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View Full Version : Which Unix (not Linux) for a PC?



Jorg
September 13th, 2006, 10:24 AM
I have a nice dual Celeron board (Abit BP6- ahem barely vintage, sorry) around that I wanted to use to take a look at Unix again.

I worked with HP-UX some 15 years ago, but ofcourse have no vintage HP9000 around (would like though! 68000 ;) )

So I was looking into available unix systems that work on i386 architecture. I more or less found FreeBSD and Minix, but are there any other free ones?
As it looks I'll try FreeBSD, but who know more exotic things are around ;)..

DoctorPepper
September 13th, 2006, 03:30 PM
Yes, in addition to FreeBSD, try it's siblings: OpenBSD and NetBSD, and there are a couple of new additions to the *BSD family: PC-BSD http://www.pcbsd.org/ and DesktopBSD http://www.desktopbsd.net/

You can also download OpenSolaris (x86) from Sun, for free.

chuckcmagee
September 13th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I am very happy with FreeBSD. They have a portage deal with literally thousands of packages you can compile and use. It's murder if you have only dialup downloading those source files but great fun if you have faster access.

DoctorPepper
September 14th, 2006, 06:40 AM
I am very happy with FreeBSD. They have a portage deal with literally thousands of packages you can compile and use. It's murder if you have only dialup downloading those source files but great fun if you have faster access.

Yep, I used FreeBSD for quite a while. I've been rather unhappy about it's progress the past year or so, and just decided to standardise on Linux. I have used Linux for a while longer than the BSD's, and know it a bit more intimately.

I suppose if I were trying to find a Unix-like OS for an older architecture, I'd more than likely go with NetBSD, due to it's support for almost every architecture known. As for building firewalls and secure appliances, you can't beat OpenBSD.

For my desktops, notebook and servers though, I prefer Linux (Debian Stable on the server, and usually Slackware on the desktops and notebook, although I have Xubuntu on them right now).

Just my personal preferences, YMMV.

dreddnott
September 14th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Which UNIX for a PC?

Microsoft Xenix, of course.

DoctorPepper
September 14th, 2006, 07:43 PM
Which UNIX for a PC?

Microsoft Xenix, of course.

For a very old PC, perhaps.

That reminds me. Back in the early 90's I worked part-time at the local Radio Shack (the first wife and I had split up and I needed the extra cash). I'm pretty sure the 386 machine in the back (which was the server for the three cash register machines up front) ran Xenix. I never got to really play around with it, just run the closing routines.

It was pretty cool though, considering the state of the hardware it was running on.

kb2syd
September 15th, 2006, 08:20 AM
If it was a 386, it was PROBABLY either a SCO or Interactive version. If it was a model 6000, it was probably Microsoft Xenix.

For current machines, I too like Debian Stable (linux) or NetBSD.

DoctorPepper
September 15th, 2006, 10:35 AM
If it was a 386, it was PROBABLY either a SCO or Interactive version. If it was a model 6000, it was probably Microsoft Xenix.

For current machines, I too like Debian Stable (linux) or NetBSD.

I'm about 95% certain it was a 386, so maybe it was SCO. I can't remember exactly what it was. We weren't allowed to use the shell prompt, only the menu system they had.

At least SCO had a decent reputation back then. I wouldn't take a modern version of SCO Unix if it was the last Unix on the planet.

kb2syd
September 15th, 2006, 10:43 AM
Which UNIX for a PC?

Microsoft Xenix, of course.

Did Micro$oft every really sell Xenix for the PC? I know they spun off a lot of their exising work to SCO. Was the Xenix for the TRS-80 model 2000 from Microsoft? Did that ever ship?

Chris2005
September 15th, 2006, 12:49 PM
years ago in the Patchogue library on Long Island (if that's at all relevant) there was a dark blue tome which would knock some of yer socks off. It had listings of all this freako off the wall software, scientific in nature, weird ass accounting packages. You wouldn't believe the stuff that WOULD run on a Tandy 2000 and whatnot. Lots of groovy freaky stuph. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please speak up.
Again sorry to drift off topic, but hoser asked was XENIX for the T2K a Microshaft product. My guess is yes, but that book would tell you for sure.

Terry Yager
September 15th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Did Micro$oft every really sell Xenix for the PC? I know they spun off a lot of their exising work to SCO. Was the Xenix for the TRS-80 model 2000 from Microsoft? Did that ever ship?

I don't know about the PC, but yes, there was a version for x86. I used to have it on my Altos 686, which is an Intel 286-powered machine, but not quite IBM-compatible. The version for the Tandy 6000 was definitely M$.

--T

Jorg
September 17th, 2006, 06:03 AM
Just as follow up, I just installed a Pentium 200MMX board in my old IBM 5160 case, and I will be installing FreeBSD on it

DoctorPepper
September 17th, 2006, 10:46 AM
Just as follow up, I just installed a Pentium 200MMX board in my old IBM 5160 case, and I will be installing FreeBSD on it

Hey Jorg, that's an interesting combo. Do you plan on using a window manager, or are you going to run FreeBSD from the console only?

Jorg
September 17th, 2006, 11:03 AM
Hey Jorg, that's an interesting combo. Do you plan on using a window manager, or are you going to run FreeBSD from the console only?

Well.. I thought it was nice to keep the 5151 monitor on top, so until now a old 8 bit Hercules card found its place in one of the ISA slots ;)
With that, no windows to start with.

I'm struggling a bit, I have 3 spare CD rom drives but one is broke, one to old to read the FreeBSD boot disk, and the other scsi that won't boot..
I'm trying all my 5,25 floppies at the moment to find one with ms-dos and cd-rom drivers...

DoctorPepper
September 18th, 2006, 07:35 AM
If you have a working network card (and a broad band connection), FreeBSD will do a net install very easily.

Sharkonwheels
September 25th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Regarding the Tandy systems, it was probably Tansy Xenix. Remember, they had it as well. I believe it started with the Tandy Model 12 or 16b? The store systems were Tandy Xenix late 80's early 90's, a I recall. Wasn;t it a Tandy 2000 it ran on? The wierd boat anchor, with 5.25" 720Kb floppies?

Tony

Terry Yager
September 25th, 2006, 04:16 PM
The disks are labeled 'Tandy', including a RS Cat.No. but the fine print says Copyright by MicroSoft (although that p'ticular dialect was licenced to Tandy).

--T

Sharkonwheels
September 25th, 2006, 10:59 PM
Yup...

I have a copy somewhere, but I think one of the disks is bad. Has been for many years - just didn;t have the heart to chuck it out ;)


Tony

Jorg
September 26th, 2006, 08:27 AM
If you have a working network card (and a broad band connection), FreeBSD will do a net install very easily.

In the end I did get the scsi to work with a different SCSI card that supported boot from cdrom. But I did try the net install and indeed, that was *very* smooth.

The Pentium 233 MMX@187 Mhz runs FreeBSD 6.1 and has 192 mb ram.
Runs very smooth! (no X though).

Now I have to dive in to at and see what I can do with it.

chuckcmagee
September 26th, 2006, 08:36 AM
Hmm, don't think I would want to start compiling source code on a 233 but if I did, the "portage" stuff would give you literally thousands of programs to play with. Hey, if I can download source code with a 26.4K cruddy modem connection, guess you could do some compiles. :cool:

Since then, I forked out big bucks for a Satellite internet system (Wild Blue). Too bad all those days and days of downloading has me totally burned out on BSD and Linux for now.

Jorg
September 26th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Yes, I was going to look into the portage archive (especially because I was looking for JOE ;) )

DoctorPepper
September 27th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Yes, I was going to look into the portage archive (especially because I was looking for JOE ;) )

Glad to hear you got FreeBSD up and running on it. Before I messed around with the Ports tree, I'd check to see if the program you're looking for exists in the package archives. From the FreeBSD site:

"For most ports, a precompiled package also exists, saving the user the work of having to compile anything at all. Each port contains a link to its corresponding package and you may either simply download that file and then run the pkg_add command on it or you can simply grab the link location and hand it straight to pkg_add since it is capable of accepting FTP URLs as well as filenames."

If by JOE, you're referring to "Joe's Own Editor", then a pre-built package ( 2.9.8 ) already exists. Just go to the "Editors" page of the Ports collection on FreeBSD's site http://www.freebsd.org/ports/editors.html and download the package from there (or as the above text stated, give the ftp address as a parameter to the pkg_add utility).