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BSD 386 "press release"

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Drew Eckhardt

Mar 11, 1992, 3:54:38 AM3/11/92

Ok, alt.os.linux isn't necessarily the place - but I did
get an overwhelming response to my post. I hope too many
people don't jump ship because of this.

1. Linux is easier to hack.
As a college student, I have access to the full BSD source,
toxic and non-toxic parts. From what I took the time to look at,
it was fairly cluttered. BSD has gotten quite kludged up. Be warned.
Supposedly, they will fix this in 4.4... but that's another story.

2. Linux is easier on resources. The kernel itself is smaller,
the shared libraries (They did make .95? There were
stubs and pieces back in .12) will keep things even
smaller after things have been recompiled,

3. Right now, Linux works. For most people.

I can't really say much else.. but this is the anouncement
several friends sent me, one with the comment we may be able
to borrow code for Linux.

(the FREE 386 Berkeley UNIX work-alike)!

(Notes from various sources, edited by David Harris, 3-7-92)

William F. Jolitz, the author of the 386 port of BSD UNIX (now free of
AT&T code) has begun releasing "386BSD" to the public. This is the result of
the work described in the DR. DOBB'S JOURNAL series on 386 BSD.

This version of 386 BSD is release 0.0, and is recommended for
skilled experimenters only. You want "kernel experience" for your
resume? This is your chance. While the source and binaries are
copyrighted by Bill Jolitz, he authorizes redistribution without required
charge (donations needed, but voluntary) for this and future releases.

This version is said to run on 386/486 SX/DX ISA (AT bus), with
traditional hard and floppy controller (IDE, ESDI, MFM types), and common
displays (MDA/CGA/VGA/Hercules). Ethernet controllers supported include
Western Digital 8003EB, 8003EBT, 8003S, WD8003SBT, 8013EBT and Novell
NE2000. Clones also appear to work quite well. Tape drive support is
available for QIC-02 controllers as well, allowing use of 3M cartridges of
QIC-60 through QIC-150 format.

As configured on the binary distribution, the system REQUIRES a floating
point coprocessor (387 or compatible), 2 MB of memory (will run on 1 MB
using paging). 4 MB of memory and a 200 MB hard disk is comfortable.

This early version is not reliable, and has trouble booting on some
systems. In testing the software on various 386 machines, John Sokol
found "about a 40% compatibility rate". There are known serious bugs,
and missing utilities. But this is the Berkeley UNIX that vast numbers of
students learned and used --- now available FREE. One would expect this
software to be widely used for education and as an introduction to UNIX.

Copies of the software are available from John Sokol at 415-364-8387
or e-mail to John at .

* BUT for convenience John made this DISTRIBUTION PLAN:
* At the SVNet meeting of March 11, 7:30 at the Apple Auditorium at 10500
* Mariani (corner of De Anza), Cupertino, a few copies of 386BSD will be
* distributed. If you want to be SURE to get a copy, bring a machine capable
* of doing a DOS copy to your high density disks. If needed, we will
* organize "trees" of people to copy for each other, if people can't make
* copies at the meeting due to limited time and few machines.
* People who want a copy of the 386BSD system should bring either:
* (A) for 3-1/4 1.44 Meg disks bring
* Source = 8 Disks
* Binaries = 6 Disks + 1 Boot disk = 7 Disks total
* For everything = 7 + 8 = 15 Disks Total !!!!
* or (B) for 5-1/2 1.2 Meg disks bring
* Sources = 10 Disks
* Binaries = 8 Disks + 1 Boot Disk = 9 Disks Total
* For Everything = 10 + 9 = 19 Disks Total !!!!!
* NOTE: The disks must be error free DOS formatted ahead of time! We
* don't want to wait while a computer formats floppies at the meeting.

There's about 23 Meg worth of stuff on all those floppys and there are
2 Sets of files, one for each medium.

The total release on tape was 44.7 Megs and Includes are just the Differences
from the Networking 2 release on the BSD386 Unix on the archive servers as
well as both sets of disk images....

If you want a copy via Internet contact John via e-mail at

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