VTServer/etc for V6 Unix

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Wed Oct 19 08:09:44 CDT 2016

    > From: Warren Toomey wkt at tuhs.org 

    > To load V6, you need to build a virtual tape which replicates the V6
    > tape.

Err, there's the problem. The V6 boot tape consists of 3 'dd' images of RK05
V6 file systems (one each root, source, and doc), with a 'boot block' on the
tape which can copy them to RK05 packs; there is no standalone 'mkfs', etc.

Now, if I were willing to wait for the transfer of the entire 4K blocks, I
could use that approach, but... my only working mass storage device
(currently - more on the way, at some point) is an RX02 - much smaller. So I
_can't_ go that way, my only choice is to replicate the V7-type process
(stand-alone 'mkfs', etc), for V6.

Although I suppose I could use an emulator (I have been using Ersatz-11 to
run V6 for quite a while now) to produce a RX02-sized file system, with just
the stuff it needs to boot ('init', 'sh', etc), and use VTServer to transfer
that over. And I'd probably have to tweak the client-side code to write raw
images to disk (not sure if it already knows how to do that).

    > the problem is that both "boot" and "vtboot.pdp" contain the
    > client-side code to talk to the server, and it seems that I didn't
    > supply the source code for this.
    > ...
    > Hah, the file .. v7_standalone.tar.gz has the source code for the
    > standalone tools

Yup, found that some years back when I first found VTServer.

    > Alternatively, if you have a working V6 environment (e.g. a simulator),
    > you could bring in the vtclient.c code and integrate it into the V6
    > boot binary.

The only V6 boot mechanisms are 1-block programs that go into block 0 of
device 0 and which boot Unix directly from that file-system (type a file
name, and it loads that file and starts it). So there is no second-stage boot
program to integrate the VT client into (although obviously I could port the
second-stage bootstrap to V6).

    > From: Ian S. King

    > I know I made it work and booted V6 on my 11/34.

I'll start with getting VTServer to run under V6 (my only Unix, don't have
anything later :-), so if you turn up whatever you used to boot V6, it would
probably still be useful.


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