Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB - Minix

This is a discussion on Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB - Minix ; Hello, I'm a Minix newb, so please hold the flames for now. I have a Zenith Data Systems laptop. It has an 8088 processor, 640KB of RAM, a 20MB hard drive, and a 320KB floppy drive. I'd like to get ...

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Thread: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

  1. Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    Hello,

    I'm a Minix newb, so please hold the flames for now. I have a Zenith
    Data Systems laptop. It has an 8088 processor, 640KB of RAM, a 20MB
    hard drive, and a 320KB floppy drive. I'd like to get Minix working on
    this machine. I read (on the web and this group) that it's possible to
    run an older version of Minix on a machine like this. I tried to
    install a few different versions (1.2, 1.5, and 1.7, I think).
    However, I had trouble with each version. The small hard drive and
    small floppy drive were the two main problems.

    Would somebody please give me advice on:

    1.) Which version should I use?
    2.) How should I install it with a 360KB drive? (Detailed installation
    instructions for older versions are hard to find, especially when
    dealing with older hardware.)

    Unfortunately, this laptop can't be upgraded. It has a serial port and
    a parallel port, and a CGA-compatible greyscale display. I was able to
    get Minix 1.5 (I think) to boot from the hard drive. When I tried to
    install the rest of /usr, I ran out of disk space.

    How do I want to use this computer? I'd like to compile simple C, C++,
    Pascal, and assembly programs. I don't intend to recompile the kernel.

    Thanks for any replies.

    - Kertis


  2. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    Hello,

    For old Minix versions, http://minix1.woodhull.com/ is the first page to
    use.

    > I'm a Minix newb, so please hold the flames for now. I have a Zenith
    > Data Systems laptop. It has an 8088 processor, 640KB of RAM, a 20MB
    > hard drive, and a 320KB floppy drive. I'd like to get Minix working on
    > this machine.


    It is possible, but won't be much fun. I used Minix 2.0.4 on an 286 laptop
    until the display died. Right now I have to find something to solder onto my
    SIMMs to create SIPs (to upgrade another 286).

    You surely mean a 360 KB drive, as 320 KB was never used in IBM compatibles.

    > However, I had trouble with each version. The small hard drive and
    > small floppy drive were the two main problems.


    The last version of Minix that could run in 640 KB was Minix 2.0.2. Later
    versions have grown out of this and things got never done to make it work
    again. I doubt this will ever happen.

    > Would somebody please give me advice on:
    >
    > 1.) Which version should I use?


    Minix 2.0.0 or Minix 2.0.2, if you want, older versions are possible, too.

    > 2.) How should I install it with a 360KB drive? (Detailed installation
    > instructions for older versions are hard to find, especially when
    > dealing with older hardware.)


    http://minix1.woodhull.com/faq/smallmem.html is a nice page which describes
    installing Minix with a single 360K drive and 512 KB of memory. You have a
    bit more, so you might try without the "exec" sometimes.
    Take a look at http://minix1.woodhull.com/hints.html (paragraph Minix on
    small and/or older Intel CPUs) for more information about this topic.

    > Unfortunately, this laptop can't be upgraded. It has a serial port and
    > a parallel port, and a CGA-compatible greyscale display. I was able to
    > get Minix 1.5 (I think) to boot from the hard drive. When I tried to
    > install the rest of /usr, I ran out of disk space.


    You might be able to find some sockets for DIP memory ICs. If you can find
    some, you might be able to upgrade to 1 MB. But I doubt it. Another (larger)
    hard disk might be an option, if you have an IDE interface. I used a 200 MB
    disk which is way too large to use, even with 3 operating systems on it.
    (DOS/Win, Minix, OS/2 1.3) :-)

    > How do I want to use this computer? I'd like to compile simple C, C++,
    > Pascal, and assembly programs. I don't intend to recompile the kernel.


    I'd recommend to recompile the kernel, as you are very tight on memory and
    therefore create a stripped-down kernel which uses less memory e.g. by
    removing every hard disk driver except bios (which won't hurt performance as
    you are in real mode all the time) or stripping down the consoles.

    I hope this helps,

    Regards,
    Sebastian



  3. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    On Thu, 18 Jan 2007, KertDawg wrote:

    >
    >
    > Hello,


    >
    > I'm a Minix newb, so please hold the flames for now.

    What about *nix? So we can know if *nix-spaek is ok?

    > I have a Zenith
    > Data Systems laptop. It has an 8088 processor, 640KB of RAM, a 20MB
    > hard drive, and a 320KB floppy drive.

    Sounds similar to a machine I have minix 2.0.0 on. It's a model
    zwl-184-97, but it has a 720k floppy. Is it 3 1/2 inch? Except for running
    out of memory on some things and impressively slow disk access it run
    fine.

    > 1.) Which version should I use?

    I know 2.0.0 works. 2.0.2 has been said to be the last that will work on
    an 8086 but 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 have xt tinyroot/tinyuser files...

    > 2.) How should I install it with a 360KB drive? (Detailed installation
    > instructions for older versions are hard to find, especially when
    > dealing with older hardware.)

    Look at http://www.minix-vmd.org/pub/minix/2.0.0/xt/

    > I was able to
    > get Minix 1.5 (I think) to boot from the hard drive. When I tried to
    > install the rest of /usr, I ran out of disk space.

    On 20 meg? are you using the whole drive? For 2.0.0 usr.tgz is 3 meg and
    shouldn't expand out that much. On mine I have the 20 meg split between
    dos/desqview and minix something like 5 for dos and 15 for minix. I think
    I've at least got the command sources on it (it's not handy to check),

    Are you sure you sure you were unpacking usr to the hard drive. Seems
    like I've unpacked them to /usr not /mnt/usr or something like that and
    ran out of space.

