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[comp.os.386bsd] BNR/2 derived BSD for PCs FAQ (Part 2 of 10)

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Dave Burgess

Feb 27, 1995, 2:00:20 AM2/27/95
Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: 386bsd-faq/part2

Section 1. (General Network Information)
General information

This section of the FAQ is about the electronic support network
that exists for 386bsd and its off-spring.

1.0 What is 386BSD? (Taken from the original INSTALL.NOTES by the
Jolitz's, specifically Lynne)

Welcome to 386BSD Release 0.1, the second edition of the 386BSD
operating system created by William and Lynne Jolitz. Like its
predecessor, 386BSD Release 0.0, Release 0.1 comprises an entire
and complete UNIX-like operating system for the 80386/80486-based
AT Personal Computer.

386BSD Release 0.1 is an enhanced version of the original release
done by William F. Jolitz, the developer of 386BSD. 386BSD
Release 0.0 was based on the Networking Software, Release 2 from
the University of California at Berkeley EECS Department, and
included much of the 386BSD work done earlier by Bill and
contributed by us to the University. The latest release, 386BSD
Release 0.1, contains new work by the developer and many new items
which have been freely contributed by other software developers
for incorporation into 386BSD (see the file CONTRIB.LIST). These
contributions have increased the functionality and made it more
robust. As a courtesy to the developer and the many people who
have generously contributed these software enhancements, we request
that users abide by and properly maintain all attributions,
copyrights, and copylefts contained within this release.

386BSD is intended to foster new research and development in
operating systems and networking technology by providing this base
technology in a broadly accessible manner. As such, like its
predecessor, 386BSD Release 0.1 is freely redistributable and

1.0.1 What are these other Free BSD systems?

For reasons best left to private E-Mail, there have been two
different 'product lines' that have been established for
development of BSD systems. They are NetBSD and FreeBSD. Both,
individually, have virtually deprecated the original 386bsd.
The "raison d'etre" for each is different and each has a different
set of goals. The purpose for FreeBSD is to develop a stable
working environment for [3-9]86 systems. The emphasis has been
on upgrading utility programs and incorporating changes that make
the system more stable.

NetBSD, on the other hand, is a development effort whose main
thrust is on mulitple platform support and staying more current
with BSD 4.4. In other words, NetBSD is more 'horizontal' and
FreeBSD is more 'vertical'.

Both systems are excellent choices for the casual user or people
who are interested in studying the internals of an operating
system. While the products are nearly commercial quality, they
are both maintained by volunteers.

1.0.2 I just downloaded all of 386bsd version 0.1 and I can't get
[some feature] to work? Do you have any suggestions?

Yes. Get either FreeBSD or NetBSD.

The original 386BSD software was kind of buggy when it was put
up for anonymous FTP in 1992. It has been modified significantly
since then, and now exists in two different forms. There are people
who will argue that the original 386BSD was completely unusable,
but that is generally an overstatement.

Over 100 patches were applied to the original system, with hundreds
more waiting in the wings. It became just too much trouble to
constantly have to patch the system to get it to work. This
'patched' version of 386bsd became FreeBSD. Around the same
time, a second group split off from the original 386bsd tree
and became NetBSD. For the primary differences, see above.

Getting one of these two systems will provide you with a more
complete system, with newer utilities, and many bugs already

1.1 Feature summary

Among the many features of these systems:

* Floppy disk based Installation

* Hard drive partitioning for use with MS-DOS partitions

* Compressed, multivolume CPIO dump format binary/source/other
distribution sets on MS-DOS floppies. The cpio is based
on the GNU cpio, and is completely free of encumbering USL

* 387 support or emulation.

* SCSI support.

* (SCSI and most Mitsumi) CD-ROM support.

* NFS, TCP/IP and full networking.

* MS-DOS file system access (in newer *BSD systems).

* PPP and SLIP protocol support.

* System upgrades through Carnegie Mellon University's 'sup'

* Shared Library Support (in the newer version of both
NetBSD and FreeBSD.

* Both systems are based exclusively on Berkeley's BSD 4.4
Lite tape, instead of the encumbered 4.3 Net2 tape.
Hence, both systems are free of USL code and are freely

1.2 The future of 386BSD.

{ This section is included for historical purposes only. Most
of the information in here is either wildly out of date or just
plain wrong. For example, the FreeBSD statements in here imply
that it is nothing more than 386bsd in a new coat of paint.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I decided to include
it mostly to show how far we have come... dbb }

Forecasting the future is always a tricky business. There is work
underway to implement version 0.2 of 386bsd. In addition, many
people are involved in a project to put together a 386bsd version
(FreeBSD) which will be a complete distribution set including all
relevant patches and updates to new versions of many of the
software packages that are currently available. It is available
by anonymous FTP from

In addition, NetBSD (a direct descendent of 386bsd) is available
for anonymous FTP from The purposes of
these two apparent competitors appear to be at odds, but in
fact are very similar. NetBSD has taken a 'stable, production
quality, free OS' as one of its primary goals, where 386bsd
pursues the high ideal of the ultimate OS research platform.
There is considerable cross pollination of the two. The frequent
debates on style and concept that appear in comp.os.386bsd.*
are testimony to that point. NetBSD and FreeBSD are still both
very viable operating system alternatives, with differing goals.

To see the Future of 386bsd as seen by Bill and Lynne Jolitz, I
suggest you read the INSTALL.NOTES that come with 386bsd.

