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Apple A/UX FAQ List (3/4)

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Archive-name: aux-faq/part3
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 3 OF 4 //////////////////////

A.14)  Using the command shell interface, I'm trying to access some Mac files
       (that have strange names) but I can't; the program returns an error and
       I can't access the file. What's going on?

The problem is that sh and csh don't understand the Mac "special" characters
that are in the filenames. They don't expect filenames with characters that
are represented by 8-bits. ksh is "8-bit clean" and thus would be able to
access the file. For example, to remove Moire, just type:

    $ ksh           #this creates a Korn shell child
    % rm M?ire      #match the weird 'o'
    % exit          #get back in your old shell

You could also use emacs' DIRED or the Gnu File utilities to do this, but
ksh is right here on the system so it's a bit easier. Of course, another very
easy way is to use the MacOS interface and do the deletion|rename|whatever
the "Mac" way. Please note that if what you are MacOS deleting is a symbolic
link to a directory, what gets Trashed is actually the contents of the
directory as well as the link! This is due to the fact that to the Finder,
the link looks like a folder, and the entire thing gets deleted.

A.15)  I heard the the Installer for 3.x.x works on "any" 3rd party
       hard disk. Well, it doesn't on mine!

Well, the Installer will work with any 3rd party disk but there are a few
wrinkles... The HD Setup application in the 3.x.x Installer is unique in that
not only does it create A/UX partitions but it also creates the actual file
systems in those partitions (basically it runs 'newfs'). Now if you have used
some other HD utility program (such as SilverLining or FWB HDT) to create
the partitions and then attempt to install A/UX on that disk, the Installer
sees that the partitions are there and then _assumes_ that they were created
by HD Setup and therefore have the file systems already created.  Of course,
the file systems don't exist yet, just the partitions, so the installation

You have a few options:

 a. Run the Installer on a newly formatted disk. This means that HD Setup
    will do all the partitioning (etc...) and the installation will proceed.
    Note that this means you will be "stuck" with the Apple drivers whenever
    you are in the _real_ MacOS Finder.

 b. If you want to use the drivers on your HD utility (for stuff like,
    maybe, password protection of partitions) then you have two (maybe three)
    additional options:

   i. Use 'a' above to install A/UX. Then use your HD utility program to
      "take over" the disk, disabling (or even removing) the Apple drivers
      and installing it's own. Note that if there isn't enough space to
      install it's drivers, most will attempt to "shrink" the MacOS partition
      to make room. Most can do this with no problem, but why take the risk...
      when you partition the disk, leave about 64K available as free space.

  ii. Use your HD utility to create the partitions. Then, before you
      run the Installer, run 'newfs' "by hand" to create the file systems so
      that the installation can proceed.

 iii. Use your HD utility to format (etc...) your disk and create
      _only_ the MacOS partition. Now run the Installer. In most cases HD
      Setup will work fine with the driver installed on the disk.  You can
      now use it to create the A/UX partitions.

      <<ED: I _know_ this (iii) works with FWB HDT>>

Please note that HD SC Setup will only create the file systems if run under
A/UX. If you run it under the MacOS, it can only partition...

A.16)  Since RetroSpect will no longer be bundled with A/UX 3.0.2,
       how can I get it?

Very early reports indicated that RetroSpect for A/UX might be bundled with
A/UX 3.0.2 as it is with the AWS95 version of 3.0.2. This is no longer the
case (if it ever _was_ ). However, if you are a registered owner of RetroSpect
2.0, you can order an upgrade to RetroSpect A/UX. The cost is around $200
and to order (or more info) you can call 1-800-225-4880 (have your
registration number handy). International customers should call 510-849-0293.

Please note that if you have the Pisces card installed (with the WGS95), then
_only_ RetroSpect A/UX will work and _only_ under the A/UX environment.  You
will not be able to access your DAT under the real MacOS!

Finally, reports indicate that RetroSpect 3.0 fully supports A/UX all
by itself. If true, this is Good News!
A.17)  How can I configure CAP under A/UX?

For the answer, snag a copy of CAP.txt which is available on jagubox (in
/pub/aux/Info for anon-ftp).

A.18)  What are some good books about A/UX?

Except for Apple's complete manual set, there are no books specifically about
A/UX. (Well, there's one but it's most probably out of print.  It is most
definately out of date. It's called "The A/UX Handbook" by Jan Harrington
and it's written for A/UX 2.0).

There are some _very_ good books about UNIX in general however. The best of
the pack (IHMO) is "UNIX Administration Guide for System V" by Thomas and
Farrow. Another good book is the "UNIX System Administration Handbook" by
Nemeth, Snyder and Seebass. Since A/UX is a mix of SystemV and BSD both books
are worthwhile ("UNIX Sys. Ad. Handbook" deals "mostly" with BSD systems).
Another must-have is "UNIX Power Tools" from O'Reilly and Associates.

For general information about shells and programming there's no better book
than "The UNIX Programming Environment" by Kernighan and Pike. For the 'ksh'
shell, the best book I've encountered is "Learning the Korn Shell" by Bill

O'Reilly and Associates has a wide selection of UNIX-based books. You're
bound to find what you're looking for from them. You can contact them either
via Email ( or Phone (1-800-998-9938).

There is also a list (with over 160 entries) of UNIX books (and mini-reviews)
located on in 'pub/mitch/YABL/yabl'.

A.19)  When booting up, I get a "panic ialloc, dup alloc" (or other)
       error message and A/UX won't boot. What can I do?

This is due to the fact that some file system damage exists on the Root file
system. By default, A/UX Startup will only run 'fsck' on the root file system
if the system is marked as "dirty." So even if damage exists, as long as the
disk was cleanly 'umount'ed, 'fsck' won't check it out and fix it.

I recommend always having A/UX Startup fully check out the disk before booting
A/UX. It takes a while, but it's worth it. To do this, choose Booting from
the Preferences menu. Now change the command under "AutoRecovery" to "fsck
/dev/default" (it was "fsck -y -p /dev/default").  When you do this, you'll
notice that the radio button changes from "Check root file system" to "Custom
command"... that's OK. After that, A/UX will always run 'fsck' on Root. If
you are doing this, you might as well have A/UX run a full 'fsck' on all
file-systems too. Check out fsck(1m) and fstab(4) for how to do this... one
way is to just edit /etc/bcheckrc and remove the options to the "/etc/fsck"

If you don't want to do this but you do have some damage that prevents A/UX
from booting, then you can cancel the boot-up process (either select "Exit"
or hit "Command-."). Then type "fsck /dev/default" and then, when 'fsck' is
done, type "boot" (or "launch"). Sometimes you must run 'fsck' a coupla times
to fully fix the file system if there was extensive damage.

A.20)  Is traceroute available for A/UX?

Yes it is... A complete 'traceroute' package for A/UX 3.1(.1) can be found
on jagubox. It includes the updated 'bnet' driver (required for 'traceroute'
support) as well as 2 versions of traceroute, pre-compiled and with complete

A.21)  What is KEEPALIVE and how can I use it?

KEEPALIVE is a method implemented in Berkeley sockets and TCP/IP (and in
A/UX) that periodically polls a connected socket to determine if it's
still "alive" or whether the client on the other end has dropped off.
If the connected client doesn't respond, A/UX will consider the connection
broken and send SIGPIPE to all connected processes. For this feature to
be actually used, programs must set the SO_KEEPALIVE option on the

One particular of A/UX is that although it supports KEEPALIVE, it doesn't
send the first probe for _2 hours_! It's been suggested that it would be
much better to shorten this value to something more realistic to take
better advantage of this capability. However, to do this, you'll need to
use 'adb' and adjust the kernel.

You can either patch the kernel itself (which requires that the patch be
reapplied everytime the kernel is rebuilt) or patch /etc/install.d/boot.d/bnet
to keep the patches. To patch the kernel to adjust to time to 1st probe, you
need to use 'adb' to adjust the 'tcp_keepidle' parameter. To get the right
value, multiply the number of minutes you want A/UX to wait until the 1st
probe by 120, then change that value to hex. For example, to make A/UX sent
the 1st probe every 5 minutes (5 x 120 = 600 = 0x258) do:

    adb -w -k /unix  << Foo
    tcp_keepidle?W 258

To patch the 'bnet' driver instead, do:

    adb -w /etc/boot.d/bnet << Foo
    tcp_keepidle?W 258

Now run 'newconfig -v' and reboot. 

A.22)  What does this 'panic' message mean...?

In general, most system panics are due to A/UX exhausting some kernel
resource; to prevent these, you need to know which resource was used up
and then use 'kconfig' to increase them:

 console panic message                  kernel parameter to increase
-----------------------                ------------------------------
 "panic: kmem_alloc"                    MAXCORE
 "panic: getfreehdr"                    MAXHEADER
 "timeout table overflow"               NCALL
 "file: table is full"                  NFILE (NINODE as well, to same value)
 "inode: table is full"                 NINODE (NFILE as well, to same value)
 "m_expand returning 0"                 NMBUFS
 "panic: out of mbufs"                  NMBUFS
 "proc: table is full"                  NPROC (NREGION as well, 3x NPROC)
 "Region table overflow"                NREGION (NPROC as well, NREGION/3)
 "sptreserve: no kernel virtual space"  NSPTMAP
 "allocbuf"                             SBUFSIZE (and NBUF as well)
 "cannot allocate buffer cache"         NCLIST (and add RAM)
 "cannot allocate buffer headers"       NBUF (and add RAM)
 "getfreehdr"                           NPBUF

You may also run up against the processes-per-user limit as well. This
can be increased by bumping up the MAXUP. Of course, you'll also need to
increase NPROC, NREGION, NFILE and NINODE (and maybe others) as well to
account for the increased number of processes...

A.23)  How often does A/UX sync the file system?

A/UX 3.0 performs a sync every minute. It's done by 'init' and the frequency
can't be changed.

A/UX 3.0.1/3.0.2 does one every 30 seconds; cached blocks older than 30
seconds are flushed, therefore a block can be resident for between 30
and 59 seconds. If you want, you can use 'adb' to change the value of
'syncdsleep' to the number of seconds to sleep between flushes. Blocks
older than that will be flushed.

A/UX 3.1/3.1.1 peforms a sync every second and flushes blocks that are
older than 30 seconds (i.e. a block can be resident for 1 to 31 seconds).
You can alter this by using 'adb' to change 'syndperiod' to the timeout
age (how old the block can be before it's flushed) and 'syncdsample'
to the wakeup period; by default, 'syncdperiod' is 30 and 'syncdsample'
is 1.

Under A/UX 3.0.1/3.0.2/3.1.x, the kernel process 'syncd' can be seen via

A.24)  What is 'catsearchd'?

