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Original author(s) Mike Davidson
Initial release 1997
Stable release 0.9.6pre1
Operating system UnixWare, SCO OpenServer and Solaris
Type Compatibility layer
License Mozilla Public License
Website http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~steven/lxrun/

In Unix computing, lxrun is a compatibility layer to allow Linux binaries to run on UnixWare, SCO OpenServer and Solaris without recompilation. It was created by Mike Davidson. It has been an open source software project since 1997, and is available under the Mozilla Public License. Both SCO and Sun Microsystems began officially supporting lxrun in 1999.



  • August 22, 1997: lxrun is cited as a proof of concept of cross-platform binary compatibility at the 86open conference hosted by SCO in Santa Cruz, CA.[1]
  • August 29, 1997: lxrun's first mention on Usenet, in comp.unix.sco.misc.[2] Most notably, the post mentions lxrun's availability in source and binary form from the SCO Skunkware FTP site. A later post in the thread mentions contributions by various authors, both inside and outside of SCO.
  • October 1, 1997: The official lxrun website is established.[3]
  • June 19, 1998: Ronald Joe Record, Michael Hopkirk, and Steven Ginzburg present a paper on lxrun at the USENIX 1998 Technical Conference in New Orleans, LA.[4]
  • Mar 1, 1999: SCO announces Linux compatibility in UnixWare 7 and demonstrates lxrun at LinuxWorld Expo and Conference in San Jose, CA.[5]
  • May 12, 1999: Sun Microsystems announces support for Linux binaries on Solaris using lxrun.[6]

Current status

According to the official lxrun website, lxrun is now in "maintenance" mode, meaning that it is no longer being actively developed.[3] Reasons cited for the declining interest in lxrun include the wide availability of real Linux machines, and the availability of more capable emulation systems, such as SCO's Linux Kernel Personality (LKP), OpenSolaris BrandZ, and various virtual machine solutions. Newer Linux applications and host operating systems are not officially supported by lxrun.


  1. Evan Leibovitch (December 23, 1997). "86Open Frequently-Asked Questions". http://www.telly.org/86open-faq. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  2. Jean-Pierre Radley (1997-08-30). "Need binaries for linux sco support". comp.unix.sco.misc. (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-11-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Steven Ginzburg (2003-04-27). "LxRun - Linux Emulator". http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~steven/lxrun/. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  4. Ronald Joe Record; Michael Hopkirk, Steven Ginzburg (May 8, 1998). "Linux Emulation for SCO". USENIX. http://www.usenix.org/publications/library/proceedings/usenix98/freenix/record_html/lxrun.html. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  5. Jan Tarzia (1999-03-03). "Linux, Open Source Movements Shift Spotlight Back to UNIX...". comp.unix.sco.announce. (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-11-30.
  6. "Sun to run unmodified Linux Binaries". Slashdot. 1999-05-12. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/05/12/2155215. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

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