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Xenix on a 386

Xenix was Microsoft port of AT&T UNIX. Based on v6, v7, SYSIII, and later SYSV.

Because of the price of the OS, combined with cheap PC and compatibles, Xenix was the most widespread UNIX until the rise of Linux. Xenix due to its inherent multi-user capabilities became widespread in sales environments with POS (Point of Sales) terminals, and for scheduling systems commonly found in hotels and restaurants. Occasionally you can still find this setup still running on aging hardware.

Xenix was a portable operating system with ports to various platforms, but with the rise of the IBM PC, it primarily became an x86 based OS. Xenix eventually became SCO Unix, then later SCO OpenServer, where it still languishes today.


As mentioned in the OEM guide pdf, Xenix supported the following platforms:

  • PDP-11 No versions of this exist online.
  • Apple Lisa The emulator idle can run this.
  • Tandy TRS-80 Model II There are disk images floating around.
  • Zilog Z8001 I have only found sales literature that mentions this.
  • IBM PC This is 'easy' to find.
  • IBM 286 As is this version..
  • IBM 386 The 32bit ones will run on Qemu/Virtual PC
  • IBM PS/2 This version was specifically for MCA computers with a 386 or higher CPU.


A quick list of a few software programs that were available on Xenix. I know the x86 platform was the most supported, I now know that some of these made it to the less popular 68000 platform.


Microsoft made several of their programs in the 1980's available on the Xenix platform.



  • Multiplan (available on the Apple Lisa)
  • Word


  • Foxpro


  • SCO Professional
  • SCO Lyrix (available on the Apple Lisa)
  • SCO Integra
  • SCO Manager
  • SCO Multiview

Getting this to run