Under A/UX, 'catsearchd' is a UNIX process that maintains a cache of
MacOS File System information. Having this cache available _greatly_
increases the performance of catalog searches made from the MacOS and
an AppleShare client.

For each file cached, 'catsearchd' requires 200bytes of memory, so if
your File Systems are large, 'catsearchd' can be a real memory hog. One
way to avoid this is to use the 'nocats' option in 'fstab' for mounted
file systems.

Unless you are running A/UX as an AppleShare server, there's no need to
run 'catsearchd'; in fact, it's better _not_ to run it due due to it's
memory and performance hits.

A.25)  Is there any way to make AppleDouble file formats the default,
       rather than AppleSingle?

Sure is... All you need to do is set the 'TBFILEFORMAT' environment
variable to '1'. You can do this either in /etc/profile or /etc/cshrc
to make it system-wide or have each user add it to their .profile or
.login file.

For sh/ksh, the commands are:


and for csh it's:

   setenv TBFILEFORMAT 1

You can also edit /mac/bin/mac32 as well if you want.

A.26)  Is there a way to update the 'whatis' database?

Sure is. Check out the 'man-utils.tar.gz' file on jagubox (in Sys_stuff).

A.27)  Does A/UX support Virtual Interfaces?

It does now... Jim Jagielski ( has created the 'vif' kernel
module that provides for true Virtual Interface support under A/UX. This
allows you to, for example, make use of the Virtual Host/Multihoming
capability of Apache.

'vif' can be found on in /pub/aux/Sys_stuff.
'apache' can be found on


M.01)  What Mac applications are compatible with A/UX?

It would be much easier to list the applications that aren't compatible.
The list is much, much shorter...

The _vast_ majority of applications that run under System 7 will run under
A/UX 3.x.x. In fact, before System 7 was released, A/UX 2.0.x was actually
a good litmus test whether the application was 32-bit clean and would run
under System 7. The only applications that are _sure_ to fail are those that
try to access hardware _directly_, such as HD utilities or backup
applications. A/UX 3.x.x provides both 24 and 32-bit modes, so if the
application doesn't run under 32-bit mode, try it under 24-bit.

One key note: if the program uses a "complex" installation procedure (like
for Canvas, Word, Stuffit, etc...) then you should not try to do a fresh
install under A/UX. See the above Hints and Words Of Wisdom.

M.02)  What screen-savers are compatible with A/UX?

AfterDark (2.0u and later) works well under A/UX but some displays may not
have enough memory under Login so the "low-memory" display will be used.

Moire and FMbackup seem a bit incompatible. They both function fine together
but the combination prevents FMbackup's "Finishing up..." window from
displaying, although FMbackup does, in fact, finish up. Furthermore, Moire
seems to screw-up Commando (both version 3.22 and 4.01 exhibit this problem)
so all in all, Moire can't be recommended if you desire using Commando (the
problem seems to be with all MacOS applications 'launch'ed from the
CommandShell window). Using Moire for the Login screen works well however,
since you can't access Commando or 'launch' applications from there.

Darkside is also available. Unlike other screen savers, Darkside is an
application, not an INIT. This means it won't work under the Login screen.
The latest version of Darkside is 4.0 and will _not_ work on Pre-System7
systems, so don't attempt to use this under A/UX 2.0.1 or later.

Moire is available on jagubox.

M.03)  My MacOS partition mounts fine under MacOS but it doesn't show up
       under A/UX... Why?

Whether or not a Mac partition mounts under A/UX depends on a number of
factors...  Necessary conditions for a partition to mount are:

    1. The disk MUST be partitioned using the "new" partitioning scheme
       detailed in Inside Macintosh V. There is still plenty of disk software
       out there that uses the "old" scheme and this drives will not mount
       under A/UX. Generic disk formatters that use the "new" scheme include
       SilverLining and FWB Hard Disk Toolkit. Most major disk vendors supply
       A/UX compatible formatting s/w.

    2. The partition must mount under MacOS BEFORE A/UX is booted. A/UX
       only tries to mount partitions that were already when it was booted.
       So, if you use an application to boot A/UX and this application runs
       before a partition is mounted, A/UX won't mount it for you. If you
       have a removable drive (such as SyQuest), you must insert the disk
       before you boot A/UX... this means you can't swap cartridges under

Sometimes, the partition map isn't correct for the MacOS partition; In
particular, the Logical size may be 0! You can use 'dp' to look at the
partition map to see if this is the case. Assuming that the disk us SCSI #2,

    $ dp /dev/dsk/c2d0s31

Will print out the partition map entries. You can then see if the "Apple_HFS"
partition type has the correct logical size.

M.04)  I have MacsBug installed. How can I trigger it?
                -- or --
M.05)  Sometimes my MultiFinder environment (and/or CommandShell) freezes
       up; how can I unfreeze it? Should I hit the Interrupt switch?

The "Command-Control-e" keypress will kill the current MultiFinder environment
and "unfreeze" (and kill) your MultiFinder|CommandShell.  Depending on whether
your session-type is Console Mode or 32|24-Bit, you will either get returned
to the console or get returned to the Login screen. You should _NOT_ press
the Interrupt switch since this puts you into A/UX's kernel debugger. If you
have MacsBug installed (which is recommended) then you can press
"Command-Control-i" to enter it. This may enable you to clean some things up
before the MultiFinder environment is blasted (even just using 'rs' under
MacsBug helps...). If MacsBug is _not_ installed, the "C-C-i" behaves almost
like a "C-C-e" except that it appears that A/UX doesn't need to "rebuild"
your icon/Desktop "environment" the next time Mac-mode is entered.

