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4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 3, 2012 5:10 PM by Kristophe RSS

ksh versus dtksh

Kristophe Newbie
Currently Being Moderated

We are migrating from a SCO Unix system to Solaris 10. ( SunOS 5.10 Generic_144488-06 sun4v sparc SUNW,T5240)

There are 3 different versions of ksh

grep -i version /bin/ksh
@(#)Version M-11/16/88i
grep -i version /usr/bin/ksh
@(#)Version M-11/16/88i
grep -i version /usr/dt/bin/dtksh (Desktop environment for CDE Version)
@(#)Version M-12/28/93d
@(#)Version 12/28/93
@(#)Version M-12/28/93

We need to use /usr/dt/bin/dtksh as that 1993 version is what is used on the SCO Unix box and there are enough differences between that and the earlier 1988 version to make it necessary. All our scripts contain #!/bin/ksh or invoke the shell as /bin/ksh. There are so many I'd rather not change them (and for other reasons too)

My question is whether there is any problem with moving or linking /usr/dt/bin/dtksh into /bin so that /bin/ksh will execute the later version. i.e. Are there any dependencies in the installation on /bin/ksh being the 88 variant?


  • 1. Re: ksh versus dtksh
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    As far as I know, Solaris 10 has a default Bourne Shell /sbin/sh, not ksh88. Solaris provides ksh93 in the form of dtksh (/usr/dt/bin/dtksh). dtksh is based on ksh-93 with X Toolkit Intrinsics (Xt) and Motif bindings, so that you can write Motif GUIs in ksh.

    For what it's worth, ksh-93 is backwards compatible with ksh-88 beside a few exceptions:

    • Variables in functions declared with the "name()" syntax are no longer local.
    • ksh-93 does not set the ERRNO environment variable.
    • Testing for string equality via the "=" operator is supported, but obsolete. Instead, use "==".
    • The "-x" option to alias is no longer supported.
    • The "-f" option to typeset is no longer supported.
    • The output formats of some built-in functions including set, typeset, and alias has changed.
  • 2. Re: ksh versus dtksh
    Kristophe Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks for your answer. Our systems people are worried about the impact to the system if we link /bin/ksh to dtksh.
    If Bourne is the default, and as this is a standard VM Solaris 10 build, I can't see any impact?
  • 3. Re: ksh versus dtksh
    bobthesungeek76036 Pro
    Currently Being Moderated
    You should be fine linking /bin/ksh (acutally /usr/bin/ksh). Just leave /sbin/sh alone.
  • 4. Re: ksh versus dtksh
    Kristophe Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    So this works on ksh 88 on Sol 10 but not on dtksh

    if [[ -s  filename  ]] then

    if [[ -s  filename  ]] ; then

    works on both


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