Why doesn't readdir work? It chops the first two characters of

all filenames.

You're probably linking with libucb and didn't read question
6.18. (Readdir in libucb.so wants you to include sys/dir.h,
but many SunOS 4.1.x programs included <dirent.h>, consequently,
you're mixing native <dirent.h> struct dirent with libucb
readdir(). The symptom of this mixup is that the first two
characters of each filename are missing. Make sure you use a
native compiler (default /opt/SUNWspro/bin/cc, which may not be in
your PATH), and not /usr/ucb/cc.

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