn't used. Instead
          you need to edit hosts, resolv.conf, rc.net, and so on by hand to
          set up the various addresses. It's very straightforward; just make
          sure that the various configuration files (discussed below) in
          /etc/inet have the correct information.",

      it is quite apparent that what you really need to do is edit just one
      file and run an autoconfiguration script. It clearly states that at
      the bottom of another file (but not in the documentation).


Problem: Could not get X going
Reason for problem: Carefully reading the documentation, following it,
                    and heeding the messages

      Although the kernel says it detects and installs a Logitech bus
      mouse, /dev/mouse is linked to the Logitech bus mouse device, and
      and the FAQ says you can use a Logitech bus mouse with X by saying
      "BusMouse /dev/mouse" in Xconfig, it doesn't mean you can really 
       get X going this way. You should just go out and buy a serial mouse.



More seriously....

My point is the same as it was at first, if you want a system that you 
set up in an hour, **be sure everything is done correctly**, and get to 
work on immediately, IMHO COHERENT is the one. The documentation is 
unparalled, and the support (in my experience) excellent.  But it is a 
small OS, and therefore limited. If you want to use Linux for its greater 
power (or because it is free), be prepared to spend a great deal of time 
searching for documentation, studying it, and reading the net to sort out 
its ambiguities. Because it is a free package, the documentation is not 
continuously updated (nor apparently are the error messages) and can get 
out of date, or even contradictory. Unless you already know quite a bit 
about the system ahead of time (or have someone knowledgable to help you), 
it can take a great deal of time. And there is no formal support when you 
have a problem. Again IMHO, the net comes nowhere near replacing this. 

BTW I have no doubt that many of you got Linux running in an hour. Had I
    chosen to ignore the error messages (silly me) and had a serial mouse
    (even sillier), I would have too.

Jim

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: bcr@cernapo.cern.ch (Bill Riemers)
Subject: Re: Exaggeration of X11 RAM usage (was Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1993 13:42:43 GMT


>>>>> On Sun, 20 Jun 1993 22:29:21 GMT, muts@muts.hacktic.nl (Peter Mutsaers) said:
        Peter> It is true that X requires much RAM, but people tend to exaggerate
        Peter> more and more. 32 MB, even 64?!?

        Peter> My 'top' says that at the moment my X11 server is 1.8M, my ctwm window
        Peter> manager is 300k, and the xterm is also 300k. That's simply all of the
        Peter> RAM taken by X11. Of course if you open dozens of windows it gets
        Peter> more, but because of linux's shared text and libraries it won't make
        Peter> much difference even. An extra xterm takes away another 180k (where I
        Peter> have a very long history in the xterm).

Actually, I'd also be interested in knowing how these people are using so
much memory...  I run Linux with 8MB memory, and 16MB swap.  I tried once
to use all the memory, by opening up several sessions of lemacs and every
game on the system.  However, even then I ran out of process table space
with still 8MB to spare.  The only way I've ever managed to use more than
that is to start running gcc in some of the xterm windows, or to use 
a version of xdm with memory leaks.  Another way to waist memory 
is to use gnus, but since my Linux system doesn't have an internet
feed, I avoid that problem quite effectively.  (One of these days, I'd
like to know why gnus uses so much memory...)

                                     Bill

--
"Yeti!  Saw them in the London Underground twenty years ago.  Ghosts!
A headless woman used to walk through my bedroom at midnight.  Mermaids?
Grandpa was rescued from the Marie Celeste by one.  Vampires?  I always
wondered where my dad went to at night.  Telepathy?  Right now you're
thinking that I'm talking crap.  So what can you tell me that I won't
believe in?" - Andrew Hunt, "CAT'S CRADLE: WITCH MARK"

Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
From: gah@netcom.com (Gregg Hungerford)
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1993 14:29:28 GMT

jwinstea@jarthur.claremont.edu (Jim Winstead Jr.) writes:

>I disagree about performance (having used virtual memory on my
>system), and you're ignoring one thing: having virtual memory allows
>you to do a heck of a lot more with already existing resources.
 
 I am a big fan of virtual memory. My point is that I've used it
with a variety of drives and found anything slower than 8ms isn't
tolerable for my needs.

>Most 386 owners are going to have something like 4-8 MB and about 150
>megs of hard drive space (very similar to my setup). Having virtual
>memory allows you to run large processes without sinking lots of money
>into extra memory.
 The problem is that low end systems like that have a tendency to 
thrash. When that happens, you'll find yourself watching the disk
constantly paging back and forth, tying up the whole system, while
nothing happens.

>Also, I understand that Coherent lacks a number of other virtual
>memory-related things that make its memory usage far less efficient.
>I can't imagine a system without demand paging and shared libraries.
Again, I'm a fan of virtual memory. I started out in the 70's when
job swapping was all there was. My point is that I think people have
some false expectations. On a drive with 3 ms access, virtual memory
is elegant. On a drive with 15 ms, it's clunky at best. I think a lot
of people now (myself included) are using ide drives that fall into
that category.

>> XWindows is a great thing but it requires a lot of system. The mips
>>machine I had came originally with 32 meg of ram. It ran so-so until
>>I upgraded to 64 megs.

>That's a MIPS machine - I run XFree86 1.2 on a 386/25 with only 8 megs
>of memory, and it works great. Scrolling speed could be a notch
>faster, but that's not a problem with memory, that could be fixed
>with a faster processor or an accelarated video card.

 Certainly the mips box had more overhead, but I think a system like
yours would come to a grinding halt trying to run the volume and
intensity of programs that I was running (including a FULL net news
feed via uucp).

>>Also, unless you've got a magnifying glass handy, you really need
>>a good 19" monitor.

>Hardly.  Running my 14" monitor at about 800x600 gives me plenty of
>room to work, especially with the virtual screen size of 1024x1024 and
>the virtual screens afforded by my window manager.
That's a matter of personal taste. I have all sizes of monitors on my
systems and prefer the less imposing 14" screen. The problem with 
these smaller screens is a matter of clutter. The virtual screen setup
that comes with coherent is easier for me than searching for and resizing
windows all the time...

>>As for processor power, you need a lot to make xwindows run. I'd think
>>a 40mhz 386 would be barely adequate.

>As I said above, I disagree - I have no problems with calling my
>system (a 386/25) more than adequate.

>Please base your opinions on some sort of practical experience - it
>sounds like you're making wild-assed guesses based on absolutely no
>experience with similar systems.

>> As for cost, my time is a real cost to me. The constant upgrades of
>>linux are why I abandoned it. 

>Abandoned Linux or abandoned upgrading? Nobody says you have to run
>Linux 0.99pl10. At least with Linux you have the option of upgrading
>often for advanced functionality, and you don't have to wait for MWC
>to decide it's time to release the next version.

>It just depends on what you're looking for - features "on demand" or
>the stability of a commercial release. I would argue that with Linux
>you can get both.

>> As far as installing software, I've done most of the major packages
>>(elm,nn,cnews,perl etc) on a number of boxes. It's NEVER easy. I can
>>think of very few situations that didn't require some fiddling. There
>>seems to be an impression here that a better os is going to mean that
>>typing in 'make' is going to compile anything. It just isn't so.

>I didn't need to do annoy twiddling when I installed perl - a quite
>major package. Compiles and runs out of the box.

>It's not always hard.
>-- 
No it isn't. But it's often the case. 

 Gregg
-- 

Gregg Hungerford - Boulder Creek, Ca.
gah@netcom.com   72115.540@compuserve.com 

From: pd@doc.ic.ac.uk (Philip Daniels)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
Subject: Re: Exaggeration of X11 RAM usage (was Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo)
Date: 21 Jun 1993 15:14:18 +0100

In article <BCR.93Jun21144243@hfl3sn02.cern.ch> 
bcr@cernapo.cern.ch (Bill Riemers) writes:
>Actually, I'd also be interested in knowing how these people are using so
>much memory...  I run Linux with 8MB memory, and 16MB swap.  I tried once
>to use all the memory, by opening up several sessions of lemacs and every
>game on the system.  However, even then I ran out of process table space
>with still 8MB to spare.  The only way I've ever managed to use more than
>that is to start running gcc in some of the xterm windows, or to use 
>a version of xdm with memory leaks.  Another way to waist memory 
>is to use gnus, but since my Linux system doesn't have an internet
>feed, I avoid that problem quite effectively.  (One of these days, I'd
>like to know why gnus uses so much memory...)



   I have only managed to exhaust my 8Mb RAM and 16Mb swap a couple of times.
The first time was running xv on a big .gif while running g++ -O2 on a program
from within lemacs. The second was my prime number generator program which 
tended to suck up lots of RAM for efficiency purposes...

  In both cases the response was so bad that I resorted to simply turning 
the computer off, and I didn't suffer any file system corruption either.

  I think I could quite effectively use g++/X/lucid in 16Mb of RAM without
swapping much, but I tend to run my X terminal light. Don't use background
gifs etc, (which end up expanding the size of the server and impacting on
redraw times) dont use the "save-lines" option on Xterms (that's what `more' 
is for) and only open windows when you need them. There is a periodic post to
comp.windows.x about maximizing the performance of X, and it is of course
available on pit-manager.mit.edu. I suggest those who complain about the speed
of X would do well to read this, it is quite surprising how large a
performance boost you can get by using the default pixmap for a background,
doing without all those little toys such as xclock and xbiff, xpostit, xload
etc. and, of course, avoiding Motif :-) 


  Phil "Anybody want to buy 8 1Mbyte SIMMS" Daniels.










-- 

 - Phil.        (pd@doc.ic.ac.uk)

Brain failure (cerebral coretex dumped)

From: sct@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Stephen Tweedie)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
Subject: Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo
Date: 22 Jun 93 02:09:46 GMT

On 21 Jun 93 14:29:28 GMT, gah@netcom.com (Gregg Hungerford) said:

>  I am a big fan of virtual memory. My point is that I've used it
> with a variety of drives and found anything slower than 8ms isn't
> tolerable for my needs.