To make sure that MacsBug installs correctly, it's name must be 'MacsBug'.
A munged Debugger Prefs file can also prevent MacsBug from installing. This
happened to me when upgrading to 3.0.1... To be safe, make a solid safe
copy before upgrading.

M.06)  My site is not upgraded to EtherTalk Phase 2 yet... can I use Phase 1
       under A/UX?

A/UX only supports EtherTalk Phase 2. Upgrading to Phase 2 is recommended
for a variety of reasons, but most importantly to ensure compatibility with
new products from Apple and developers (of course, the added features over
Phase 1 are nice too :).

M.07)  I'm having trouble transfering files between A/UX and my MacOS disk.
       Also, sometimes things get transfered fine, othertimes not. What's
       going on?

If a file on the A/UX system has Type "TEXT", then when it is copied over to
a MacOS disk, all 'newline' characters will be replaced by 'carriage returns'.
Sometimes this is what you want (that is when the file is, in fact, a TEXT
file). Othertimes it's not. Say for example you download a GIF file onto your
A/UX disk. A/UX _might_ think it's a TEXT file. If you then copy it over to
your MacOS disk and try to use Giffer on it, it won't work.  That's because
the 'nl's where changed, which is _not_ what you want. The way to stop this
is to convince A/UX that the file is of non-TEXT type.  There are many
applications out there (including the A/UX included 'setfile' program) that
lets you modify this. Do this before you copy the file over to your Mac OS
disk and all will be Okay. If you aren't sure what the Type and Creator should
be, you can just specify "BIN " and "A/UX" (note space in BIN) and the file
won't be massaged during the copy|transfer. You'll still need to eventually
change them to the correct ones for their particular application, but this
way they'll be on your MacOS disk "uncorrupted."

Of course, you could also use 'setfile' to set the Type|Creator fields
_before_ you copy the file to the MacOS disk and avoid an additional step.

Please note that if you downloaded a BINHEX file, you _do_ want to keep it
as a TEXT file if you transfer it over to the MacOS. Once there, you can
de-BINHEX it and unStuffIt (if it was a binhexed stuffit archive).

Please note that if you transfer Unix-type files (like tar archives or
compressed files) between the A/UX file system and a MacOS disk (esp. if
these files were "created" on a MacOS disk by a MacOS utility), the Unix
application may no longer work correctly with it. This is because the MacOS
resource information was attached to the file during the transfer (the file
is in Apple Single format). To "fix" this, use 'fcnvt' to change the file
to Apple Double format which will detach the resource fork and place it
into a "%..." file.

See "Hints and Words Of Wisdom" (above) for hints in using ftp file transfers
under A/UX.

M.08)  Do I install CDEVs and Extensions in the System Folder on
       MacPartition or on the "/" A/UX disk.

To install these additions to A/UX, you will need to drag-copy them over to
the A/UX System Folder. Usually, this is /mac/sys/System Folder on the "/"
disk but it will also "appear" in your "home folder" icon. If you have a
personal System Folder (i.e. $HOME/System Folder) then they should be dragged
there. To add a screensaver to the Login screen, it must be dragged into the
correct subfolder in /mac/sys/Login System Folder. That is, if it's an cdev,
drag it into /mac/sys/Login System Folder/Control Panels.

M.09)  I heard that A/UX requires a special version of System 7 to boot...
       Is this true?

A lot of people believe this but this is not true. There is no difference
between the s/w on the MacPartition partition and the "real" System 7.  The
only _real_ need for MacPartition is that the disk where A/UX Startup lives
is where A/UX Startup looks for the A/UX Root partition. When A/UX Startup
launches, it looks at "it's" disk and then looks for A/UX partitions on that
disk. This means that you _don't_ need to boot-up from the MacPartition disk
to boot A/UX. Start your Mac from your standard Startup disk and just
double-click on A/UX Startup on the MacPartition icon.

You can even do without the MacPartition disk but telling A/UX Startup the
exact SCSI number of the A/UX disk. You can do this a couple of ways:

    1. create a ROOT variable in A/UX Startup that points to the
       root partition in this form: (SCSI-ID, 0, 0)

    2. Under the General Preferences menu, change the Root Directory
       to (SCSI-ID, 0, 0).

The "device" file /dev/default points to the SCSI-ID of whatever disk is the
MacPartition disk, so if you don't have one, you need to tell A/UX Startup
it's "real" name. This is kinda messy since you'll need to preface a lot of
stuff with this value: e.g.

    #startup cat (6,0,0)/etc/inittab

M.10)  After the Mac environment crashes (or when I use MacsBug), the
       Desktop gets all screwed up... Argg!!

Ron Flax of Apple ( has written a very useful System
Extension called FMbackup that creates backup copies of "valuable" Desktop
files. When the MacOS-mode is entered, FMbackup restores these files. Thus,
when your MacOS "crashes", you no longer need to rebuild the Desktop or reset
all your Icons, window "types", etc... Please note that there seems to be
some incompatibilty between FMbackup and Moire and QuickMail 2.5.1.

FMbackup (1.0.4) is available via anon-ftp on as well as (in "unsupported").

%%% For more information about "FMbackup", please contact Ron via E-mail %%%

M.11)  My MacOS partition(s) only show up on the Desktop when I login
       as root. Why?

Under the Preferences/General Menu of A/UX Startup, there is a radio-box
called "Password checking". This is intended to provide some security for
the A/UX Startup application. When enabled, two (default) things happen:

    1. A/UX Startup requires a password to open.
    2. MacOS partition(s) are only mounted for root login.

Thus, to enable MacOS partition(s) to be available for all users, you must
disable "Password checking". See auxstartuprc(4) for more info.

M.12)  For some reason, my CommandShell only responds to a keyboard
       event after it receives a second event. For example, typing "a"
       won't show until I type something else or click the mouse.
       What gives?

This is caused almost 99% of the time by an Extension|CDEV conflict. The way
around this is to selectively disable each one at a time and see which one
causes the problem... then delete it. "Wild Magic" is prone to do this as
are older versions of CEToolbox.

M.13)  Can A/UX 3.x.x run System 7.1?

A/UX 3.x.x's MacOS interface is based on System 7.0.1. You cannot install
Sys 7.1 on A/UX (meaning you can't make A/UX run Sys 7.1) since there are a
few system files that are fine-tuned and modified to work under A/UX. These
would get overwritten if you tried to install 7.1 and you'd be out of luck.
Please recall that this doesn't mean that you can't have 7.1 installed on
your MacPartition, to be used when in MacOS-only mode. It just means that
you can't have A/UX run 7.1.

Just to let you all know, if you really want to, you _can_ install 7.1 on
A/UX 3.x.x and the MacOS-stuff will work pretty well. However, all hybrids,
such as CommandShell or Commando, will die... not too useful...

M.14)  What version of AppleTalk does A/UX run?

This one is tricky. First of all, the version of AppleTalk under A/UX was
designed specifically for A/UX... Don't try installing the Network Software
Installer (NSI) disk. Bad Things will happen.

With that out of the way, when polled by InterPol, A/UX will respond that
AppleTalk v56 is running. However, A/UX's version is really compatible with
version 58. This will cause trouble with those applications that rely on
version numbers rather than capability.

M.15)  I've just installed MacTCP 2.0.2|4|6 on A/UX and nothing works!
       What's going on?

The copy of MacTCP that ships with A/UX is specifically written for A/UX.  You
should _not_ replace it with any MacOS version of MacTCP! Doing so will cause
mucho problems for A/UX. This is because A/UX's MacTCP simply offloads all
networking functions down to A/UX itself which handles them.

Although it's true that some MacOS programs, such as Mosaic, "require" MacTCP
2.0.2|4|6, the vast majority work just fine with A/UX's version. In extreme
cases, with programs that actually _check_ the version number, a little
ResEdit hacking will fix things up. Basically, all you need to do is COPY the
'vers' resource of MacTCP 2.0.2|4|6 and PASTE it into MacTCP in your active
A/UX System Folder (you want to 'Replace' the previous 'vers' resource). This
will cause MacTCP to appear (via 'Get Info' and similar ways) to be version

M.16)  Does the LaserWriter Bridge s/w work under A/UX?

No it doesn't... The reason is because the LaserWriter Bridge software
requires AppleTalk version 57 or higher but, due to the way AppleTalk
is implemented under A/UX, the software thinks and behaves as if A/UX
is running a version closer to v56.

A/UX, however, _can_ print to a printer connected via the LaserWriter
Bridge on a different Mac.

M.17)  My /etc/fidd processes refused to run and dumps core. Help!

Sounds like the /etc/FileIDs file is mangled. Rename /etc/FileIDs
to something like /etc/FileIDs.OLD and reboot. fidd will then create
a new /etc/FileIDs file and all should be well.

D.01)  Can I use my Teac|DAT|etc tape drive under A/UX?

A/UX 3.x.x's 'tc' device driver (version 1.40) officially and "totally"
supports the following tape drives:

    Qualstar 9 track
    Archive 4mm DAT
    Archive QIC
    Teac DCAS 600
    Exabyte 8500        <<ED: no go with the 8200s>>

Please note that all the devices except for the Qualstar 9-tracks require
8k-blocking when used through 'tc'. This means you will need to use 'tcb' or
'tbb' as a filter ('dd' will also work during reading). You should also
specify 8k blocking (or a multiple thereof) when using dump.bsd.

Jim Jagielski has created a replacement for 'tc' called 'NEWtc'. It fixes
a lot of Apple's 1.4 bugs as well as to provide some nice new features. It
supports all the above drives in addition to:

    CIPHER drives
    Exabyte 8200, 8205 and 8505
    HP DATs
    SONY SDT line
    Teac DCAS 150 and 60
    WangDAT 1300 and 2600 series
    WankTEK series 6130 (FS/HF), 5525 and 5050ES.

It also has a "Generic" entry that will attempt to drive tapes it doesn't
know about. If you have a drive that isn't supported, let Jim know and he'll
try to add it.

NEWtc is up to version 3.34 and is available on jagubox.  Included in the
package are replacement copies of 'mt', 'tc.7.Z' and 'mt.1.Z'.

Tony Cooper has written a VERY nice double-buffering copier that greatly
increases the speed of backups; it's called 'tbb.' It works quite nicely with
'tc' (assuming the correct blocking factors)... It's included with the 'NEWtc'

Craig Ruff ( has written a Teac device driver also, which
works with both the 150 MB and 60 MB drives. You get the complete source so
you may "adjust" the driver if you want for other drives.

