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Apple A/UX FAQ List (2/4)

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Archive-name: aux-faq/part2
Last-modified: Tue Jan 6 12:18:24 EST 1998

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
         This is the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list for A/UX 3.x.x

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ START OF PART 2 OF 4 //////////////////////

**** Hints and Words Of Wisdom: ****

o Depending on your setup, A/UX allocates either 10% or 50% of memory for disk
  buffers (that is, the value of 'NBUF' is either 0 or -1... see kconfig(1M))
  [The kernel for the AWS95 has, by default, a NBUF value of -1 whereas
  "everyone else" has NBUF = 0]. If you have a lot of RAM and A/UX is only
  allocating 10%, you can greatly increase system performance by increasing
  the allotment. However, you cannot use kconfig to specify "20%" but you must
  give it an actual number to use. The way to determine the number of buffers
  being used, run "pstat -m". This will give you the number of buffers that
  are currently allocated. For example, if the value is 1000, then you know
  that to increase the number of buffers to 20%, you must use 'kconfig' to set
  'NBUF' to 2000. Under 3.0.2 (and later), you can use the Memory cdev (as
  root) to do this as well. In fact, this is the recommended way.

  Please note that if you change the amount of RAM you have, you'll need to
  change the value of 'NBUF.' I suggest that before you add|remove RAM, you
  use 'kconfig' to reset 'NBUF' to 0, then do the RAM change and see how your
  system performance is. If needed, you can then use the above to increase
  (or decrease) the number of disk buffers.

o You can run A/UX on the original MacII, however the PMMU chip must be
  installed. You can also use one of the many 68030 upgrades for the MacII,
  such as the Marathon '030, but the MacII ROMs won't recognize the PMMU
  capabilities onboard the CPU. You'll need to get the MacII FDHD ROM Upgrade
  Kit. This kit replaces your ROMs with IIx ROMs, thus enabling you (and
  A/UX) to use the upgrade. The kit also replaces your SWIM chip (floppy
  controller) enabling you to use FDHD disks (if such a drive is installed)
  too... thus the name of the kit. This kit can be had for about $120 although
  some dealers also include a FDHD drive as well, bumping the price up to
  about $430.

o You can configure the built-in serial ports for hardware handshaking
  (RTS & DTS) _or_ dialup security (DTR & CD) but not both, due to the
  lack of a sufficient number of modem control lines.

o When using ftp, unless you are _sure_ that a file is, in fact, a true
  Text file, set the ftp mode to Binary. This is especially true when
  downloading GIFs and "true" Mac files. If it's a BINHEXed file or a
  uuencoded file, then you can specify Ascii mode (in some cases, it's
  required). If the file you wish to download has the ".tar" or ".Z" suffix,
  then you _need_ Binary; if the suffix is ".uu" or ".hqx" then use Ascii.
  If you are using a MacOS-ftp utility, then using MacBinary may confuse A/UX
  (well, the Unix side of it). If the file is a tar file (for example),
  compressed or not, MacBinary attaches some MacOS "information" to the file
  that tar can't handle. Use 'fcnvt' to change the file to Apple Double to
  "strip" this extra by separating the forks:
    $ fcnvt -v -d <input.file> <output.file>

  To avoid having A/UX attempt the CR->NL change when copying the file over to
  A/UX, change the Creator to "A/UX" and Type to "BIN " before drag-copying
  the file.

  So, the flow should be as follows:

    o Set the file's Creator and Type to something safe ("A/UX"
      and "BIN ") to avoid CR->NL translation.
    o Drag copy over to A/UX.
    o Use 'fcnvt' to convert file to Apple Double format.
    o Use UNIX utilties as normal.

o To download GIF files via anon-ftp, be sure to specify Binary mode. Then
  use 'setfile' to create the correct Type and Creator fields (for, example,
  for Giffer use 'setfile -t"GIFf" -c"Bozo"'). You can then keep this file
  on your A/UX disk or transfer it over to your MacOS disk (See Q&A #M.07).

o If you want to rebuild the "/" desktop, be _sure_ to avoid circular
  symbolic links (links to "." and/or "..") or else you'll be waiting a
  looooong time. In a similar way, make sure that you don't have NFS volumes
  mounted because they will add a LOT to the time required to rebuild the

o With the newest version of HDB UUCP (1.16 - see above), use the "-u"
  option on 'getty' to keep /dev/tty?? settings sane. Also use the "-t" option
  with a value like 60 or so to make getty hang up a hung login attempt.

o If your A/UX setup is a true multi-user system, or, at the least, has
  Guest as an active account, it is a Very Good Idea to give each user their
  own personal System Folder (use 'systemfolder'). This is _very_ true for
  root! As root, you should also avoid using the global System Folder
  (mac/sys/System Folder) as an alternate Sys. Folder... there's very little
  need to do so anyway.

  Oh yeah... you can't just copy /mac/sys/System Folder to something like
  $HOME/System Folder... you must use 'systemfolder' and add/change/delete
  things as required.

o It's very easy to replace TextEditor as your Finder-double-click text
  editor. All you need to do is copy the application to /mac/bin (make sure
  that it's permissions are 755 bin|bin), edit /etc/profile and /etc/cshrc
  to change FINDER_EDITOR to point to the application. Now, A/UX text files
  will show up as that application's filetype. An _excellent_ replacement is
  BBEdit Lite (v 2.31). It is really recommended!

o A/UX's 'login' supports additional dialup security. This is enabled by
  creating|editing two files: /etc/dialups and /etc/d_passwd. The format of
  /etc/dialups is a list of ports that you want to have dialup passwds. eg:


  The format of /etc/d_passwd is a list which associates a password with
  a login program (which is the last field in /etc/passwd). eg:


  In this case, if anyone attempts to login on ports tty0 or tty10 and are
  using 'ksh' or 'sh', they'll get asked for a secondary (dialup) password.
  Users using 'csh' or 'uucico' will not. All other logins that use login
  programs not entered in /etc/d_passwd (like, for example,
  /usr/local/bin/bash) will _not_ be allowed to login on the "secure" port.

o If you want to install a program that uses a "complex" installation
  procedure (like for Canvas, Word, Stuffit, etc...) then you should not
  try to do a fresh install under A/UX. Instead, install under the real MacOS,
  reboot A/UX and then install needed files to your A/UX System Folder.
  Programs that, when installed, hack around with the System (beyond things
  like Fonts) itself, most probably won't work under A/UX, since you really
  can't patch System (unless you are handy with ResEdit and know exactly
  what resources to add|change... even then, you are taking a chance...)

o If you get an error message to the effect that you have a bad SuperBlock
  when doing a 'fsck' on a disk, try having 'fsck' use another SuperBlock.
  Block #16 is always an alternate SuperBlock block, so you can try:

    $ fsck -b 16 /dev/rdsk/cxxxxxxxx

o A/UX has two versions of the setpgrp() call. The first is the standard
  SysV version and takes no arguments. The other is the standard BSD version
  and takes 2 arguments (setpgrp(pid, gpid)). However, if, when porting
  programs, you have added the 'set42sig()' call, or link with -lbsd, then
  you _must_ use the 2nd form (actually, the 2nd form is required whenever
  COMPAT_BSDTTY and COMPAT_BSDSIGNALS are set); the 1st form will usually
  fail. A non-portable way of handling this is always calling setpgrp() as

    setpgrp(0, getpid());

  Now, no matter what the compatibility flags are, the function will work
  ('cc' and 'gcc' under A/UX presently ignores the passed arguments when the
  no-argument version is called).

o It's always a Good Idea to keep "original" stuff separate from locally
  added or modified stuff. '/usr/local' is a very good place for this.  To
  add manual pages to this location, create a '/usr/local/man' directory.
  Now make a symbolic link from '/usr/catman/L_man' to '/usr/local/man'. This
  does two things: (1) Allows 'man' to search down the '/usr/catman' directory
  to find your local man pages while keeping the actual data under
  '/usr/local'; (2) The local man-page set will be searched first (due to
  the name L_man) as would be desired. If you _really_ want, you can also
  make '/usr/local/catman' a link to '/usr/local/man'.

o If you've added a number of additional man pages, you may want to snag the
  'man-utils' package on It includes a collection of
  programs and scripts that make viewing, installing and making man pages
  easier. Also includes a replacement for '/usr/bin/man'.

o Some 'configure' scripts may fail due to some line-length and symbol-length
  limitations in /bin/sh (you'll see something like a "symbol too long"
  error). You can get around this by changing the script type from:




  to run them as 'ksh' scripts... In fact, I personally think it's better
  to run _all_ 'sh' scripts as 'ksh' scripts if possible ;)

o IMHO, Courier and Monaco really don't look that nice for CommandShell
  windows. Monoca is too plain and Courier takes up too much room on the
  window (and with both, it's hard to see "."s, hard to tell the difference
  between "O" and "0", etc...). I use a font called CSFont here on jagubox.
  It's a tweaked version of the old, original Courier bitmaps that Apple
  used to provide. I really like it. It's available via anon-ftp here on
  jagubox in /pub/aux/Misc_stuff. I'm currently working on tweaking a
  Bold version of CSFont... stay tuned :)

o If you are doing any in-depth porting, then do yourself a favor and snag
  a copy of libUTIL.a from jagubox. libUTIL.a is a collection of many
  functions that aren't included in the standard A/UX libraries, but are
  needed (or very useful) when porting (esp. BSD sources or ANSI stuff). Some
  examples of included functions are memmove(), strerror(), strdup() and
  more. If you have a suggested function to include, let Jim Jagielski
  ( know.

o In order to get the WWW-browser Netscape to work correctly under A/UX,
  you need to make sure a few things are right. First of all, make sure
  that your Preferences are setup correctly: your Temp and Cache directory
  should be set and _must_ be located on a MacOS disk, not under the A/UX
  file system; your Helper applications must be selected as well. Failure
  to do this can cause Netscape not to view graphics correctly.

