This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open This is an old article about SCO Unix serial numbers and is only left here for historical purposes. There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.
On some products there is a command, /etc/serialize, which will do the dirty work for you. Check for this file before trying the second method below.
/etc/serialize takes one argument, which is the name of a permissions file, and will ask you for keys. Try the following:
cd / ls /etc/perms | while read file do /etc/serialize /etc/perms/$file done
It may complain about some files with nothing to serialize; this is normal. Also, it will rewrite binaries and should only be run in single-user mode so that it doesn't clash with files which are currently busy. It will also leave some files named /tmp/*.ser with your serial numbers and activation keys - so you definitely want to clean those up.
If you don't have /etc/serialize, there's another way to do it. In your /etc/perms directory, find all of the files which belong to the product in question. Scan each one for a line near the top which begins #ser=; this line lists all files which must be serialized in this package. Many of the files in /etc/perms will have no such line, or will have an empty line; this is normal and these files can be ignored. The exact list of files will vary from release to release.
You can now use /etc/brand to reserialize them. Change to the root directory and run /etc/brand serno actkey file [file ...]. For example, if the files are ./etc/getty and ./unix, you'd run
cd / /etc/brand sco012345 abafjdlg ./etc/getty ./unix
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People who are more than casually interested in computers should have at least some idea of what the underlying hardware is like. Otherwise the programs they write will be pretty weird. (Donald Knuth)