1.3 386BSD software projects in progress

The list of software projects in progress is just too volatile
to go into a static document like the FAQ. Suffice it to say,
if there is something you want to do using 386bsd; ask first to
see what has been done.

Folks that are interested in software projects for NetBSD
should contact and
let that mailing list know the same information.

Folks interested in software projects for FreeBSD should contact
the mailing list and talk to

1.3.1 Contacting software authors

Whenever you are working on a port of a software package, it is
always a good idea to contact the original author and offer
whatever changes you needed to make in order to port the software.
That way, subsequent releases of the package may include changes
that allow all users of 386bsd the advantage of reusing your work
over and over.

Also, once you have ported a package to *BSD, you might want to
contact the respective *BSD teams to let them know you've completed
it and where it may be located.

For FreeBSD, contact:


For NetBSD, contact:


If the port was a simple recompile of the source and install, a
note to one of the newsgroups telling the story could be considered
appropriate as well.

In keeping with that, if you find a 'bug' in 386bsd, or NetBSD,
or FreeBSD, or find a problem that causes you some headaches and
find a solution, you should contact the author of the particular
driver/module/program and let them know. In addition, you could
also post the problem and/or fix to "comp.os.386bsd.bugs".

Both NetBSD and FreeBSD have implemented 'bugfiler', so if you
are connected to the net, you can use that to send out your
bug. See the documentation that comes with your system to find
out more.

1.4 Minimum hardware configuration recommended

There has been considerable debate about what the REAL minimum
configuration for 386bsd is. Some would claim that it is the
smallest computer that an installation will succeed on. Others
claim that it is the smallest usable computer (based on RAM and
speed constraints) and others would claim that it should be
based on using 'X'-windows.

For specific hardware, see Section 8 (still in development).

The smallest installable platform is an 80386, using an MGA card,
with at least 2Meg of RAM and a 20 Megabyte hard disk. While not
all SCSI cards (especially EISA) are supported, a great many are
either in the base distribution or through patches. Thanks to
the new shared library code in FreeBSD and NetBSD, a 20Meg
installation should be easier now (in spite of the more advanced
functionality) than it ever was before.

A comfortable installation which includes source and binary
distributions, as well as other utilities will work in about
100Meg of hard drive.

'X' requires at least a Hercules MGA; for masochists only, from
what I understand.

See section 8 for more details.

1.5 Where to get the source and binaries
1.5.1 Forms available (floppy, FTP, CD-ROM)

386bsd is available in just about every format known to man, with
the possible exception of stone tablets and papyrus. Where can I get the distribution on floppy or tape?

Many people will copy files onto diskettes or tapes if you
coordinate it with them ahead of time. In addition, many
companies offer 386bsd on various types of media for money.
Austin Code Works and others (usually advertisers in PC
magazines) offer the base 0.1 "official" distribution for a fee.

Note that there are virtually no restrictions on distributing
the 386bsd distributions. Basically, wherever you can find it,
you can get it. This goes for FreeBSD and NetBSD as well. Where can I get the distribution via FTP?

If you are looking for the original 386bsd version 0.1, the
files you should look for specifically when using FTP are
directories called srcdist, bindist, and etcdist. These
directories will hold the files for each of the distributions.
Once you have received the files via FTP, you can either load
them directly onto your system and then un archive them using
'extract' or one of the other methods suggested in Section 2 of
the FAQ, in the section about installing with 'real partitioning'.

The list of sites that have 386BSD is covered in section 1.8 below.
This list is produced automatically by using a utility called
'archie' and is updated for every new version of the FAQ. If you
try to access a site from this list and find that they either
don't have FTP enabled, or don't have 386bsd loaded any more,
a polite letter to the admin of the system asking them to
update their 'archie' entries is good manners. Where can I get the distribution on CD ROM?

Infomagic sells a UNIX CD-ROM that has 386BSD. Their FAX number
is 609-683-5502.

In a new joint venture, DiscNet, Inc., and InfoMagic, Inc. are
pleased to announce their joint release of the BSDisc. This
collaboration should be beneficial to all of our customers, since
it brings to bear more experience, more support capability, and
economies of scale in production.

The BSDisc (Vol 2, Num 1) is scheduled to begin shipping on the
20th of December, 1994. Available now for over a year, the BSDisc
seeks to provide what BSD users and hackers want most on a CD-ROM.

The current issue includes:

- NetBSD 1.0
- distribution sets for 1, sparc, mac68k, and amiga
- expanded source tree for all architectures
- FreeBSD 2.0
- distribution sets for 1
- expanded source and binary trees for 1
- XFree86 binaries for both FreeBSD and NetBSD
- X11R6 (xc as well as contrib)
- BSD-related news archive
- various Answers to Frequently asked Question (FAQs)
- Lots of Freeware/Gnuware sources from the FreeBSD Ports effort
- FreeBSD pre-built binary packages
- a small set of pre-built NetBSD binary packages

The BSDisc is available both for single-issue purchases, or on
a buying plan. Single-issue price is $35.00; subscription pricing
is $19.50 per issue, for a minimum length of 3 issues. (Those
prices do not include S/H.)