  You should also move the 'Netscape f' folder from the Preferences folder
  in System Folder to the actual Netscape folder... Having it located in
  Preferences will prevent Netscape from remembering certain settings, such
  as Bookmarks.

**** Q&A: ****


G.01)  What's A/UX? Is it any good?

A/UX is Apple's implementation of Unix (it's Apple's UNix) for various
Macintosh computers. A/UX merges two computing environments, Unix and the
Macintosh Finder OS, and provides the full functionality of both.

A/UX is based on AT&T Unix System V.2.2 with numerous extensions from V.3, V.4
(such as streams) and BSD 4.2/4.3 (such as networking, the Fast File System,
job control, lpr, NFS with Yellow Pages, SCCS and sendmail 5.64).  It also
provides full POSIX compliance. A/UX provides SYSV, BSD and POSIX compatiblity
switches and libraries. A/UX is fully compiant with the System V Interface
Definition (SVID).

A/UX provides all three standard shells: sh, csh and ksh. X-Windows is also
provided standard.

A/UX 3.x.x incorporates System 7 for the Macintosh allowing for the use of
the vast majority of Macintosh applications under A/UX. System7 and Unix
and fully integrated under A/UX 3.x.x with the Unix file system being seen as
a disk drive by the Finder.

There are quite a few people who feel that A/UX is a near-perfect implemen-
tation of Unix. Of course, every operating system (even AIX!) has it's share
of devotees, so that's not a very valid scale of whether the system is any
good. A/UX _is_ Unix... it's not some form of pseudo-Unix. It insulates the
user from Unix, if required, but the System Administrator will need to become
Unix-aware. Furthermore, if you want straight Unix, you can get it... it's
not a chore to bypass all the "gingerbread." People may also complain that
A/UX is based on an "obsolete" version of AT&T Unix (V.2.2). In many ways,
Apple's extensions make A/UX very V.3-like (V.3 is in many ways an enhanced
V.2... it even uses the V.2 kernel)... The list of extensions to A/UX are
impressive. Compare what you get standard with other systems and you'll be
shocked! On some, 'cc', 'f77', NFS, etc... are costly options.

The main consideration (and opposition) to A/UX is the platform it runs on:
The Macintosh. Some consider this a boon, others a bust. At present, Apple's
top-level workstation is the Quadra 800, a 33MHz 68040 based system. Some
consider this obsolete; others consider it overkill; others consider it, like
Goldilocks, "just right."

If you need super-fast state-of-the-art number crunching capability then A/UX
may not be for you... the Q800 benchmarks at maybe 10-16 SPECmarks (depending
on compiler used, external cache size, etc...) and you can get lots faster
with other platforms. Of course, you'll have to "settle" for their operating
systems, but if you need it, then that's how you'll get it.  Of course, this
doesn't mean that A/UX "crawls"...

There are very few people who need this type of performance though. If you
need (or just _want_ ) a Unix workstation with the speed and power of Unix
and the user interface and application selection of the Macintosh then A/UX
is the way to go. In many, many ways, A/UX is the Unix "for the rest of
us"... even if we are long-time Unix junkies. If you love the Mac, you'll
love A/UX; if you love Unix, you'll love A/UX... and if you want a near-
perfect marriage of the two, then you'll love A/UX.

Yes, A/UX is good... very, very good :)

G.02)  What's the minimum system I need (CPU, disk and RAM) to run A/UX?

A/UX 3.0 works on the MacII (with PMMU _or_ 68030 upgrade with FDHD ROM's
installed), IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, SE/30, IIsi (with 68882 chip) and the
Quadra 700|900|950 computers. A/UX 3.0.1 (and later) adds support for the
Q800 and Centris Machines (the Centrises _must_ have the real 68040 w/FPU -
See Q&A #G.03). A/UX will run on the Quadra 610 and 650s (recall that A/UX
requires the _real_ 68040 chip!) with a little bit of work:

  You should make a copy of the A/UX Install Boot floppy and then copy the
  Enabler for the Q610|650 onto this copy. You then boot up from this floppy
  and install A/UX as usual. Finally, you'll need to copy the Q610|650
  Enabler onto the A/UX MacPartition (or whatever MacOS disk you will use
  when starting up your Mac and booting A/UX); do this by first booting off
  a boot floppy or boot CD and then copy the Enabler over. You do _not_ need
  to make any changes to the A/UX System Folder (i.e. the System Folder used
  under A/UX).