The Teac driver is available on

%%% For more information about 'tc', please contact Jim via E-mail %%%
%%% For more information about 'teac', please contact Craig via E-mail %%%

D.02)  I have an EtherNet card that works fine under the Macintosh OS
       but not under A/UX. Why?

The reason is because to access the card (which is seen as a device by A/UX),
you need an A/UX device driver for it. This is NOT the same as the stuff you
had to install under the MacOS for it to work. Now A/UX includes drivers for
the Apple EtherNet card (they aren't installed by default though), but they
don't work with most of the 3rd party cards except for the 3Com "EtherLink
NB", the Asante "MacCon" and the StarNet Networking cards. They are 100%
register compatible with their Apple counterparts, so you can use Apple's
'ae' driver with them. Drivers for the EtherPort II cards are available via
anon-ftp on jagubox. However, the drivers for the "old" EPII cards (full
length) only support TCP/IP (they were written for A/UX 1.1 but will work
under 2.0.x). As far as other cards are concerned, you will have to ask the
vendor for A/UX drivers for it.

Please note that there have been numerous reports about problems with the
EtherPortII cards, A/UX and the IIfx and IIsi... you are warned :)

D.03)  Can I use my scanner under A/UX?

A/UX 3.x.x fully supports the Apple OneScanner as well as providing better
support for SCSI devices. A/UX will still use its own SCSI driver, however.

D.04)  I'm trying to use a SyQuest drive under A/UX but it refuses to work.
       I keep on getting a "more data than device expected" error message.
       What's wrong?

The "problem" is with the generic SCSI disk driver under A/UX. For SCSI
drives, there are certain parameters that may be adjusted by the user; these
parameters are grouped in "pages." One such page concerns how the disk
responds to and recovers from errors: the Error Recovery Page. A/UX expects
the parameters in this page to have certain values. Now the vast majority of
SCSI disks have the values set as expected, but this isn't the case with
SyQuest drives. There is one parameter (PER) which is opposite than expected
by A/UX. When A/UX trys to set this value to what it wants, however, the
SyQuest drive reads this "request" wrong (the request is 16 bytes but the
SyQuest only reads 4, so the SCSI Manager reports the error.

Tony Cooper ( has written a Mac application which sets the
Error Page values correctly: Fix Error Page. This application must be used
under the MacOS. It can be found on as well as on (aux.patches/unsupported/2.0). You can also use the
FWB Hard Disk Toolkit - World Control Application to enable the PER bit in
the recovery page (Page #1).

This program may also be a help in getting some SCSI-2 devices, such as disks
and opticals, to work under A/UX. If A/UX sees that the Error Page parameters
are incorrect, it will attempt to send a Mode Select command to fix them,
however it will use the SCSI-1/CCS page length instead of the SCSI-2 length,
which, depending on the drive, will not work.

By the by, here is the /etc/disktab entry for SyQuest:

    # SyQuest disk

D.05)  What 3-button mice work under A/UX (and X)?

The Gravis SuperMouse was a 3-button mechanical mouse that was completely
configurable and compatible with A/UX and was at the time your best bet.  At
present, however, the Gravis SuperMouse is no longer manufactured or supported
at _all_ by Gravis :(

Older versions of LogiTech's MouseMan are fully compatible with A/UX, as some
people have been using them with no problems. However, newer versions aren't
as nice, since you can't reconfigure the button binding.

Mouse System's A-3 mouse is "fully" compatible with A/UX, but is hard-wired
configured for A/UX as: Left Button = Actual Mouse Button; Middle Button =
Left Arrow; Right Button = Right Arrow. The "A-3" power cdev doesn't work
under A/UX. The A-3 mouse is an optical unit with a nice feel.

Please note that A/UX 2 & 3 only support a subset of the ADB Manager. Thus
there are a few ADB devices that may not work under A/UX.

D.06)  Is it worth getting a cache card for the IIci?

Absolutely! The card makes an amazing difference in performance. However,
this performance increase is reduced when an external monitor is used. For
more information about extensive benchmarking with the IIci and cache
cards, you can snag the benchmarking results via anon-ftp on in archive/papers.

D.07)  How can I figure out the /etc/disktab entry for my hard disk?

Many hard disk applications will reveal the disk drive geometry for you:
FWB Hard Disk ToolKit is very good (SilverLining is a bit wrong on the number
of tracks... it includes spares). What you are really looking for are the
total number of cylinders ('nc'), the number of sectors per track ('ns') and
the number of tracks ('nt').

By far, the easiest (and cheapest) way is to use the SCSIProbe utility, by
Herb Weiner (, that runs under A/UX. This neat little package
automatically generates disktab entries for your disks.

Also, I'm maintaining a list of /etc/disktab entries. If you have any, send
it to me and I'll add them.

The file is available on jagubox.
<<ED: I need _LOTS_ of entries>>

Just a note: the number of tracks ('nt') is equal to the number of heads.

D.08)  Which serial cards work under A/UX?

There are a number of serial cards that "work" with A/UX. The Apple serial
card is NOT one of them.

 o There is the Digiboard Nu/Xi, which comes in 4 and 8 port versions.  Brand
   new drivers for the card have been coded and are available. This version
   (3.3.0) however, doesn't currently work with CSlip but otherwise works
   great.  You can snag the drivers via anon-ftp from (which is in drivers/mac.

   Technical Support for DigiBoard is 612-943-9020. If you'd like to contact
   the main engineer responsible for the drivers, contact Brian Westley at the
   following Email addresses:
      AppleLink: merlin

o There is also the Creative Solutions, INC (CSI) HQS/HDS v4.4/4.5 Hurdler
  Serial Nubus cards. These cards have both pure UNIX _and_ MacOS device
  drivers (i.e. a 'newconfig' code module and a MacOS INIT/DRVR module). The
  A/UX drivers support baud rates up to 57.6k and 115.2k using the 'B50' and
  'B75' flags, true hardware handshaking while monitoring DCD for Dialup
  security, and full compatibility with CSlip and PPP and their associated
  daemons. The A/UX-MacOS drivers are fully compatible with all CommToolbox
  functions and serial drivers. These are very nice cards :)

  The recommended cable-pin out for these cards is:

        Mac          Modem
    Male Mini-Din-8  DB-25
    1 (HskO)  ---   4   (RTS)
    2 (HskI)  ---   5   (CTS)
    3 (TxD-)  ---   2   (TxD)
    4 (GDN)   ---   7   (SigGnd)
    5 (RxD-)  ---   3   (RxD)
    6 (TxD+)  ---   7   (SigGnd)or(NC)
    7 (GPi)   ---   8   (DCD)
    8 (RxD+)  ---   7   (SigGnd)
                    6 -- (DSR)
                   20 -- (DTR)

  Also, for logins, you should be using the FLOW flag in the gettydefs file as
  for example:

   fl_38400#B38400 # B38400 SANE2 TAB3 # ~MODEM ~DTR FLOW #\r\nlogin: #fl_38400

  For further info about the drivers, or for _any_ help is using this card,
  please contact Alan M. Friedman at Intelligent Interfaces, Inc:
     AppleLink: D5620

  You can contact CSI at (AppleLink: CSI).

 o Another is Paul Campell's Taniwha CommCard. This card does indeed work
   with all versions of A/UX including 3.x.x. It has special support for
   UUCP.  It has a few mysterious and not very important problems. It's an
   excellent buy. The only problem is, it's not on the market anymore. If you
   can get one used, though, it's worth getting. The one downside is that,
   like Apple's ports, it won't SIMULTANEOUSLY support modem and hardware flow
   control. It is immune to many of the nasty bugs which affect the built-in
   serial ports, including the two (at least) which can crash the kernel.

 o Yet another is the Applied Engineering QuadraLink serial card. According
   to sources, the board was super easy to setup and use. It also appears
   very solid as far as performance.

   The AE QuadraLink card, like the CommCard and the Apple ports, can't do
   both hardware handshaking and modem control at the same time. No hardware
   patch kit will be developed for the AE card...

D.09)  I'm using a LaserWriter IIg with A/UX 3.x.x and whenever I print some-
       thing to it through 'lpr', the first line of the page is cut off. Why?

This only shows up on versions of the IIg (and IIf) with less than 5MB RAM.
The reason is because this makes the LW default to PhotoGrade-mode. You can
do 2 things to fix this:

    1. Using the LaserWriter Utility program, disable PhotoGrade.
       Since one of the main advantages of these LW's is PhotoGrade,
       this option is kinda unpalatable.

    2. If you are _only_ using "Letter" mode under 'lpr', then you
       can edit /usr/lib/ps/ to include the following line
       between "% RCSID:..." and "/StartPage...":

       % Z%Copyright Apple Computer 1987\tVersion 1.1 of on\
         87/05/04 19:02:25
       %%Creator: pstext
       %%DocumentFonts: Courier
       % RCSID: $Header:,v 2.1 85/11/24 12:19:55 shore Rel $
       /StartPage{/sv save def 48 760 moveto}def

This will fix the problem and make it usable again.

D.10)  I'm trying to access my tape drive using 'tc' (with something like
       "find . -print | cpio -o > /dev/rmt/tc1") but it doesn't work...

Except for 9-track magtapes, all I/O to tape drives associated with the 'tc'
device files _must_ be blocked at 8k. The 'tcb' program does just that so
that should be included. For example, to write:

    $ find . -print | cpio -o | tcb > /dev/rmt/tc1

And to read:

    $ tcb < /dev/rmt/tc1 | cpio -i

You can get better performance if you increase the buffer size (just make
sure that it's a multiple of 8k). For example, you could use 'dd' as your
blocking filter with a 'bs=10x8k'.

Jim Jagielski's replacement for 'tc' allows for 'tc' to use the tape drive's
own physical block size as the logical block size for I/O. Doing so results
in a bit of a performance hit so it isn't recommended for normal use. You
should use the "mode" only if you need to read tapes written by 'st' or by
another platform. Please note you are still limited to an I/O block size of
at least the physical block size, which can be anything for 512 to 1024 to
8192 bytes.

%%% For more information about 'tc', please contact Jim via E-mail %%%

D.11)  What CD-ROM drives are compatible with A/UX 3.x.x?

The original Apple CD-ROM drive (CD SC) is 100% compatible with A/UX as is
the newer CD-150. Older versions of the CD-300 (those with pre 1.8f ROMS)
would cause problems with A/UX and would do little more than allow you to
install A/UX, making it almost useless for day-to-day use. One of the fixes
of 3.0.2 is _much_ better support for all versions of the CD-300, although
Apple does suggest that you update the CD-ROM drive's ROMs with the latest
version if you have problems. I've heard that you can get the latest ROMs by
calling 1-800-SOS-APPL or seeing your Apple dealer. The following are also
known to be 100% compatible (meaning you can use them to install A/UX as well
as when running A/UX):

    The Toshiba XM3201, XM3301B XM3401B, XM3501
    DEC RRD42, RRD40 (LMSI CM-212)
    Denon DRD 253
    Sun CD-ROM (Sony CDU-8012?)
    CD-Technologies Porta-Drive CD-ROM
    Chinon CDA-431

3.1 adds support for NEC CD-ROMs; previous versions of A/UX weren't able to
work with these units due to their physical block size.

D.12)  I've tried to install the CD Remote extension to A/UX so that
       I can play audio CD's, but it doesn't work...

By itself, A/UX doesn't support audio CDs. However, there are 2 software
packages that add this capability:

The first package is xmcd/cda, which provides both a X-Motif (xmcd) and
generic command-line (cda) interface for playing audio CDs under A/UX.
The package requires that the 'devscsi' kernel package be installed, so
it will work under 3.x.x. xmcd/cda was written by Ti Kan (
and can be found on

The second package is a MacOS-patch to enable you to use the CD Remote
application. Kelly King and Andrew Kass (at Apple), however, have written the
"AUX SCSI Toolbox" extensions that emulates the Mac SCSI Manager. With this
extension installed, you can run applications and drivers that talk to the
Mac SCSI Manager, including the Apple CD-ROM driver! With this extension, you
can listen to your audio CDs under A/UX! This is the latest version of the
extension: 1.0b4.

"AUX SCSI Toolbox" is available via ftp on jagubox under:


Please read the included ReadMe before installing and using it.

D.13)  What UNIX CD-ROM formats does A/UX support?

Other than the "normal" A/UX SysV and UFS file system type, A/UX supports
ISO-9660 file system format CD-ROMs. However, you can only access these CDs
from the MacOS environment; you can't "mount" them in the normal UNIX-way. As
distributed, A/UX doesn't include the needed Extensions that allow the MacOS
Environment from recognizing these CDs. To fix this, you need to copy the
following Extensions from the Apple CD-ROM Software disks (version 3.2 or
later) to the System Folder of the user(s) that need access to these CDs:

   o Foreign File Access
   o High Sierra File Access
   o ISO 9660 File Access

The docs are a little blurry on this (even though it's specifically mentioned
in Chapter 5 of the "Setting Up Accounts and Peripherals for A/UX") since they
say that you don't need to add any _kernel_ resources...

One of A/UX's quirks is that all files on ISO-9660 CDs are "seen" as TEXT
type files. This causes troubles with binary files since when you try to
drag them over to the "/" disk, A/UX will perform it's \r->\n translation.
To avoid this from happening, you can:

   1 Drag the file(s) over to a MacOS HFS disk. Then use ResEdit (or something
     similar) to change the file Creator to "A/UX" and Type to "BIN " (note the
     space!). Now you can drag the file over to "/".

   2 Use ResEdit to look at the NCOD resource in the "ISO 9660 File Access"
     extension. Open the "Main" resource in NCOD. Now change the string
     "TEXT" to "BIN " and "hscd" to "A/UX". Save, logout and login. This
     changes things so that _all_ files on the CD-ROM appear as non-Text,
     CommandShell files, so that A/UX will _not_ perform any translation.

Again, please note that A/UX will not recognize _any_ of the audio capability
of CD-ROMs unless you add the "AUX SCSI Toolbox" extension described in Q&A

D.14)  How can I add printers other than those available in Chooser?

<<ED: From a post by Antonio Ordonez (>>

If the printer is in another zone, it is necessary to define the zone in
which the printer is located with a full path name.  You can then "hardwire"
a printer name including the zone for a particular printer queue.

The best way to do this is to make a copy the /usr/spool/lpd/AppleTalk
directory and give it a name related to the printer we want to use. Modify
the file ifilter/ofilter/nfilter  (it is the same file with 3 hard links) in
this directory. Also modyfy the /etc/printcap file to create a new printer

I will use my system as an example so please modify to reflect your

The first thing to do is to create the new directory and put the correct
files in it. NOTE that I am using mknod to create the pipe file.

mkdir Idaho
chown daemon Idaho
chgrp daemon Idaho
cp AppleTalk/ifilter Idaho/ifilter
cd Idaho
ln ifilter ofilter
ln ofilter nfilter
mknod pipe p
chown daemon *
chgrp daemon *

In my case I have a printer called "Idaho Spooler" in the zone "SCV CAM2
2nd W"  while my system is on the zone "SCV CAM2 2nd E", so all I do is to
modify the /usr/spool/lpd/Idaho/ifilter file (you can use vi or
and change the line that defines the value for Printer from

Printer=`basename "cwd"`
Printer="Idaho Spooler:LaserWriter@SCV CAM2 2nd W"

In the /etc/printcap file I copy the entry for AppleTalk (all six lines) and
change any reference to AppleTalk to the name I used for my new directory.
Again, in my case I used "Idaho" as the directory name so my /etc/printcap
file looks like:

  # pragma ident "@(#)lpr:printcap        5.4 90/03/27 "
  # Copyright 1990 Apple Computer, Inc.
  # All Rights Reserved.
  # Remote AppleTalk printer (selected by Chooser)
  # For an AppleTalk printer which doesn't support PostScript remove last 2

After all these steps are completed restart the printer queue with the command

    lpc restart all

Now you should be able to send a print job to the printer in the other zone
with the command

    lpr -Plp2 /etc/passwd


    lpr -PIdaho /etc/passwd

Hope this helps

//////////////////////  END OF PART 3 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