For single-issue purchases, contact InfoMagic at:

InfoMagic, Inc. Tel: +1-602-526-9565
PO Box 30370 Fax: +1-602-526-9573
Flagstaff, AZ 86003-0370 e-mail:

For information about subscriptions, contact DiscNet at:

DiscNet, Inc. +1-608-846-9838
841 Acker Pkwy
DeForest, WI 53532 email:

European subscriptions, email:

Profit Press has 386BSD dated 7/21/92 on their "Mega Win OS/2"
CD-ROM. This is in the format of BINDIST, ETCDIST, SRCDIST and

Profit Press
2956 N. Campbell Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85719
(602) 577-9696
Their order line is 1-800-843-7990

Look for their advertisements in the back pages of Computer
Shopper. The Mega series is $29.00 each or $69.00 for all three
plus a fourth "Demo Disk".

In all likelihood, the version 386bsd that is available on CD-ROM
will be the 0.1 version, without any patches. Keep this in mind
when ordering, since the first thing most people want to do is
bring the system up to the current patch level. If you do not want
the original 0.1 version, be sure to ask where the distribution
came from and which version of *BSD it is.

For our European users, I have included these notes from Julian
Stacey ( and Christian Seyb (
concerning locations and methods for getting 386bsd in Europe on
both CD-ROM and floppies.

The following CDROM is available for DM 98,-- (app. $60) and contains
the following software:

- Linux SLS V1.03, Kernel 0.99.11 and utilities for Linux
- 386BSD version 0.1 including patch-kit 0.2.4
- NetBSD version 0.8
- Utilities for 386BSD and NetBSD
- The Berkely Second Networking Distribution
- GNU software (gcc 2.4.5, emacs 19.17, gmake 3.68, etc)
- X11R5 up to patch 25 and lots of Contributed Software
- TeX version 3.14
- The Internet RFCs up to RFC1493
- News, mail and mailbox software and many utilities for Unix

To: CDROM Versand
Helga Seyb
Fuchsweg 86
Tel: +49-8106-302210
85598 Baldham Fax: +49-8106-302310
Germany Bbs/Fax: +49-8106-34593

(Ed. Note: This appears to be an advertisement, but the price is
right and appears to be reasonable. Christian and Helga may have
the same last name by coincidence :-) If you want more ordering
information, please feel free to give Helga a call.)

In Munich Germany:
Buy the monthly "c't magazin fuer computer technik" (Price 8.5 DM)
(~1.7 = $1) & look in back pages, I saw:

Mail Order:
JF Lehmanns Buchhandlung, fuer EDV,
Zuelpicher Str 182, D-50937 Koeln, Germany
Free catalogue for X, Linux, 386bsd, 1.
Confusing advert seems to offer X11R5 + GNU + 386BSD
on CD Rom "InfoMagic Vol2 No2" for Price: 149 DM.
Tel. 0130 4372 (always busy, claims to be free,
so don't know if +49 130 4372 viable)
Fax: +49 221 415995
Shops in Berlin, Koeln, Regensburg, Ulm.

(Editorial Notes: DM149 is about $75-$90 US (or a little more)
and 0130 numbers are Toll Free in Germany only.)

Mail Order:
Computer Solutions Software GmbH
Postfach 1180, D-85561 Grafing (Muenchen), Germany
Tel +49 8092 5018
Fax +49 8092 31727
23 * 3.5" 1.4M flops @ Price: DM199
Order No:/Best Nr: 5099
Columbus Datentechnik,
Theresienstr 63, D-80333 Muenchen, Germany
Tel +49 89 5232021

Lynne wrote a short follow-up, letting us know that these
companies do not send them any money.

This announcement in from Jordan Hubbard:

On the morning of 30 December, 1993, and after many many delays,
the first official release of FreeBSD 1.0 began shipping on CDROM.

This CD is being sold through Walnut Creek CDROM, our ongoing
sponsors in the FreeBSD project, and without whom we would have had
a substantially more difficult (if not impossible) time producing it.

While I will _always_ encourage obtaining FreeBSD through "free"
channels (the Internet, friends, suspicious individuals in dark
alleys), and given that none of us will make any money from CD
sales, or ever have from FreeBSD in general given that WC's
sponsorship is confined to the loan of centralized development
hardware and network access, I still hope that some of you will
find the CD distribution medium convenient enough to order a
FreeBSD CD from Walnut Creek, thus indirectly supporting our
future development work.

If this marriage between commercial and free software interests
proves to be mututally beneficial (which still remains to be seen,
from Walnut Creek's point of view), it is my hope that it may serve
as a model for similar future endeavors. It is an unfortunate fact
that developing free software at this scale costs money, even with
the developers donating their time and efforts, and financing some
of it through the sale of convenient distribution media is one of
the least venal ways I know of going about it.

This CD contains a full FreeBSD 1.0.2 source & binary release, the
sources and binaries for XFree86 2.0, and numerous sources from the
FreeBSD "ports collection". Where space permitted, sources were
provided in both "packed" and "unpacked" forms for easy access both
as an on-line resource and as a source for compressed downloads in BBS
or release-construction situations. The CD is fully ISO9660 compatable
and has been mastered using RockRidge extensions for long filenames on
systems that support it (like FreeBSD! :-).

It is, of course, possible to install the system off the CD from
scratch, given some basic willingness to read a little documentation
and a few blank floppy disks. [ Ed Note. You would be surprised the
number of people that do not see this paragraph...DBB]

For the sake of convenience, I append the ordering information
distilled from FreeBSD's /usr/src/RELNOTES.FreeBSD below.

Ordering information:

Walnut Creek CDROM
4041 Pike Lane, Suite D
Concord CA 94520
1-800-786-9907, +1-510-674-0783, +1-510-674-0821 (fax)

Or via the internet from A current catalog can
be obtained via ftp from

Cost is $39.95. Shipping (per order, not per disc if ordering
multiple disks) is $5 in the US, Canada, or Mexico and $10.00
overseas. They accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and
ship COD within the United States. California residents please
add 8.25% sales tax.

In addition, John Cargille publishes a CD-ROM which caters
primarily to the NetBSD crowd. It is called BSDisc and it is
also available by mail. While that may seem like terrific news,
it is unfortunately all the information I have right now. Once
he sees his name in the FAQ, maybe he'll put together some real
ordering instructions ;-) (Roman Yanovsky sent in this
note. I have editted it down some, but left in the bulk of the
stuff in case you need more information:

Subject: Linux Slackware and FreeBSD CD-ROM with X-windows etc.

Trans-Ameritech presents "The best Linux plus FreeBSD CDROM ever"

[ Linux stuff deleted ]

* For hacker's reference an uncompressed FreeBSD source tree is

* On the BSD side there is a full source and binary distribution
of the "final" FreeBSD 1.0

* If you have questions or problems Trans-Ameritech provides free
support via e-mail within 24 hours.

* We ship the same day as we get the order.

The new CDROM is available for $30 plus shipping/handling. If you
are a current customer, it is only $20. New releases will be
available every 3 month. Subscription is available.

Trans-Ameritech Enterprises, Inc.
2342A Walsh Ave.
Santa Clara, CA 95051

Tel. 408/727-3883
FAX: 408/727-3882

This information is offered with no warranties, guarantees,
franchise offers, or recommendations.

1.6 Electronic Information Groups for 386BSD

1.6.1 Usenet newsgroups

General BSD questions can be posted to comp.1.bsd. Bear
in mind, however; that your questions to this group should
really be about BSD in general, not a specific implementation
detail of *BSD.

Listed below are the Usenet newsgroups that were developed to
support 386bsd and its descendents. This means that you should
ask your questions in one of these newsgroups or on one of the
many mailing lists that are available for specific features of
said systems.

comp.os.386bsd.announce (Moderated)
Announcements relating to the 386bsd operating system.
Posts should be mailed to "".
This is also the place that improtant news about the past
and future of 386bsd, FreeBSD, and NetBSD will be placed.

Applications which run under 386bsd. Not all sites will
carry comp.os.386bsd.apps, since it kind of 'showed up'.

Bugs and fixes for the 386bsd OS and its clients.

Working on 386bsd internals.

General aspects of 386bsd not covered by other groups.

General questions about 386bsd.

1.6.2 Newsgroup archives.

These sites maintain a historical record of the traffic in the Usenet
Newsgroups indicated. There are others, but I haven't gotten their
names yet.

Host Name IP address Location Newsgroups archived
-------------------- -------------- -------------- ---------------- Australia comp.1.bsd London, UK comp.os.386bsd.*

1.6.3 386bsd Derived mailing lists.

There are at least two mailing lists for 386bsd. Both are for
discussions of the patchkit and patches. Last I heard, neither
of them is particularly active any more. They are:
This list is primarily for discussion of the patchkit and other
patch procedure discussions.
This list is for patch submissions.

NOTE: The patchkit is discussed in detail in Section 2 of the FAQ.
Also, the patchkit has been effectively deprecated. Sending to
these lists may or may not get you the kind of info you are looking

In addition to the pure 386bsd lists mentioned above, there are
mailing lists available for FreeBSD and NetBSD. Information about
the NetBSD lists and how to use majordomo (the list handler) is
available by mailing to

There are three mailing lists for FreeBSD and they are:

FreeBSD-hackers: for hackers
FreeBSD-questions: misc questions
FreeBSD-bugs: bug reports

Send to to be added
to the hackers list, and *-questions-request@freefall... to be
added to the questions list.

1.6.4 Other electronic resources.

There are many bulletin boards throughout the world that have
386bsd software and information available. Also, there are
CompuServe and other on-line services that have 386bsd
discussions. It is even rumored that Bill and Lynne have been
active on Compuserve talking about 386BSD Version 1.0 (or 0.2,
or whatever it is going to be).

1.6.5 System Updates.

There are at least two different ways of getting the updates
for the current source tree for both FreeBSD and NetBSD. The
first is the traditional FTP method, and the other is using a
utility called 'sup'. This program keeps a log of the source
modules that have been updated and sends out only those files
that have been changed. Included below are some sample
instructions from John Brezak <> on how to
run sup for NetBSD. The sup procedures for FreeBSD are similar
and are available via ftp from in the
~/ftp/pub/sup directory. This directory contains the sup
program, a man page, a sample sup-file and full instructions
for maintaining your sources via 'sup.

Instructions for installing NetBSD sources and releases using SUP
1.3 1993/11/3

SUP is a network installation package written by CMU used to
distribute software. For more details on SUP refer to the man

Sup works by reading a configuration file (supfile) and using
this information to determine what "collections" of files will
be loaded from the collection repository. Here is an example
of a supfile to load the NetBSD current release.

[ Notes: lines have been broken for readability; do NOT use '\'
in supfiles and the information here is an EXAMPLE. This ain't
a cooking school, folks. Also, the information in these lines
has changed for each of the distributions. Read the
documentation that comes with your software carefully for the
lastest information. ]

src release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

ksrc release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

security release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

gamessrc release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

regress release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

#othersrc release=current hostbase=/b/anon_ftp base=/usr prefix=/usr backup

This supfile will load the "current" collections for "src",
"ksrc", "security", "gamessrc", and "regress" in the /usr
directory on the local machine. The "othersrc" collection will
not be loaded because it is commented out.

