Looking for a small fast VAX development machine

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 09:33:50 CST 2016

On 22 February 2016 at 15:39, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:
> So has Minix 3 - last I checked, x86 & ARM only - what's the point of that.

Oh, come on. Be fair.

First, it's a student project without a huge amount of visibility in
the outside world.

Secondly, those are *the* two main computing platforms in the world
today, amounting to sales of *billions* of processors every year. I
suspect that every other general-purpose processor arch put together
amounts to a rounding error compared to ARM+x86.

It's not NetBSD. They're comparing it to NetBSD for what you could
call marketing purposes, but it's not a fork or derivative or anything
else. It's a whole new kernel to which they are porting the NetBSD
userland, as it's a good, clean, solid, FOSS offering.

If you want a simple low-end very portable Unix, there is still NetBSD itself.

Minix 3 is not just another FOSS Unix. It is trying to become
something very very different, something that has never been
successfully done in the FOSS world: a true microkernel Unix-like OS.

Not like the Xnu kernel of MacOS X: that is based on Mach 3.0, but it
is a large monolithic kernel containing a single huge in-kernel "Unix
server" derived from FreeBSD.

Unlike the GNU HURD, Minix 3 is relatively complete and functional --
and it's got there in under a decade.

It's not a new version of Minix 1 or 2 -- it's a totally new kernel.

The *only* OS in the world remotely comparable to Minix 3 is QNX,
which is not FOSS.

Minix 3 is built from a number of cooperating user-space processes --
servers -- which can die and be respawned while the OS is running.
Yes, including the filesystem, network stack etc. They even have tech
demos of this allowing for in-place complete version upgrades of the
running OS, *without reboots.*

Minix 3 is the single most technically impressive new Unix-like OS
that I have seen or heard of in the entire FOSS world in this century.

It deserves more respect than "what's the point of that".

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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