I can accept that - no problem.  For *my* needs, Linux virtual memory
works brilliantly.

>  The problem is that low end systems like that have a tendency to 
> thrash. When that happens, you'll find yourself watching the disk
> constantly paging back and forth, tying up the whole system, while
> nothing happens.

I've got a clunky IDE drive, but that's perfectly adequate.  I have
16MB of ram, and I rarely need that much *active* memory.  Swapping
(or paging) just comes down to writing out to disk data which isn't
used.

Large packages such as emacs and X have significant amounts of data or
code space which are only used during rare operations or at startup,
and VM allows this space to be reclaimed by other apps when it's not
in use.  There's a big difference between this kind of memory
management, and trashing; disk speed is really critical if you are
paging heavily, but VM can give big benefits just by swapping out
unused core, for which disk speed is very much less important.

> Again, I'm a fan of virtual memory. I started out in the 70's when
> job swapping was all there was. My point is that I think people have
> some false expectations. On a drive with 3 ms access, virtual memory
> is elegant. On a drive with 15 ms, it's clunky at best.

Not necessarily true.  It depends on what you want to use the VM for.
If you are short of physical RAM, most people would probably be better
off getting another 8MB than upgrading to a 3ms disk.  As long as you
are not paging heavily, even a 15ms disk is acceptable as swap space
for many purposes.

>  Certainly the mips box had more overhead, but I think a system like
> yours would come to a grinding halt trying to run the volume and
> intensity of programs that I was running (including a FULL net news
> feed via uucp).

Fine.  That's not a criticism of Linux, is it?  Linux works a treat on
a great range of machines.  I wouldn't want to try it myself but there
are reports of people running a kernel compile on a 386SX20 with 2 or
3 meg ram, and coming back 24 hours later to find the job done.  I've
got a 486DX33 with 16MB ram, and others have 486DX2/66 machines with
32MB ram.  Given the extra hardware, Linux can really soar.  There
*are* people running FULL net news feeds; not only via dialup uucp,
but over proper internet links.

Point is, you can't sling mud at Linux for not turning a 4MB 386
machine into a network news server.  There's no need to say "scrap
Linux, get a *real* machine"; just getting a better PC may be
sufficient, and Linux will cut it as a power OS.

>>>Also, unless you've got a magnifying glass handy, you really need
>>>a good 19" monitor.

>>Hardly.  Running my 14" monitor at about 800x600 gives me plenty of
>>room to work, especially with the virtual screen size of 1024x1024 and
>>the virtual screens afforded by my window manager.
> That's a matter of personal taste. I have all sizes of monitors on my
> systems and prefer the less imposing 14" screen. The problem with 
> these smaller screens is a matter of clutter. The virtual screen setup
> that comes with coherent is easier for me than searching for and resizing
> windows all the time...

Interesting.  I find Linux's virtual consoles to be tremendously
useful, especially as I can mix-and-match text and graphics between
them (even to the extent of running two X servers on separate VCs).
However, for really easy, powerful virtual screen handling under X,
just grab a suitable window manager.  I use ctwm - all the time, and I
wonder how I lived without it.  It really does make the most of a 14"
screen.

Cheers,
 Stephen.
---
Stephen Tweedie    (Internet: )
Department of Computer Science, Edinburgh University, Scotland.

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds)
Crossposted-To: comp.os.coherent
Subject: Re: Exaggeration of X11 RAM usage (was Re: Coherent vs. Linux - a comparo)
Date: 22 Jun 1993 11:12:30 +0300

In article <204fnqINN1a1@oak44.doc.ic.ac.uk> 
pd@doc.ic.ac.uk (Philip Daniels) writes:
>
>   I have only managed to exhaust my 8Mb RAM and 16Mb swap a couple of times.
>The first time was running xv on a big .gif while running g++ -O2 on a program
>from within lemacs. The second was my prime number generator program which 
>tended to suck up lots of RAM for efficiency purposes...
>
>  In both cases the response was so bad that I resorted to simply turning 
>the computer off, and I didn't suffer any file system corruption either.

I've actively been trying to run out of 16MB+16MB swapspace the last
week, and using 'xv' on big pictures (1200x1000) is a good way to eat up
a lot of memory that is actually reasonably active (ie just uncover the
window and you'll hear it swap).  After 5 big xv sessions, my machine
used to essentially lock up due to out-of-vm conditions, and I had to
wait for any kind of reaction for several minutes.  I too rebooted my
machine (it's hopeless to wait for X11 to do anything under those
conditions: in a VC it's usually possible to kill things off).  When
thrashing a lot, rebooting usually won't result in fs corruption due to
the simple fact that the machine is so busy swapping that nothing gets
to write much to the disks :-)

Anyway, I'll be putting out ALPHA-diffs on nic by the end of the week
that fix this behavior along with the latest QIC-02 patches by Hennum
(the QIC-02 patches aren't in yet, but I don't think there will be any
problems).  I'll be interested to hear if my heuristics for memory use
work as well on machines with only 2-4MB.. 

                        Linus