The supfile line is made up of keywords that describe the
collection's location on the sup server and where and how it
will be loaded on the local host.

release - the release of the collection to load.
host - the 'host' where the SUP repository resides.
NetBSD uses .
hostbase- the pathname on the host to the base of the
collection. The hostbase for NetBSD is "/b/anon_ftp".
base - where you want to install it locally.
prefix - used to locate the "sup" directory to write sup's
info about updates. Usually the same as base.

This supfile can also set some options. The "old" option tells sup
to check all files for changes, not just those that are newer than
the last sup update. Normally sup will overwrite local files with the
changed file from the repository. If the sup collection specifies
that an existing file should be renamed to a backup, the "backup"
option in the supfile activates this. The "delete" option tells
sup to delete any files locally that are no longer in the
collection - be careful with this one. The "keep" option will
cause sup to NOT update files that have been changes locally.
The "compress" option will use gzip to compress the files before
transfer and gunzip them on the receiving end. This option can be
used to cut down on the number of transmitted bytes.

You may want to set 'base' and 'prefix' to something other than /usr
if you want to preserve your existing src tree.

The sup repository on currently offers these

src, ksrc, security
The sources for NetBSD

The current sources for contributed parts of
NetBSD. This contains the sources for sup.

The current sources for the NetBSD regression test

If you only want the kernel sources for a specific port there are
some sub packages that you can use instead of the "ksrc" one. If
you are using the sub packages, be sure to also sup the
"ksrc-common" package.

Kernel sources common to all ports.

ksrc-1, ksrc-sparc, ksrc-hp300, ksrc-amiga, ksrc-mac,
ksrc-pc532, ksrc-pmax, ksrc-sun3
Kernel sources for a particular port.

The security package is not to be sup'ed by sites outside of the
U. S., read the "README.export-control" file for details.

Each collection can have multiple releases (as specified by the
"release" keyword).

Be aware that the current release is simply a snapshot of the
daily state of NetBSD development and is not guaranteed to
build (or even work) - use at your own risk !

Stable releases of NetBSD are available via SUP. Instructions
are included with the release announcement.

Before running sup, be sure that your /etc/services contains
these entries.

supfilesrv 871/tcp # for SUP
supfiledbg 1127/tcp

To try sup without really updating anything use the '-f' flag.
The '-v' flag means verbose and can be used to see what sup is

sup -fv supfile

The sup binary, sup man page and sample supfiles can be ftp'ed
from . Comments should be
directed to "".

A mailing list exists for users of the NetBSD "current"
release. To join, mail to ''
with a mail body of "info". The reply will describe the mailing
lists for NetBSD. The you will want to subscribe to the
"current-users" mailing list. We will use this list to announce
any special changes made to the "current" tree.

1.7 Documentation available

This entire section pertains as much to NetBSD and FreeBSD as
it does to 386BSD. Simply 'sed 's/386bsd/Your System/g' below.

There are two types of documentation for 386bsd. First is the
set that covers the operation and theory used in BSD-Unix.
These sources are often excellent for background and understanding
of the current implementation of 386bsd. Second is the set of
manuals written specifically for 386bsd. Most of these are books
and magazine articles written by Bill and Lynne Jolitz.

1.7.1 BSD manuals

The full set of BSD documentation is available via anonymous FTP
from in /pub/Library/Computer/doc4.3. To print
this documentation on 386bsd systems, replace the ditroff
references in the Makefile with 'groff -e -t -msU {SRC} >'
to generate PostScript format files. Use different options to
make the output conform to other print styles.

The etc distribution also comes with a documentation directory
/usr/share/doc which has nearly 3Meg of documentation about *BSD.

In addition, on-line manuals are available in the binary
distribution set. It contains specific information on the use
of UNIX utilities and commands. Type "man man" for information
on the online manual.

1.7.2 BSD books

There is an excellent set of works recommended by Bill and Lynne
in the original 386bsd INSTALL.NOTES. In addition, several other
books have been recommended by Andrew Moore and others.

For learning how to work in the Unix environment, the standard text
is "The Unix Programming Environment," by Kernighan and Pike.

For Unix Administration, the best is "Unix System Administration
Handbook," by Nemeth, Snyder and Seebass.

For systems level programming (i.e., systems calls), I recommend
"Advanced Unix Programming," by Marc Rochkind. Unfortunately it is
out-dated and oriented towards System V.

A new book "Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment," by W.
Richard Stevens is very up-to-date, and an excellent reference,
especially for dealing with POSIX standards issues.

For network programming, "Unix Network Programming," by W. Richard
Stevens is highly regarded.

The 4.3BSD Unix Manuals contain loads of invaluable tutorials and
historical papers in addition to hard copies of on-line documentation.
The six volume set is available from Usenix for $60.00 (email:

The 4.4 BSD Unic Manuals are the authoritative source for
information about the 4.4 BSD release, and by inference the
NetBSD and FreeBSD systems. They are available from O'Reilly
and Associates (the Nutshell series people). In addition the
the six volume set, there is a CD included (at a price) of the
entire 4.4 release. Combine this with the NetBSD 1.0 or FreeBSD
2.0 systems, and you should have a commercial quality operating
system available in no time.

I could go on, but let me mention just two more - if you have a full
386BSD installation, you may want to learn the bash shell (in
/usr/othersrc/public). This is an extension of the Bourne shell (sh)
with features from both the C shell (Csh) and the Korn shell (Ksh).
The Korn shell is described in "The Kornshell," by Korn (of course).

Second, I recommend you look at "The AWK Programming Language," by
Aho, Weinberger and Kernighan. This is a very nice prototyping
language - powerful and easy to use.

Another excellent reference book for 386bsd is "The Design and
Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating system" by Samuel J.
Leffler, Marshall Kirk McKusick, Michael J. Karels, John S.
Quarterman, 1989, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-06196-1. While this
book is out of date in many sections, it is purported to be an
excellent source of historical information, if nothing else.
Chris Demetriou recommends the sections on the treatment of
file systems, caching and the networking layer. The sections in
this books which do not apply to 386bsd include the VM section,
bootstrapping, and autoconfig.

Here is a list from Hellmuth Michaelis (duplicative as it may seem
to have all of these lists) for more information on *BSD:


Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. "UNIX Programmer's Manual, Seventh
Edition, Volume 2". Revised and Expanded Version.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1983

George Pajari, "Writing Unix Device Drivers"
Addison Wesley 1992

Janet I. Egan and Thomas J. Teixeira, "Writing a UNIX Device Driver"
John Wiley & Sons 1988

Janet I. Egan and Thomas J. Teixeira, "Writing a UNIX Device Driver"
Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons 1992

Leffler, McKusick, Karels, Quarterman, "The Design and Implementation
of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating System"
Addison Wesley 1988, corrected Reprint 1989

Leffler, McKusick, "The Design and Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX
Operating System, Answer Book"
Addison Wesley 1991

Maurice J. Bach, "The Design of the UNIX Operating System"
Prentice-Hall 1986

Sun Microsystems Inc., "Writing Device Drivers"
Part No. 800-3851-10, Revision A of 27 March 1990

Hewlett-Packard Company, "HP-UX Driver Development Guide",
Part No. 98577-90013, First Edition 07/91

W. Richard Stevens, "Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment",
Addison Wesley 1992

Phillip M. Adams, Clovis L. Tondo, "Writing Unix Device Drivers in C",
Prentice Hall 1993

Peter Kettle, Steve Statler, "Writing Device Drivers for SCO UNIX,
A Practical Approach", Addison Wesley 1993

In addition, there are many other books which, for one reason or
another, have not made it into this brief list. Rest assured that
this is not intended to be an exhaustive list by any means.

1.7.3 The Jolitz Book

Bill and Lynne Jolitz are writing a book about 386bsd. It will
be announced once it is ready. A tentative date of late 1992
was once offered, but since it is now 1994 and no book has
been announced, we can assume that it will be later than the
original estimate.

1.7.4 Dr. Dobbs' journal

For users who wish to understand the internals of the BNR/2 BSD
family of Operating Systems originally developed and/or ported by
William F. Jolitz from 1989 to the present, the most immediate
and available reference is the feature series entitled
"Porting UNIX to the 386: A Practical Approach", appearing in Dr.
Dobbs' Journal, USA (January 1991 to July 1992) and UNIX and iX
Magazines, Germany (June 1991 to present). For inquiries on the
article series (including reprints), contact the magazines for

"Porting UNIX to the 386: A Practical Approach" (feature series)
by Jolitz and Jolitz

1/91: DDJ "Designing a Software Specification"
2/91: DDJ "Three Initial PC Utilities"
3/91: DDJ "The Standalone System"
4/91: DDJ "Copyright, Copyleft, and Competitive Advantage"
4/91: DDJ "Language Tools Cross-Support"
5/91: DDJ "The Initial Root Filesystem"
6/91: DDJ "Research and the Commercial Sector: Where Does
BSD Fit In?"
7/91: DDJ "A Stripped-Down Kernel"
8/91: DDJ "The Basic Kernel"
9/91: DDJ "Multiprogramming and Multiprocessing, Part I"
10/91: DDJ "Multiprogramming and Multiprocessing, Part II"
11/91: DDJ "Device Autoconfiguration"
2/92: DDJ "UNIX Device Drivers, Part I"
3/92: DDJ "UNIX Device Drivers, Part II"
4/92: DDJ "UNIX Device Drivers, Part III"
5/92: DDJ "Missing Pieces, Part I"
6/92: DDJ "Missing Pieces, Part II"
7/92: DDJ "The Final Step: Running Light with 386BSD"

You can contact M&T Books (DDJ) for reprints if you can't get them from
your technical library:

1-800-356-2002 (inside CA)
1-800-444-4881 (better In NA Backorder number)
1-415-358-9500 (international)

6/91: UNIX Magazin "Portierung von BSD-UNIX auf den 80386. Heimlich
7/91: UNIX Magazin "Steighilfe."
8/91: UNIX Magazin "Systemverwaltung durch Tabellen"
9/91: UNIX Magazin "Sicher bewegen auf fremdem Terrain"
10/91: UNIX Magazin "Damit die Fehlersuche nicht zum Hurdenspringen
11/91: UNIX Magazin "Alles in eine Schublade"
12/91: UNIX Magazin "Feuer und Wasser"
1/92: UNIX Magazin "Rekursives Speicher-Mapping"
2/92: UNIX Magazin "Tanz auf dem Eis"
3/92: UNIX Magazin "Aus Hanschen wird Hans"
4/92: UNIX Magazin "Das Geheimnis des Multiprogramming"
5/92: UNIX Magazin "Zeitmanagement scheibenweise"
6/92: UNIX Magazin "Magie des Kernels"
7/92: UNIX Magazin "Erkenne Dich Selbst"
9/92: UNIX Magazin "Niemand is eine Insel"
10/92: UNIX Magazin "Treiberlatein"
12/92: UNIX Magazin "Einlandung erforderlich"
1/93: iX Magazin "Wir unterbrechen das Programm"
2/93: iX Magazin "Liste gut, alles gut"
3/93: iX Magazin "Blick ins Allerheiligste"
4/93: iX Magazin "Von Bl"ocken, Ringen und Zeichen"

NOTE: The series in UNIX Magazin was moved to IX Magazin in 1/93.
The article in the April issue was the last one in the series.

