AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool? - Unix

This is a discussion on AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool? - Unix ; Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS. I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test ...

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Thread: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

  1. AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS.
    I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in
    the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test machine for
    System V.
    Is this version so obsolete that the install would be pointless, or would it
    be of some use as a learning tool.
    Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP networking to
    this old UNIX?
    The machine I'm planning to use is a 486DX with 20Mb RAM, and 400Mb HDD.

    All opinions welcome.
    Thanks.
    TA


  2. Re: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    Begin
    On 2007-04-09, Tom Anderson wrote:
    > Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an
    > unfamiliar OS. I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for
    > [AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2], and am considering setting up a 486
    > as a test machine for System V. Is this version so obsolete that the
    > install would be pointless, or would it be of some use as a learning
    > tool.


    It would be interesting out of historical perspective. In that respect
    it is a worthy goal. To to learn how to use modern unices, not so much.

    I would probably be interested in it to play with the things mentioned
    in O'Reilly's _Unix Text Processing_[0]. As an intruction to using the
    system as a user that would be a nice combination, if you manage to get
    the system up and running in the first place.

    To get you started; if you can, get a somewhat faster machine[1]
    and install one of the BSDs (NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD), a linux
    distribution if you can find one that doesn't concentrate on being easy
    and user friendly and all graphical, or perhaps minix3: minix has clear
    os-for-learning roots. All of those can be had for free on the 'net.


    > Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP
    > networking to this old UNIX?


    For an OS so old it is going to be difficult at best to find any
    software that doesn't come with it, unless you manage to port it
    yourself, which requires some familiarity with C and how unix changed
    over the years. Then there is the question of hardware support.


    [0] Out of print but to be had as scanned PDF from O'Reilly's website.
    It also contains a nice intro to using vi and scripting with awk
    sed and shell.
    [1] Anything from a pentium with reasonable graphics and a bundle of
    memory to the very latest would do, depending on all the other
    bells and whistles you want to play with. The main reason is to try
    and reduce old hardware frustrations until you work out how to be
    efficient with the resources you have.

    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  3. Re: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    ande1054-remove-@mirage.skypoint.com (Tom Anderson) writes:
    >Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS.
    >I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in
    >the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test machine for
    >System V.
    >Is this version so obsolete that the install would be pointless, or would it
    >be of some use as a learning tool.
    >Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP networking to
    >this old UNIX?
    >The machine I'm planning to use is a 486DX with 20Mb RAM, and 400Mb HDD.



    I'd have to say that its so out of date compared to what would be
    currently in use that it wouldn't do much other than an instruction as
    to what things were in the Unix world 15 years ago.

    The likelyhood of finding somebody using this version out in the business
    world is going to be pretty slim to none. SCO would have some market
    share out there, but not this one. It was a popular choice for certain
    market segments 15 years ago, but they would have all migrated by now.

    IIRC, X should bundled with the system, possibly as a seperate
    package. TCP/IP may have come as an add-on package, but could have
    been bundled in the system as well.

    A more usable learning system would be Solaris, FreeBSD, or some
    variant of linux. All are free to download and install, although they
    all probably require a bit more muscle than your target system in
    their current revisions.

  4. Re: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    ande1054-remove-@mirage.skypoint.com (Tom Anderson) wrote:
    >Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS.
    >I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in
    >the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test machine for
    >System V.
    >Is this version so obsolete that the install would be pointless, or would it
    >be of some use as a learning tool.
    >Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP networking to
    >this old UNIX?
    >The machine I'm planning to use is a 486DX with 20Mb RAM, and 400Mb HDD.


    Oh, that should be a /wonderful/ learning experience...
    just about like slamming a car door on your little finger.

    Forget old UNIX and forget the 486.

    Any cheap 4-5 year old PC will do (and will run circles around a
    486DX that are so fast one of them will be a blur to the other).
    I wouldn't look at anything slower that a 350Mhz Pentium II.
    And don't think of less that 256Mb of RAM and 10Gb of disk. All
    of that is rock bottom cheap and can often be found sitting next
    to a dumpster because the resale value is nil.

    Take your pick for what to use as an OS. There are a few
    bazillion variations on Linux, a dozen or so BSD's, and some
    would even claim that Solaris is adaquate.

    Personally, I recommend the Slackware distribution of Linux.

    But if you talk to a dozen people you'll get 24 recommendations.
    Take them *all* with a grain of salt and start with the one
    that makes _your_ heart beat faster... And keep in mind that if
    the grass is greener, there's more fertilizer to step in; so you
    might not like any of the first half a dozen things you try.
    Switch around, then go back to the one your experience tells you
    is what _you_ can live with.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) floyd@apaflo.com

  5. Re: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    In article ,
    ande1054-remove-@mirage.skypoint.com (Tom Anderson) wrote:

    > Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS.
    > I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in
    > the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test machine for
    > System V.
    > Is this version so obsolete that the install would be pointless, or would it
    > be of some use as a learning tool.
    > Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP networking to
    > this old UNIX?
    > The machine I'm planning to use is a 486DX with 20Mb RAM, and 400Mb HDD.


    As others pointed out, the most up-to-date software is the best for learning.

    The page
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._distributions
    mentions a BasicLinux for a 486.

    Otherwise, Mac OS X runs a UNIX (derived from FreeBSD plus some), and one
    can install X11 to get X Window, and the developer package called Xcode to
    get compiler GCC and stuff. And there are automated UNIX installation
    systems called Fink and MacPorts (former DarwinPorts). Once you have
    bought the computer, which comes with the Mac OS X, this other stuff is
    for free.

    The latest Mac models use Intel chips, and can perhaps (?) run GNU/Linux,
    but also the non-UNIX Windows.

    Hans Aberg

  6. Re: AT&T System V/386 UNIX r3.2, Useable as Learning Tool?

    In article ,
    ande1054-remove-@mirage.skypoint.com says...
    >
    >Hi. I'm a UNIX novice, attempting to learn something about an unfamiliar OS.
    >I have a set of original 5.25" installation disks for the UNIX mentioned in
    >the subject line, and am considering setting up a 486 as a test machine for
    >System V.
    >Is this version so obsolete that the install would be pointless, or would it
    >be of some use as a learning tool.
    >Would it be possible to add features like X windows, or TCPIP networking to
    >this old UNIX?
    >The machine I'm planning to use is a 486DX with 20Mb RAM, and 400Mb HDD.
    >
    >All opinions welcome.
    >Thanks.
    >TA
    >


    Thanks for the responses, and advice. I did the install just to see if the
    disks were still readable. The system boots to a login prompt. After logging
    in as root, I was able to start the user interface which is invoked with the
    "face" command.
    That's about as far as I could get, at this point.

    TA







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