venix versus xenix

Larry Campbell campbell at maynard.UUCP
Mon Jan 20 22:24:12 AEST 1986

> 	I am getting ready to purchase a pc version of Unix and would
> to like to know which is the best between xenix and venix. Has anyone
> had experience with both and can make a recommendation. Compatibility
> with Sys V is important. Thanks!
> -- 
> Signed by: 
>   aplvax!cp1!hart - aplcen!cp1!hart - umcp-cs!cp1!hart - gamma!cp1!hart
>   umcp-cs!aplvax!cp1!hart at SEISMO.CSS.GOV

I have used VENIX v2.0 (V7-based) a lot, VENIX 5.0 a little (Sys V
based), and XENIX 3.0 (Sys III based) a little.  The choice would not
be clear cut, except for one thing.  It's IMPOSSIBLE to find anything
in the XENIX manuals because they're unbundled.  That means there are
three different, separately priced packages, and their manuals are
sold separately.  No more just looking commands up alphabetically in
Volume 1, system calls in Volume 2, etc.  You have to guess which doc
set the thing is in.  Quick: is 'sed' in the kernel kit, the
programmer's kit, or the text processing kit?  How about 'awk'?  What
about 'csh'?  I have nearly heaved my XENIX manuals against the wall
on several occasions because of this brain damage.

VENIX 5.0 is also unbundled (which is good because it reduces the entry
price), but the manuals are not.  When you buy the kernel kit, you get
the complete manual set, in order, the way you like it.  Some programs
you won't have, unless you bought all three kits.  But at least you
can find things in the manual.

Documentation aside, they're very similar.  The XENIX C compiler is
somewhat better -- VENIX's allows only one 64K data segment (but
unlimited code).  Last I looked, VENIX didn't come with troff (nroff
only) while XENIX did.  VENIX has some real-time features (preemptive
process priorities) you might find useful.  And the installation
procedure for VENIX is much easier than for XENIX.

Basically it's a wash, but if you want to have usable manuals, get VENIX.
Larry Campbell                                 The Boston Software Works, Inc.
ARPA: maynard.UUCP:campbell at harvard.ARPA       120 Fulton Street
UUCP: {harvard,cbosgd}!wjh12!maynard!campbell  Boston MA 02109

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