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Minix?

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I've heard some people saying they like minix which would imply that they really played with it.

Last time I checked it is actually a small old UNIX operating system distributed on a bunch of floppy disks.. well floppy disk images.

It is apparently meant for educational purposes. Is anyone playing with it? What's it like? For example, what does it uses for a shell and how does it compare to the popular bash?

Thanks

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Minix 1 and 2 were meant for

Minix 1 and 2 were meant for educational purposes, Minix 3 is a serious operating system. I didn't have a good look at it yet, but it appears to have a nice architecture (microkernel, self-healing). I think I'll try it sometime.

libervisco's picture
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Self healing? Sounds exotic.

Self healing? Sounds exotic. Smiling What does it do exactly?

So Minix 3 is basically a modern operating system? That sounds interesting..

tbuitenh's picture
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If I understand correctly,

If I understand correctly, self healing is just a fancy way of saying it's possible to let parts of the operating system restart automatically if they would ever crash. With a microkernel this is much easier because it means restarting a normal userspace program that just happens to be a driver for something, you can imagine restarting a part of a monolithic kernel can cause more problems (if it didn't take the whole kernel down with it anyway).  

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I had Minix installed in

I had Minix installed in QEmu for some time, looks nice, but I didn't do a lot with it. Well, maybe next I'll read some stuff about it first, since you can't just go there and re-use the stuff you know about Linux.

libervisco's picture
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Minix 3 sounds interesting.

Minix 3 sounds interesting. I am actually downloading it to give it a try, though it doesn't appear to be meant for desktop systems it's a nice curiosity.

I'll let you know how it went.. maybe in a review. Smiling

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Joined: 2005-12-20
I have yet to use Minix 3.

I have yet to use Minix 3. But 2 was awesome if you took the time to learn a little. I messed with it for awhile. Also it was incredibly fast on older hardware, like 486. On my 486, Linux was fine, BSD was fast, but even BSD couldn't compare to the speed of Minix. Though this is probably because Minix was not nearly as featureful and was written for even older hardware, like an 8086 or a 286. Someday I will use this Minix 3.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
not worth the effort

I tried to install it on qemu. No network (not sure if minix or qemu is to blame for that) and no X (probably I am the one to blame for that). Finding out how to make it work is not worth the effort for me now, I already spend way too much time getting things to work properly. Maybe it's fun for someone else, but I don't want to do too much to get a system with which I can't do much interesting stuff. I'm sure future versions will be better.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I haven't booted it yet. I

I haven't booted it yet. I just can't get myself to reboot the system. Laughing out loud

If I can get it into grub I might give it a quick boot and see if X can work for me, maybe play with the command line a bit, but it seems to be a better use of time to try FreeBSD I've got waiting now than to fiddle with Minix too much. Smiling

But from what I hear it seems Minix certainly has a potential for the future. I mean, I thought that system belonged to history and now I see it resurected as a modern Free OS. That's a great thing.

tbuitenh's picture
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Not resurrected but upgraded

Not resurrected but upgraded from educational tool to useful operating system.

Anonymous
FreeBSD

FreeBSD deserves quite a bit of attention. It is a well known and powerful OS. It does take a bit of a learning curve and it might take several months to really be fluent with the OS.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I'd probably agree about

I'd probably agree about FreeBSD (haven't actually tried it yet), but this thread is about Minix. Eye

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Joined: 2007-04-10
libervisco wrote: I've
libervisco wrote:

I've heard some people saying they like minix which would imply that they really played with it.

Last time I checked it is actually a small old UNIX operating system distributed on a bunch of floppy disks.. well floppy disk images.

It is apparently meant for educational purposes. Is anyone playing with it? What's it like? For example, what does it uses for a shell and how does it compare to the popular bash?

Thanks

I recently stumbled on minix3 while looking for a minute OS that could efficiently run an old P2. I like how the microkernel thing works versus monolithic ones (but I've never played with it yet). I think this OS has some potential, especially if developers starts porting popular opensource software to it.

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