In addition, other major articles which discuss 386BSD in detail:

8/92: UNIX Magazin "Interview mit Bill Jolitz. Das passiert mit
386BSD" by Jurgen Fey
8/92: DDJ "Very High-Speed Networking" by W.F. Jolitz
12/92: DDJ "Inside the ISO-9660 Filesystem Format" by Jolitz and

Reprints of the first 19 parts on the UNIX Magazin series are available

iX Redaktion
Stichwort: 386BSD-Serie
Verlag Heinz Heise GmbH & Co KG
Helstorfer Str. 7
D-30625 Hannover, Germany

Some of the parts are without code listings due to the unclear
status of the BSD releases stemming from the Net/2 release. Dr.
Dobbs is reported out of back issues of the articles listed above.
You best bet may be to try your local public or school library.

1.7.5 Documentation that comes with most of the distributions.

In the standard set for both NetBSD and FreeBSD there is a directory
called '/usr/share/doc'. Here is a 'du' listing.

128 /usr/share/doc/ps1/06.sysman
98 /usr/share/doc/ps1/07.ipctut
116 /usr/share/doc/ps1/08.ipc
16 /usr/share/doc/ps1/13.rcs
37 /usr/share/doc/ps1/14.sccs
420 /usr/share/doc/ps1
123 /usr/share/doc/smm/02.config
14 /usr/share/doc/smm/04.quotas
78 /usr/share/doc/smm/05.fsck
42 /usr/share/doc/smm/06.lpd
92 /usr/share/doc/smm/07.sendmailop
14 /usr/share/doc/smm/08.timedop
99 /usr/share/doc/smm/10.newsop
83 /usr/share/doc/smm/11.named
77 /usr/share/doc/smm/14.fastfs
128 /usr/share/doc/smm/
41 /usr/share/doc/smm/16.sendmail
21 /usr/share/doc/smm/20.termdesc
17 /usr/share/doc/smm/22.timed
851 /usr/share/doc/smm
144 /usr/share/doc/usd/04.csh
97 /usr/share/doc/usd/07.Mail
66 /usr/share/doc/usd/09.newsread
68 /usr/share/doc/usd/10.etiq
67 /usr/share/doc/usd/14.edit
107 /usr/share/doc/usd/
61 /usr/share/doc/usd/16.ex
13 /usr/share/doc/usd/21.msdiffs
45 /usr/share/doc/usd/22.memacros
43 /usr/share/doc/usd/23.meref
26 /usr/share/doc/usd/33.rogue
25 /usr/share/doc/usd/34.trek
798 /usr/share/doc/usd
2077 /usr/share/doc

For those of you that don't read 'du -k' listings, this means that
there is 'around' 2 MEGABYTES of documentation in the 'doc'
directory. In addition, there are a few man pages.

2312 /usr/share/man/cat1
397 /usr/share/man/cat2
1 /usr/share/man/cat2a
855 /usr/share/man/cat3
1 /usr/share/man/cat3f
607 /usr/share/man/cat4
368 /usr/share/man/cat5
166 /usr/share/man/cat6
169 /usr/share/man/cat7
749 /usr/share/man/cat8

Something on the order of another 4 Megabytes of manual pages.
That's what, about 6 MILLION CHARACTERS of documentation.

I have received mail from several sources saying that my
approximation of the amount of system documentation is way too
low (by a factor of at least 50%). Given the fact that even by
my meager estimation there is already more information here
than most people can be bothered to read, whether there is 6
Meg or 60 Meg seems like overkill.

Now, does anyone REALLY want to whine about there being no
documentation included with the system?

1.7.6 Other FAQ's on the net that are relevant

There is now a FAQ set up specifically for FreeBSD. In addition
to answering the many specific questions that folks have about
FreeBSD, it is also a good source for information on NetBSD and
whatever the 386BSD {0.2,1.0,95} project is going to look like.
In spite of all of the shouting and chest beating that you hear
from time to time, the systems are still very close.

There are many FAQs that can be used in conjunction with 386bsd.
These include the FAQs for all of the GNU software, the different
shells that are available, the programming languages that are
available, and many more. In addition, many programs have their
own FAQ which should be referenced whenever that package is being
added. Good examples of the latter are the FAQs for elm, C-News,
and innd.

The observant reader will notice that there are very few 'X'
questions in this FAQ. The XFree86 FAQ is posted regularly to
comp.os.386bsd.*. There is no good reason to include any 'X'
questions in this FAQ, with the exception of the most basic
'Where can I get the 'X' FAQ'.

Most FAQs are available by anonymous FTP from and
via Usenet News in news.answers and/or comp.answers. This FAQ
is no exception (I hope).

1.8 FTP sites for 386BSD

A standard tool on Internet connected hosts for finding files is
'archie'. Searching the archie archive for either "386BSD" or
"386bsd" yields the following list. For UUCP sites, FTP-Mail
is available from The list below was created
with an 'archie -l' on 26 Feb 1995 searching for FreeBSD.

