Linux 0.95a

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Linux 0.95a
Linux 0.11 on Qemu.jpg
Linux 0.11 booted up on Qemu
Type: Multitasking
Creator: Linus Torvalds
Architecture: IBM 386
This Version: 2.6 (2010)
Date Released: 1992

Getting this to run

I haven't tried to boot this release up, but I'd suspect that Bochs and possibly Qemu can run it.

What runs

A great deal at this point, as far as text mode programs go.


(last updated 13 Jan 1992 (with changes by Linus 4.4.92))

1. WHAT IS LINUX 0.95a
    LINUX 0.95a is a freely distributable UNIX clone.   It implements a
subset  of System V  and  POSIX functionality.   LINUX has been written
from  scratch,  and  therefore  does  not  contain any  AT&T  or  MINIX
code--not in the kernel, the compiler, the utilities, or the libraries.
For this  reason it can be made available  with complete source code by
anonymous FTP.   LINUX runs only on 386/486 AT-bus machines; porting to
non-Intel architectures is likely to be difficult,  as the kernel makes
extensive use of 386 memory management and task primitives.

    Version 0.95a is still a beta release, but it already provides much
of  the functionality  of  a System V.3  kernel.   For example, various
users have been able to port programs such as bison/flex without having
to modify  code at all.   Another indication  of its  maturity  is that
it is now  possible to do  LINUX kernel  development using LINUX itself 
and freely-available programming tools.

2. LINUX features
  - System call compatible with a subset of System V and POSIX
  - Full multiprogramming (multiple programs can run at once)
  - Memory paging with copy-on-write
  - Demand loading of executables
  - Page sharing of executables
  - Virtual memory: swapping to disk when out of RAM
  - POSIX job control
  - virtual consoles
  - pty's
  - some 387-emulation
  - ANSI compliant C compiler (gcc)
  - A complete set of compiler writing tools
    (bison as yacc-replacement, flex as lex replacement)
  - The GNU 'Bourne again' shell (bash) (as well as 'ash', 'rc' etc)
  - Micro emacs
  - most utilities you need for development
    (cat, cp, kermit, ls, make, etc.)
  - Over 200 library procedures (atoi, fork, malloc, read, stdio, etc.)
  - Currently 6 national keyboards: Finnish/US/German/French/British/Danish
  - Full source code (in C) for the OS is freely distributable
  - Full source code of the tools can be gotten from many anonymous ftp sites
    (Almost the entire suite of GNU programs has been ported to Linux.)
  - Runs in protected mode on 386 and above
  - Support for extended memory up to 16M on 386 and above
  - RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc.
  - Supports the real time clock

   - A 386 or 486 machine with an AT-bus.  (EISA will probably work, also,
     but  you will  need an AT-bus  hard disk controller.)  Both DX and SX
     processors will work.
   - A hard disk implementing  the standard AT  hard disk interface -- for
     example, an IDE drive.  In addition,  some SCSI drives  are supported
     with additional kernel patches.
   - A high-density disk drive--either 5.25" (1.2MB) or 3.5" (1.44MB).
   - At least 2 megabytes of RAM.  (LINUX  will boot in 2 Mb.   To use gcc
     4 MB is a good idea.)
   - Any video card of the following: Hercules,CGA,EGA,VGA

In addition, LINUX supports
   - Up to four serial lines (2 active at a time)
   - A real time clock 

   - The MTOOLS package (reading/writing to DOS filesystems)
   - The complete GNU filetools (ls, cat, cp, mv, ...)
   - The GNU C and C++ compiler with GNU assembler, linker, ar, ...
   - bison
   - flex
   - rcs
   - pmake (BSD 4.3 Reno/BSD 4.4  make)
   - kermit
   - Micro emacs
   - less
   - mkfs
   - fsck
   - mount/umount
   - TeX, dvips
   - and lots more...

    The LINUX binaries and sources are available at several different
    anonymous FTP sites. The biggest are:

     Although LINUX is  supplied with the  complete source  code, it is
copyrighted software.  Unlike MINIX, however, it is available for free,
provided  you obey  to the  rules specified  in  the  LINUX  copyright.

     Linux is (C) Linus Torvalds, but the copyright is the GNU copyleft:
get a copy of the copyleft at your nearest ftp-archive..

     There are now  two newsgroups devoted to  linux articles: an older
alt.os.linux  and the new comp.os.linux  group.   The alt-group will be
phased out as the comp-group  gets a wider propagation.   Additionally,
there are a couple of mailing-lists: is
the original mailing-list, and it now supports sub-threads (notably the
gcc-2 beta-testing list).  There is also a linux-standards mailing list
as well  as a newsgroup-service  for  those that  can get mail  but are
unable to read the  newsgroups.   For the current status of LINUX, do a

     Work is underway on LINUX version 1.0,  which will close some of the
gaps in the present implementation.  Various people are currently working
     - A more complete virtual filesystem layer 
     - STREAMS 
     - Interprocess communication
     - IEEE POSIX P1003.1 / P1003.2 compatibility
     - more complete SCSI support
If you want to help, mail the various activists or post to the newsgroups.