Run SCO OpenServer in a VM?

Bill Davidsen davidsen at
Mon Oct 24 03:16:34 UTC 2011

Chris Tyler wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-10-23 at 22:51 -0400, Bill Davidsen wrote:
>> Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
>>> Hash: SHA1
>>> On 10/23/2011 03:34 PM, Bill Davidsen wrote:
>>>> I have a friend who is running his business on an old OpenServer machine, and
>>>> would love to be able to just run a copy in a VM. The issue is that it talks to
>>>> the old serial terminals through a multiport card. Any hope that I could get KVM
>>>> to provide usable serial ports to the VM using a modern card? Or even not so
>>>> new, I have a case of unused "HUB6" cards and would be glad to find a home for
>>>> one, since modem pools are not a big thing anymore.
>>>> I last did SCO admin for a living in 1993, and have done little but Linux since,
>>>> so I'm not right on top of this OS any more :-(
>>> I have not tried it, so this is just an idea. If Linux supports the
>>> multi-port card, and it does support some, then map that many serial
>>> ports from the VM to the actual ports. You will have to check if
>>> your VM has enough virtual ports to make it work.
>> Progress - I have the physical disk image in a file, and I start it with
>> qemu-kvm and it comes up to the "boot:" prompt. At that point things I type are
>> echoed to the console. If I hit ENTER the next part of the boot continues, and
>> it gets to the prompt
>>     "Enter control-d for normal boot or root password for maintenance"
>> At that point it ignores the keyboard, and if I go into QEMU and try to send the
>> character with that, "sendkey cntl-d" it ignores that as well. This was in a
>> *very* old system and I bet it's looking for an AT keyboard rather than PS/2.
>> Any thoughts?
> Well...
> (1) SCO Open Server was first released in 1989, and the PS/2 was
> released two years earlier. More importantly...
> (2) An AT and a PS/2 keyboard are the same, with different physical
> connectors. (XT keyboards used different codes).
> Is your VM emulating a USB or PS/2 keyboard?
Supposedly a PS/2, I didn't use the "-usbdevice" option, to the keyboard and 
mouse should be PS/2, only being a server it isn't going to use a mouse, 
presumably. Man page says it does PS/2 by default, that appears to be the case 
for Linux in a VM, I don't think I have a bootable machine with AT keyboard left 
to see if it's different in some way.

Odd that the boot manager would see the keystrokes, if I type printing 
characters they echo, BS deletes them, ENTER starts the boot, and after that kb 
is ignored.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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