For those folks that have access to telnet, but not FTP, you can use
archie by using telnet and connecting to Log in as
'archie' and use the 'prog' command to find programs of interest.
The list below is included primarily for those folks that have only
uucp, and will need to get their software though UUCP and other

1.8.1 FTP Site List

This list is automatically generated every time the FAQ is
produced. Please do not request that your host be added to
this list. If your host is represented in an 'archie' list,
it will be reflected here. Several other sites are included
in Section 1.8.4 below.

Host Directory

The code may soon also to be available, or perhaps is already
available, from both CompuServe and BIX.

1.8.2 Official distribution sites

According to Lynne Jolitz, there is no such thing as an 'official'
386bsd site. The closest we had was '' which is
now closed. Because of the USL/UCB agreement, 386bsd is no
longer freely redistributable, since it was based on Net/2 and
Net/2 was encumbered.

FreeBSD's 'home' is (the home disk of Walnut
Creek). The portions of FreeBSD (versions less than 2.0) that
were encumbered are distributed with the tolerance of
AT&T/USL/Novell/whoever owns the source for SysV this week. All
FreeBSD versions (with version number >= 2.0) are based solely
on the freely redistributable BSD 4.4 sources.

NetBSD's 'home' is now ftp.NetBSD.Org. All versions of
NetBSD since 0.9 have replaced the kernel code from the 4.3
distribution with the source from the 4.4 distribution. The
only code still in NetBSD from the 4.3 distribution is some user
program code that was uncontested in the USL/UCB agreement.

1.8.3 Reference sites

For a brief period, was available for use as a
reference system. This system was used as the test-bed for
many programs that were ported to 386bsd by many authors.
Unfortunately, has been disabled as a reference
system. The site is now a update by mail (CTM) system and is
providing a mail only service for developers who do not have
access to anything more than electronic mail. For more
information, contact for the standard
CTM package.

There is a site in Germany that is acting as a reference site
for FreeBSD. The name is "", also known as
"". Sorry, no anonymous ftp yet. But there is
a "guest" login with the password "guest".

But the most important reason why I had installed the machine on
the network was for all these people who don't have enough space
to compile their own kernel or their own packages. They can do
it on this machine. ATS ( or )

1.8.4 Unofficial archive sites that have neat stuff!

There are many sites that have things which have either been ported
to 386bsd or are available to the world. Use archie to find these
sites, or read comp.os.386bsd.* for more information.

Listed here because they don't have access to 'archie' yet... -or-
Sources for 386bsd0.1 and the later patchkits.
Source for NetBSD0.8 and the newer snapshots.

Xfree is installed binary as version 1.3.

Ported software are:
rn and nn.

In addition, has a lot of neat
software and Wolfram Schneider ( has
'ported' the FAQ into LaTeX. It is available in
pub/386BSD/FAQ/tex in both PostScript and DVI formats.

1.8.5 X for 386BSD 0.1 Ported Software List

This is a list of non-core X window system application that
have been ported to 386BSD 0.1. The ftp server and directory
name are listed above and each file or directory name is
followed by a short description. Feel free to send corrections,
additions or suggestions to

Xdtm-2.5.386bsd X desk top manager
idraw-bin.tar.Z C++ GUI class library + WYSIWYG document &
graphics editors.
img1.3.386bsd.tar.Z see above
mpeg_play.Z animated raster image viewer
small_X11r5.tZ a minimal subset of the core distribution
vogl.tar.Z a library that emulatates Silicon Graphics
GL calls
xview3 sun's GUI development tool kit

Dirt.tar.Z GUI development tool kit
XBSD8514-0.1.Z 8514 X server port
XS3-0.3-exp.Z S3 X server port
acm.tar.Z aerial combat mission/flight simulator
chess-vort-movie.tar.Z ?
epoch.Z enhanced emacs for X
jpeg.tar.Z jpeg viewer
libXaw3d.a.Z 3D widget library
mpeg-1.2.tar.Z animated raster image viewer
ups-2.45.bin.tar.Z C source level debugger with slick GUI
vort-movie.tar.Z ?
xantfarm.tar.Z screen saver with ants?
xbench.tar.Z X server performance measurement tool
xpipeman.tar.Z game: connect pipes to keep a liquid within
xxgdb.tar.Z GUI for GNU source level debugger

1.8.6 Motif for the *BSD family. (Infomercial to follow)

While I don't normally include commercials in the FAQ, I will
this time. Motif is an interesting product that will help the
development of the free Unices. It can also serve as a
benchmark for other commercial organizations to consider
supporting us by producing versions of their products that will work
on these systems.

Sequoia International, Inc. (305-783-4915/305-783-4935 (FAX))
sells a complete Motif 1.2.3 Runtime and Development package
for FreeBSD, NetBSD, BSD/386, Linux, and Coherent. It is
available for $149.95 and includes the following:
* The Motif Window Manager (mwm)
* Shared Library (libXm) [operating system dependent]
* Static Libraries (libXm, libMrm, libUil)
* Header and Include Files
* Complete On-Line Manual Pages
* Source code to OSF/Motif Demo programs
* Complete OSF/Motif Users Guide

Send mail to or contact them at the address below:

Sequoia International, Inc.
600 West Hillsboro Blvd, Suite 300
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Phone: (305)783-4915 / FAX: (305)783-4935 / Email:

TSgt Dave Burgess | Dave Burgess
Offutt AFB, NE |

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