From Computer History Wiki
Linux 0.11 booted up on Qemu
|Current Version:||2.6 (2010)|
Getting this to run
A great deal at this point, as far as text mode programs go.
LINUX INFORMATION SHEET (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 3. HARDWARE REQUIRED - 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 4. PARTIAL LIST OF UTILITIES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE FOR LINUX 0.95a - 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... 5. LINUX BINARIES The LINUX binaries and sources are available at several different anonymous FTP sites. The biggest are: nic.funet.fi:/pub/OS/Linux tsx-11.mit.edu:/pub/linux 6. LEGAL STATUS OF LINUX 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.. 7. NEWS ABOUT LINUX 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: email@example.com 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 "finger firstname.lastname@example.org". 8. FUTURE PLANS Work is underway on LINUX version 1.0, which will close some of the gaps in the present implementation. Various people are currently working on: - 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. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------