A/UX will NOT run on the PowerMacs, any AV machines, any PowerBooks (or
portables), the LCs, the Duos, the ClassicII, the Q605 or on the Quadra
630... It is recommended that you NOT run A/UX 3.1.1 on the II, IIx, IIcx or
SE/30 machines, since their MacOS-compatibility is unreliable under 3.1.1.

Recall that A/UX _is_ UNIX and thus contains some very hardware specific
drivers. It's for this reason (and not Apple not doing things correctly) that
A/UX won't work on newly released platforms. To support a new platform, at
least _some_ work (and possibly extensive work in some cases) must be done.

If you really want to cut it close, 8MB RAM and an ENTIRE 80MB hard disk will
just make it. You'll have little room for user files (unless you clear out
some space by removing /games and maybe /catman) and depending on your
workload, may suffer from low performance (due to swapping... you may even
encounter the infamous swap messages :)

A much better system would be 16MB of RAM and about 200MB of disk space.
This would give you much more room to grow as well as sufficient RAM to
increase your performance (assuming that you tune some kernel parameters).
All in all, more RAM is prefered: 20MB (or more) is ideal.

G.03)  What's new about A/UX 3.x.x?

A/UX 3.x.x incorporates the full functionality of System7. It supports the
QuickTime multimedia extension and the new Mac Quadra computers (not the AV
machines, however). A/UX 3.x.x includes X11R4 in it's distribution, as well
as MacX. Installation of A/UX is much easier that it was before and can be
installed on any 3rd party hard disk using the "new and improved" HD Setup
application (see Q&A #A.16 though).

3.0.2 is a later version of A/UX. 3.0.1 added support for the Q800 and
the Centris machines (650 and 610) as long as they have the _real_ 68040 chip
(68RC040) installed (Support for the C650 is official; support for the C610,
which _requires_ the 040 be replaced since none have the required one
installed, is non-official but known and verified). A/UX 3.0.2 will also run
on the Quadra 610 and 650; see G.02 to see how. To get 3.0.2, you'll need to
install 3.0.1 and then apply the AWS Tune-Up 1.0 to upgrade to 3.0.2. This
upgrade is free.

3.1.1 is the latest version of A/UX. 3.1.1 greatly improves performance and
reliability as well as fixes some bugs. It does not, however, add support for
any other Macs. 3.1.1 is "tweaked" for the AWS95, but can be run on other
non-AWS95 Macs as well (see Q&A G:09). A/UX 3.1.1 is a "tuned-up" version
of A/UX 3.1, which is, itself, a improvement over 3.0.1/3.0.2 (in fact,
3.1 contains all the fixes in 3.0.2). However, A/UX 3.1.1 will NOT run
reliably on the MacII, MacIIx, MacIIcx or SE/30 machines.

3.0.1, in addition to supporting newer Macs, provides performance boosts, bug
fixes, better Finder emulation and other enhancements over 3.0. 3.0.2 does
the same for 3.0.1. The upgrade from older versions of A/UX to 3.0.2 really
_is_ worth the pretty small amount of money required. 3.0.2 is a better and
more solid performer, both UNIX-wise and Finder-wise, than it's predecessors.
3.1 requires 3.0.1|3.0.2 and provides much better performance and should be
seriously considered!

G.04)  What's the diff between 3.0.2 and 3.0.2(wgs)?

3.0.2 is an exact binary-copy of 3.0.2(wgs) (which is the version of A/UX
for the WGS 95 server) except for some minor cosmetics and the exclusion of
the server-related applications. This includes RetroSpect for A/UX (see Q&A
#E.03). Some of the major differences between 3.0.2 and 3.0.2(wgs) include:

    o Buffer cacher size (default kconfig parameters)
    o Packages installed during Easy Install
    o Swap space size on Easy Install
    o Autologin enabled in 3.0.2(wgs)
    o lpr daemon on in 3.0.2, off in 3.0.2(wgs)
    o Partition choices in HDSC SetUp

As you can see, they are all related to how the system is setup...

G.05)  How can I order A/UX?

The latest _shipping_ version of the complete A/UX distribution is 3.0.1.
Once you get that, you can either decide to upgrade (for free) to 3.0.2 or
upgrade even further by purchasing the A/UX 3.1 upgrade and then using
AWS-Tune-Up-2.0 (which is free) to go all the way up to 3.1.1.

A/UX is available preinstalled on Mac systems or on CD-ROM. To find the
nearest A/UX reseller, call 1-800-538-9696. You'll need access to a compatible
CD-ROM drive to install A/UX (or a friendly dealer if you go that route).
Please note that at the present, you can only order 3.0.1; you'll then need
to apply the AWS Tune-Up 1.0 (available on jagubox and
to upgrade up to 3.0.2. You could also, as mentioned above, also decide
to spend some extra money and get the 3.1 Upgrade CD-ROM, to bring you
up to 3.1, and then apply the free Tune-Up-2.0 disk to bring you up to
A/UX 3.1.1.

The part numbers (and suggested retail price) for 3.0.1 are (US and Canada):

    M0598LL/C     A/UX 3.0.1 CD-ROM product                 ($795)
                  (contains Essential Manuals)
    M0597LL/B     A/UX 3.0.1 Essential Manuals              ($329)
    M0430LL/B     A/UX 3.0.1 Programmers Manuals            ($329)
    M0431LL/B     A/UX 3.0.1 Administrators Manuals         ($329)

    M0599LL/C     A/UX 3.0.1 Update (updates previous       ($250)
                  versions to 3.0.1)
    M0489LL/B     A/UX 3.0.1 Programmers Manual Update      ($285)
    M0490LL/B     A/UX 3.0.1 Admin. Manual Update           ($285)

If you are interested in upgrading your Q950 to the Apple WGS-95 Server
(which uses A/UX 3.0.1) here are the part numbers (with SRP):

    M6940Z/A      WGS 95 PDS Upgrade Kit                     ($2499)
    M6945Z/A      WGS 95 PDS + DAT Upgrade Kit               ($4399)

By the way, MacWarehouse is now selling the A/UX 3.0.1 CD-ROM package for
$619... Their phone number is 1-800-255-6227; ask for part#SYS0009.

To get 3.0.2, you need to snag the AWS Tune-Up 1.0 DiskCopy image files from or jagubox and apply the patches. Although the Tune-Up
is called AWS, it's really for _all_ A/UX users. Note that you need 3.0.1 to
upgrade to 3.0.2.

If you want to upgrade to 3.1/3.1.1, please see Q&A G.09.

G.06)  What's the upgrade path for A/UX 3.0.2?

You can upgrade to 3.0.2 (from any other version of A/UX) by purchasing the
A/UX 3.0.1 CD-ROM Product Upgrade (Apple part # MO599LL/C). The suggested
price is $250. You then need to snag the AWS Tune-Up 1.0 disks to upgrade
3.0.1 to 3.0.2.

It's recommended that if you do upgrade, that you completely repartition
your disk via the Installer for two reasons:

    1. The default (suggested) partition sizes have changed

    2. You install 3.0.1 on a "clean" system.

If you want to upgrade to 3.1/3.1.1, please see Q&A G.09.

G.07)  What are Right-To-Copy and Right-To-Upgrade licenses?

If you have bought at least one copy of A/UX 3.0.x and you have other Mac
CPUs that you would like to install A/UX on, you don't need to reorder the
entire product. You can order a Right-To-Copy license for each Mac you want
to install A/UX on and then copy your A/UX to that Mac. This is cheaper than
buying a whole new CD-ROM package. It's not right to copy unless you have a

If those other Macs are already running A/UX, but an older version, then you
need to order a Right-To-Upgrade license for each one you want to upgrade.
As above, you then copy your 3.0.x over to that Mac.

Note that in both cases, you must have purchased at least 1 copy of A/UX
3.0.x. The Right-To-* licenses just "authorize" you to then copy that over
to other Macs.

The A/UX Essential Manual Set (that comes with A/UX 3.0.x) is not provided
with either license. If you need more, you'll need to order them

G.08)  How can I report bugs that I find?

The official E-mail address is If you subscribe
to the A/UX Technical AnswerLine, you can also use that method. The former
isn't acknowledged although the latter is.

For completeness, also post the report to comp.unix.aux.

There is also a HyperCard stack called "Apple Bug Reporter" that Apple
recommends using. I have a copy and can make it available via anon-ftp if
there is a demand.

G.09)  What's the word on A/UX 3.1 and 3.1.1?

The latest shipping version of A/UX is v3.1.  3.1 offers better performance
than 3.0.2, fixes for various bugs, better MacOS emulation and some updated
programs and applications.  3.1 requires 3.0.1|3.0.2 and costs $199 (+ $5 for
shipping, $10 for FedEx). You can order it directly by calling 1-800-769-2775,
x7822. Ask for the A/UX 3.1 WGS Upgrade Kit. If that doesn't work, try asking
for part # M2885Z/A.

Once you get A/UX 3.1, you should then apply the AWS-Tune-Up-2.0 disk which
upgrades 3.1 to 3.1.1. 3.1.1 offers a bit better performance and better
MacOS emulation than 3.1 does. It's also very free.

3.1.x has only been _fully_ tested on the AWS95 platform and not on all the
other platforms that A/UX runs on; however, nothing was done to it to prevent
it from working on other machines. 3.1.x is "only" for the AWS95s in the same
way that 3.0.2 was "only" for them ;)

Anyway, here is a short and non-official list of some 3.1.x features:

   o sendmail 8.6.4 now included (8.9 with 3.1.1)
   o support for new Berkeley NEWDB-NDBM package
   o Added support for "dynamic" use of removables, such as SyQuests
   o NEC CD-ROMs now supported !!
   o StyleWriter II supported
   o Support for UNIX file systems up to 4GB
   o Enhanced I/O performance (big improvement for fast machines and/or
   o Interupting a NFS server now works
   o Solaris clients no longer crash A/UX
   o Heavy UFS and NFS I/O no longer causes 'panic: freeing free inode'
     errors and deadlocks
   o I/O no longer causes excessive dropped kernel clock interupts
   o The size of .fs_cache no longer limited to 32MB
   o Death of 'catsearchd' now detected and responded to (used to crash
     the MacOS)
   o Desktop rebuilds no longer cause the Finder to terminate when the
     rebuild is done.
   o ThinkC runs under A/UX
   o Much better MacOS compatibility
   o 'Temporary Items' correctly handled
   o Various "needed" programs (like /bin/sh) recompiled w/o shared
     libs so that the system is still restorable after /shlib is munged
   o Various bug fixes and improvements, including:
      cpio (new option -L to follow sym-links)
      df (handles longer bus names)
      fsck (ignores 'noauto' and '-p'&'-y' now work correctly)
      make (uses SHELL in makefile)
      passwd (MAXUID now 65534)
      restore (can now restore named pipes)

NOTE: A/UX 3.1.1 will NOT run on the MacII, MacIIx, MacIIcx or SE/30 machines.

G.10)  What's the future of A/UX with the PowerMacs?

Don't ask... really, don't ask!

Okay, if you insist. It ain't happy...

There is none. Apple has dropped A/UX totally. Their new PowerMac servers
runs straight AIX and couldn't be confused with A/UX by a dead halibut.

Apple, however, has provided great support in porting Linux to the
Nubus-based PowerMacs. This OS, Mklinux, will be available in "golden
release" form around September 1996 (the first developer's release was
just announced). You can find out more by checking out:

G.11)  I can't use A/UX. What UNIX alternatives are there?

If you can't or *gasp* won't run A/UX on your Mac, then you should consider
A/UX's only real contender: MachTen by Tenon.

MachTen approaches UNIX on a Mac from a different viewpoint. Whereas A/UX
is the MacOS running on-top of UNIX, MachTen is UNIX running on top of the
MacOS. This means that compatibilty problems aren't an issue, since the
MacOS isn't being "emulated" ala A/UX. You also avoid needing to create
separate UNIX file systems since MachTen uses the MacHFS file system.  Also,
MacOS programs run at "top speed" although UNIX processes are slower than on
A/UX.  However, since it runs on-top of the MacOS, MachTen is limited to the
inherent limitations and constraints of the MacOS. For example, MachTen's
"kernel" isn't truly preemptive multitasking, although the UNIX processes
are multitasked via MachTen. Also, local users can easily bypass MachTen's
file-level security. As the MacOS evolves, these "short-comings" will no
doubt be removed from the lower layer of the OS. Finally, MachTen runs on
the PowerMacs under emulation, with a native version promised later this

MachTen is based on the Mach kernel and the BSD-Reno/Net2 version of BSD.
It's a very good alternative to A/UX for those machines that can't run A/UX
or for those interested in having UNIX run on their Macs (say for learning
UNIX or doing some UNIX development) but don't want their Macs to run UNIX :)

%%% For more info, contact %%%


A.01) How come my Login screen is gray, not color?

Because that's the way Apple wanted it :) Actually, the reason why is because
the 'scrn' resource is missing from 'System' in /mac/sys/Login System Folder.
If you're handy, you can copy 'scrn' from some other System and paste it in
Login's using ResEdit. Make sure the "Is Color" field in 'scrn' is "1".

A.02) How come my Login ScreenSaver doesn't see both my monitors?

This is also due to the fact (see Q&A #A.01) that the System file in
/mac/sys/Login System Folder lacks a 'scrn' resource. If you copy this
resource from a System that knows about your monitor setup into Login's System,
then the screensaver will knows about all your monitors.

A.03)  Even though I have lot's of swap space and only a little bit is
       being used, I STILL get a lot of messages saying that my swap
       space is running low. What's the buzz?

Unix is justifyably concerned about having adequate swap space. A system
crash caused by this beast is a sight to behold. However, A/UX seems EXTREMELY
nervous about the amount needed before it starts getting fidgety.  If you do
a "/etc/swap -l" and see that you're only using a small portion of your swap
space and have a "lot" left, then you can safely ignore the messages (just
how much is a "lot" is hard to say, but if you have 25000 blocks and are only
using 1000 or 2000, then I'd say you were fine). If you DO need more swap
space, then you have a few options:

    a. Using 'kconfig', reduce the number and size of buffers.
       This isn't really a good idea since it could really degrade
       performance as well as possibly causing more panics.

    b. Add more swap space.
       Fine, if you have it. You could either add another disk
       as swap (nice) or repartition your present disk to create
       a larger Swap partition (Ack!).

    c. Add more memory.
       If you have more memory, then this will reduce the need to
       augment it with swap space... RAM's cheap too! There is an
       old rule of thumb that the size of Swap should be about
       2 to 3 times the amount of RAM, which would seem to contradict
       the above. The thing is that if with the _present_ workload
       you are swapping like crazy, then adding RAM will reduce
       tha swapping. If, however, you start increasing the work-
       load, then swapping will start again, and you better have
       enough of it! This was the original intent of the Rule-Of-
       Thumb. At the very least, Swap should always be at least
       as big as the amount of RAM you have.

A.04)  How can I copy a complete file system from one disk|partition
       to another?

You have three options: dd, dump.bsd and cpio (pax MAY work but tar won't
since it won't handle special-type files). If the two partitions are the same
size, you can use 'dd' (to copy c0d0s0 to c5d0s3, e.g.):

    $ dd < /dev/rdsk/c0d0s0 > /dev/rdsk/c5d0s3

To use dump.bsd, you can use the following command (this assumes that the
destination disk in mounted on /mnt and you want to copy the root file system
which is on SCSI 0... of course, you must be root and it would be MUCH better
to do this in single-user mode):

    $ dump.bsd 0f - /dev/rdsk/c0d0s0 | (cd /mnt; restore xf -)

To use cpio, you must use it in a pipe with find. For example, to copy /usr
(let's assume it's on it's own file system) to another disk|partition (assume
it's mounted on /mnt) then you can use (you can add the "-depth" flag to
'find' if you want):

    $ cd /usr
    $ find . -print | cpio -pdmuva /mnt

The problem with this is that if the mount point of the destination disk
falls under the file system's directory you're trying to copy, you'll load
up your destination disk. For example, the following would NOT work:

    $ cd /
    $ find . -print | cpio -pdmuva /mnt

because 'find' would see the stuff in /mnt (which you just put in there) and
try to copy in back to /mnt! To way to avoid this is by adding a little

    $ cd /
    $ find . -print | grep -v '^./mnt*' | cpio -pdmuva /mnt

If you have GNU find, then you can use it with it's '-xdev' option, which
prevents find from walking through other file systems:

    $ cd /
    $ find . -xdev -print | cpio -pdmuva /mnt

dump.bsd creates a "truer" copy of your file system (the access and
modification dates aren't mucked with... with the find/cpio pipe, at the
least the directory dates are touched) but pre-3.1 versions of restore
couldn't restore named pipes. These are easy to creat though using
'mknod'. The only named pipes included in the default A/UX distribution are:

        prw-------   1 root     sys            0 Oct 18 16:08

        prw-rw----   1 daemon   daemon         0 Oct 19 06:11

A.05)  What's with UUCP?

UUCP under 3.x.x is very improved over it's previous "incarnation" under 2.0.1.
3.x.x uses HDB (for HoneyDanBer) UUCP instead of standard UUCP. Some nice
things are bidirectional getty (also known as uugetty in other Unixs) which
allows both incoming and outgoing communication over serial lines as well as
better performance and reliability. I hear that setting it up is _much_ easier
as well.

You may seriously consider getting Alexis Rosen's "" file for use
under UUCP sendmail. This config file has been modified to allow UUCP and
sendmail to work beautifully together. You may also want to consider simply
installing smail to replace sendmail.

Under 3.0., be sure that you are running the latest version: 1.16. It can be
found on in aux.patches/supported/3.0. Be sure that you
get the new dial.o on (pub/earlw/dial) to avoid breaking syslog.
Under 3.0.1 (and later) all is OK.

A.06)  How can I log anonymous ftp entries? in.ftpd has a -l option,
       but it doesn't work

Jim Jagielski ( has hacked in.ftpd to enable logging
via the syslogd daemon. It also pays extra close attention to anonymous ftp
logins. It's available (as well as other ports|hacks) on jagubox. Also
available on jagubox is a port of the latest version of wuarchive's ftpd
server for A/UX. wu-ftpd is a super-nice ftp server with lots of extras
and neat features!

The real reason why '-l' doesn't work with in.ftpd is that there's no real
way to send this option to the daemon. A/UX 'inetd' doesn't allow you to add
options to '/etc/servers'. John Coolidge ( has ported the
BSD-reno version of 'inetd' to overcome this limitation. Jim Jagielski has
since been updating and maintaining 'inetd'. This version of 'inetd' also has
some nice features, such as rereading /etc/servers when sent SIGHUP. It's
available on jagubox. This version of 'inetd' has also been modified to log
whenever it spawns a background daemon as well as logging which host requested
the daemon.

%%% For more info, contact Jim %%%

A.07)  How come when I do a 'df' as a regular user, it shows me a different
       number of free blocks compared to when I run it as 'root'?

One of the details about the BSD Fast File System is that it sets aside
some amount of the available disk space (if the file system was created by
HD SC Setup, then %5 is set aside; if created by 'newfs' then 10% is set
aside... this value can be changed by using the 'tunefs' command) and makes
it unavailable to regular users. This prevents 2 things: filling up a file
system and destroying performance by having a "too full" file system. 'root',
however, does have access to this "extra" disk space, hence the difference in
the numbers reported by df between 'root' and "regular joe".

As mentioned above, if you used HD Setup to create the partitions (or your
A/UX came preinstalled), then the "set aside" value for these file systems
is 5%, not the "default" of 10%... This was simply to give users more space.
Reducing this value beyond 5% is Not A Good Idea.

A.08)  Does A/UX LocalTalk support IP?

Nope... not at all.

A.09)  How do I get MPW 3.1 to work? It hangs my system...

MPW 3.1 doesn't work under A/UX although 3.2 does. In the meantime, you
can make 3.1 work by breaking into MacsBug when it's hung and entering:


See Q&A #M.04 for info about entering MacsBug...

A.10)  Can I refer to a file on my Mac system from within A/UX?

A/UX's 'Finder' mode is the only way (currently) to access both file systems.
You could write a hybrid application that could attach to the Finder world
(a la, CommandShell and cmdo which can "see" both file systems), but you
can't access HFS volumes from the A/UX kernel directly.  In a similar vein,
you can't 'mount' an HFS volume on an A/UX inode.

A.11)  How can I adjust the amount of virtual memory Finder uses?

There are three ways to do this. The first is very easy: you simply use the
Memory cdev to adjust the "memory" size, logout and then log back in. You
must be 'root' to do it this way.

The 2nd way is to use the 'TBMEMORY' environment variable. You can set it's
"value" equal to the amount of memory you wish to use. For example:

    TBMEMORY=10m; export TBMEMORY  (in .profile for ksh or sh or /etc/profile)
    setenv TBMEMORY 10m            (in .login for csh)

configures Finder for 10M.

You can also edit /mac/bin/mac32|mac24 (or .mac32|.mac24 if you are using
this method) to call 'startmac' with the memory size you want using the
"-m" option. For example:

    /mac/bin/startmac -m 8m > $SMLOGFILE 2>&1 &

in (.)mac32|(.)mac24 will configure an 8M environment.

Please note that under the 24-bit mode (mac24), you can only access a maximum
of 8MB of RAM. It won't complain if you try to setup more, it just won't do
it. Furthermore, if you actually have more than 8MB (say 12), the "About This
Macintosh" window will show "Built-in Memory: 12,288 K; Total Memory: 8,192K".

The default behavior of 3.0 (and earlier) was to allocate all the RAM to the
MacOS. Thus, if you had 20MB, A/UX would, unless told otherwise, allocate
20MB for the MacOS-emulation. Under 3.0.1 (and later), this is slightly
changed: A/UX will usually not allocate all RAM to the MacOS but will instead
impose a 16MB maximum (this can be changed via Memory or TBMEMORY). Whatever
version of A/UX you are running, it's a Good Idea not to allocate _all_ RAM
for the Finder. This is because A/UX allocates itself a chunk, so if you give
the Finder "all" of it, you can cause swapping and paging which can seriously
degrade performance at times.

If the value set in 'Memory' and TBMEMORY disagree, the value determined by
TBMEMORY is used.

A.12)  Is there an archive of comp.unix.aux out there somewhere?


A.13)  How come I can't use color under X?

Apple's X (R4) support color. However, you must start the server with the
"-screen 0 -depth 8" option (similar command with other screens if you have
them). You can add these options to the command line or to your server's
defaults file. You can also create a ".X11" file in your home directory which
includes the line:

    X -screen 0 -depth 8

to get the same effect. Make sure that ".X11" is executable for this to work
("chmod 755 .X11").

//////////////////////  END OF PART 2 OF 4  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
#include <std/disclaimer.h>
  |     Jim Jagielski      |  |  V: 301 286-5964  |
  | NASA/GSFC, Code 734.4  |     Greenbelt, MD 20771     |  F: 301 286-1737  |
	      << "Suspicion is the sure sign of a little mind" >>

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM