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NetBSD imps.jpg
Of course it runs NetBSD!
Architecture: multiplatform
Current Version: NetBSD 5.0.2 (February 7, 2010)
Date Released: 1993

NetBSD is a bit of a blessing for many hobbyists, as it includes support for the VAX, Amiga, 68k Macs, various Sun systems like the Sun-3 as well as a wide variety of toasters and the HP300. You might want to check the entire list at the NetBSD list of ports. There's even some discussion of a port to PDP-10s!

NetBSD started out as a derivative of 386 BSD, as at the time it was a collection of patches to 386BSD. People grew dissatisfied with the lack of updates with 386BSD, and how the patchkit kept getting larger and larger & unwieldy leading to the various authors of the patches to start their own fork of 386BSD, called NetBSD as it was created on the 'internet'. NetBSD focuses on portability and simplicity of the code.

It's worth noting that a political fight within NetBSD led to the formation of OpenBSD.

Version 0.8, 0.9, 0.9a

These early versions were heavily based on 386 BSD + patchkits and contained Net/2 files subject to USL scrutiny. Due to an agreement with USL these distributions are no longer officially available and maybe even lost to history. According to Charles M. Hannum ", the agreement is very clear, and nobody cares about that early code history any more--so this is all water under the bridge.". Historians beg to differ. If you have a copy, please leave a note.

As we locate the older versions I'll add information about each release here.

Version 1.2

This version restored support for the VAX Platform. Additionally more platforms were added solidifying NetBSD as a portable OS.

Version 5.0.2

As of November 17 2010 this is the current version. The exiting change (well to me) was the inclusion of unit tests in the OS so that users of less used ports (VAX) can certify that their OS is performing as it should be...

Installing NetBSD 5.0.2 on the SIMH MicroVAX II


Running NetBSD on a VAX

what runs

I would imagine that NetBSD's 1.2 edition's GCC 2.7.2 could run quite a bit of software.... I just found out that NetBSD 1.2 does *NOT* include curses... so that means no lynx!

So in the interim, this is what I've built: