Running SCO Openserver 5.0.7 in VirtualBox

Update: As of VirtualBox 3.0.10, Openserver 5.0.7 should not require workarounds to install, only SCSI support is pending… (check the listed bugreports).

A customer required to replace and ancient SCO server used to run Foxplus, given that Openserver 5 is unlikely to be able to run with new hardware the only available route in this case was to virtualize the Openserver server. To date iBCS or ABI or whatever is the latest incarnation, didn’t work for us.

We are running SLES10SP2@x86_64 as host, but any host running VirtualBox should work. The original installation was done on 3.0.4 but this steps where tested in 3.0.8 for this article. The only missing functionality is GUI.

VM configuration


  • Operating System: Other
  • Version: Other


  • Base Memory: 512M
  • Enable ACPI
  • Processor: 1
  • Enable VT-x/AMD-V
  • Enable Nested Paging (showed improvement in file creation tests)

Hard Disks

  • IDE Controller: 1 disk (6GB, dynamic). None of the official SCSI drivers detect the virtualized SCSI adapters of VirtualBox

CD/DVD Drive

  • Image mounted: OpenServer-5.0.7Hw-10Jun05_1800.iso


  • Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop

Installation Procedure (I will only list relevant changes in each steps)

  • Preparing your disk and choosing software –> Optional Software:  In “Graphical Environment” we should deselect “X Server and Graphics Drivers” as Video Configuration Manager causes “Guru Meditation”.
  • Configuring optional software –> Network card: Deferred (it won’t work before installing MP5)

Post installation

Install MP5

  • Mount osr507suppcd5.iso. Run “custom” and select “Software” –> “Install New” –> “From <your_vm_name>” –> “Media Device” = CD-ROM Drive 0

Select and Install:

  • SCO Openserver Release 5.0.7 Maintenance Pack 5
  • SCO Openserver Release 5.0.7 Graphics and NIC Drivers


Network configuration

  • Run scoadmin –> Networks –> Network Configuration Manager –> Hardware –> Add new LAN Adapter. It should detect the Intel NIC.

Fix Guru Meditation on poweroff

Shutdown events to reboot or poweroff triger “Guru Meditation” also. For the time being I found a workaround for poweroff, but reboot is still broken.

Edit /etc/conf/pack.d/uapm/space.c, search for function “uapm_offstates” of type “ulong_t”and modify events 0 and 3 to triger “APMPWR_OFF”.

Here’s a patch:

— space.c.orig        2009-10-08 16:38:00.000000000 -0400
+++ space.c     2009-10-08 16:38:00.000000000 -0400
@@ -76,10 +76,10 @@

ulong_t        uapm_offstates[] = {
–       APMPWR_READY,   /*  0  AD_HALT          No auto reboot          */
+       APMPWR_OFF,     /*  0  AD_HALT          No auto reboot          */
APMPWR_READY,   /*  1  AD_BOOT          Auto reboot             */
APMPWR_READY,   /*  2  AD_IBOOT         (same as AD_BOOT)       */
–       APMPWR_SUSPEND, /*  3  AD_PWRDOWN       Turn off power          */
+       APMPWR_OFF,     /*  3  AD_PWRDOWN       Turn off power          */
APMPWR_STANDBY, /*  4  AD_PWRNAP        Turn off if no A/C      */
APMPWR_SUSPEND, /* (anything else)      (essentially AD_HALT)   */

Relink the kernel and reboot:

cd /etc/conf/cf.d

Pending bug reports:


That’s all, hope that the guys at Sun can fix this issues in future releases…

Author: ciroiriarte

I'm an IT professional interested in infrastructure technologies, working as an Architect for a Service Provider present in 9 markets. Works includes technologies related to Distributed App environments, Operating Systems, OS Virtualization, SDN & VNF.

8 thoughts on “Running SCO Openserver 5.0.7 in VirtualBox”

  1. I am unable to successfully install SCO Openserver 5.0.7 on VirtualBox 3.0.12 following your example. I am running VirtualBox on a Sun x4100 with Solaris 10 u7. Have you tried the SCO install on VirtualBox 3.0.12? I have been able to get to various points in the install process but have not been able complete it. Most of the time the problems appear to be related to the hard disk/filesystem access.

    1. What are the specific issues you’re seeing? (error messages preferably). Thanks to the work of people from VirtualBox the Guru Meditations caused by shutdown/reboot/X should be fixed in this version, although I didn’t try it yet.

      Can you specify more details?, I guess a Solaris host should perform the same…

  2. **Esto no tiene nada que ver con el post pero es para responder una pregunta puesta en mi blog

    No tengo ni un curso de gurulabs ni tampoco he posteado alguno. Un pequeño dato eso si, yo hice algunos cursos de gurulabs y son bastante incompletos, se encuentra mejor info dando vuelta por Internet (ademas que el precio de los libros es absurdo en comparación con el contenido).

  3. I have 5.0.7 running on VirtualBox 3.2.8 on an OSX 10.6.4 host. The USB stack is pretty crufty, but other than that it does ok. Can’t find the magic incantation to make MMDF see the outside world even though ftp and ssh will.

    1. Well, I’ve never used MMDF, but if other TCP/IP apps work, it should work also. I’ve seen that sendmail is available as a replacement, maybe postfix too in MP5 (I don’t have a SCO machine at hand to verify this though)

  4. Hi!
    I am in the same need of run an old cobol application on SCO, traying to take advantage of virtualization on VirtualBox. I was so happy when I found your post and realize it was working for you.

    However, I try to install same SCO 5.0.7 from .iso image into a VirtualBox 2.3.10 on Ubuntu 9.04, with no success. It seems to work all the installation procedure, but after creating filesytem root it fails with messages like
    /hdFS/opt/K/SCO/Unix/5.0.7Hw/cntl/ccsisl: 2070 Memory fault
    /hdFS/opt/K/SCO/Unix/5.0.7Hw/cntl/ccsisl:test argument expected
    /bin/dirname: 2095 Memory fault
    and many others

    Do you have new advice and tips about the SCO installation on VirtualBox?

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