    > How do I want to use this computer? I'd like to compile simple C, C++,
    > Pascal, and assembly programs. I don't intend to recompile the kernel.

    I used it learning perl. Made it more fun (really!).

    3ch


  4. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB



    "KertDawg" writes:


    > 2.) How should I install it with a 360KB drive? (Detailed installation
    > instructions for older versions are hard to find, especially when
    > dealing with older hardware.)


    The usage.txt (or usaage(8)) that comes with Minix 1.x and 2.x is
    actually a very complete guide how to install it. There are also
    instruction for installing to memory restricted machines (like
    yours). You should use the "tiny root" install images and AFAIR tell
    the boot monitor not to use a ram disk.

    > Unfortunately, this laptop can't be upgraded. It has a serial port and
    > a parallel port, and a CGA-compatible greyscale display. I was able to
    > get Minix 1.5 (I think) to boot from the hard drive. When I tried to
    > install the rest of /usr, I ran out of disk space.


    Can't believe that. If you came this far, the rest should be
    simple. Perhaps you extracted to / instead of /usr? The root sub
    partition is very small, but AFAIR 20 MB should be enough for Minix
    (esp. if you don't install the system sources). Or perhaps you messed
    up during partioning creating a /usr partition that was too small?

    > How do I want to use this computer? I'd like to compile simple C, C++,
    > Pascal, and assembly programs. I don't intend to recompile the kernel.



    Regards -- Markus


  5. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    On Jan 18, 1:49 pm, "Sebastian" wrote:
    >
    > You surely mean a 360 KB drive, as 320 KB was never used in IBM compatibles.
    >



    You're right. It was a typo.

    Thanks for the links. They will certainly help.

    - Kertis


  6. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    On Jan 18, 11:13 pm, colonel_h...@yahoo.com wrote:
    > On Thu, 18 Jan 2007, KertDawg wrote:
    >
    > > Hello,

    >
    > > I'm a Minix newb, so please hold the flames for now.What about *nix? So we can know if *nix-spaek is ok?

    >


    Yes, I'm familiar with a number of other Unices. I should have
    mentioned that!


    >
    > Are you sure you sure you were unpacking usr to the hard drive. Seems
    > like I've unpacked them to /usr not /mnt/usr or something like that and
    > ran out of space.
    >


    That's entirely possible. I'll double check that I'm doing it
    correctly.

    - Kertis


  7. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB

    On Jan 18, 4:58 pm, Markus E Leypold
    wrote:
    >
    > The usage.txt (or usaage(8)) that comes with Minix 1.x and 2.x is
    > actually a very complete guide how to install it. There are also
    > instruction for installing to memory restricted machines (like
    > yours). You should use the "tiny root" install images and AFAIR tell
    > the boot monitor not to use a ram disk.
    >


    Really? I will take another look at them. Thank you.


    >
    > Can't believe that. If you came this far, the rest should be
    > simple. Perhaps you extracted to / instead of /usr? The root sub
    > partition is very small, but AFAIR 20 MB should be enough for Minix
    > (esp. if you don't install the system sources). Or perhaps you messed
    > up during partioning creating a /usr partition that was too small?
    >


    I'm certain that the partition was pretty large. I made the root
    partition (or whatever it's called in the Minix world) according to
    some docs I read somewhere; I made it 1MB. I used the rest (18MB or
    so) for /usr.

    I'll make sure that I'm using the right directory, though.

    - Kertis


  8. Re: Minix on 8088, 640KB, 20MB


    "KertDawg" writes:

    > On Jan 18, 4:58 pm, Markus E Leypold
    > wrote:
    >>
    >> The usage.txt (or usaage(8)) that comes with Minix 1.x and 2.x is
    >> actually a very complete guide how to install it. There are also
    >> instruction for installing to memory restricted machines (like
    >> yours). You should use the "tiny root" install images and AFAIR tell
    >> the boot monitor not to use a ram disk.
    >>

    >
    > Really? I will take another look at them. Thank you.


    No. If you came this far that you are booting from HD that particular
    problem should have ben taken care of already.

    >>
    >> Can't believe that. If you came this far, the rest should be
    >> simple. Perhaps you extracted to / instead of /usr? The root sub
    >> partition is very small, but AFAIR 20 MB should be enough for Minix
    >> (esp. if you don't install the system sources). Or perhaps you messed
    >> up during partioning creating a /usr partition that was too small?
    >>

    >
    > I'm certain that the partition was pretty large. I made the root
    > partition (or whatever it's called in the Minix world) according to
    > some docs I read somewhere; I made it 1MB. I used the rest (18MB or
    > so) for /usr.
    >
    > I'll make sure that I'm using the right directory, though.



    usage.txt says this (and some more :-):

    8. ADDING PROGRAMS AND SOURCES TO /usr
    The setup command can also be used to add files from floppy sets to the
    system. The USR.TAZ (programs and stuff), SYS.TAZ (system sources), and
    CMD.TAZ (commands sources) are all installed relative to the /usr
    directory, so the command to use three times is

    setup /usr


    I admit that I can't remember what actually went wrong when I did that
    with Minix 1.7 the first time. Perhaps I used the manual commands

    cd /usr
    vol /dev/fd0 | uncompress | tar xvfp -

    and forgot the 'cd' or for some reason /usr wasn't mounted or I still
    had the /usr mounted from floppy -- whatever it was -- the filesystem
    was the wrong one and overflowed. I thought that might have been the
    problem in your case too (since I think I remember 20 MB being
    plenty).


    Just check -- before setting up /usr -- with 'mount' and 'df' if it's
    already here and with part wether you got the partitioning right and
    have mounted the right sub partition to /usr.

    Good luck :-) -- Markus


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