4.3 BSD

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4.3 BSD
Logging into a 4.3 BSD system
Type: Multitasking, multiuser
Creator: CSRG, University of California, Berkeley
Architecture: VAX, theoretically portable
This Version: 4.3BSD (1986)
Date Released: 1986

4.3 BSD follows 4.2 BSD, with more mature TCP/IP networking, an improved file system, in -Tahoe, partial cross-platform capability, and in -Reno, a significant move toward POSIX compliance. This is a favourite with hobbyists, as being open source there are no licencing concerns and the tape data is freely available online, and it runs very well in SIMH. 4.3 BSD is also quoted as being the The Greatest Software Ever Written.

``The single Greatest Piece of Software Ever, with the broadest impact on the world, was BSD 4.3. Other Unixes were bigger commercial successes. But as the cumulative accomplishment of the BSD systems, 4.3 represented an unmatched peak of innovation. BSD 4.3 represents the single biggest theoretical undergirder of the Internet. Moreover, the passion that surrounds Linux and open source code is a direct offshoot of the ideas that created BSD: a love for the power of computing and a belief that it should be a freely available extension of man's intellectual powers--a force that changes his place in the universe.``

The first version of 4.3 BSD incorporates many performance fixes related to the release of 4.2 BSD. Many people have listed this piece of software as the single most important piece of software ever. Without doubt, it's responsible for influencing almost all operating systems that ever connected to the Internet, and its TCP/IP stack was used for countless other OS's. While not as feature rich as the other 4.3's it is known for being faster then 4.2. However, this version does *NOT* support the MicroVAX II that SIMH emulates, but rather the VAX-11/780 (which is now also simulated by SIMH).

This version seems to have been released on June 6th 1986. (dated from the GENERIC build directory in the kernel source tree.)

How do I get this to run?!

The Unix Heritage Society's archives have copies of most 4-BSD variants http://minnie.tuhs.org/TUHS/ However, they're not immediately in ready-to-use-in-SIMH tape format. There is a repository of SIMH-ready tape images on sourceforge.

There are 'ready to run' version for windows users available right here again on sourceforge. All of the 4.2 & 4.3 BSD variations have built in SLiRP networking, and will be able to connect out to the internet without any device drivers.

SIMH Installation instructions

  • Installation instructions for 4.3 BSD can be found here

What Runs?

On sourceforge, I've placed SIMH install tapes of the following:

Follow ups

4.3 BSD was superceded by the following versions: