Linux History: What I knew about Linux in Feb 1992

This is an email to a colleague who was interested in Linux. We were swapping notes on itand how to best obtain it.The interesting part of the email, is that I forwarded a lot of info that I collected on Linuxto him from various sources. Some of it are replies from people about my queries on Linux.This is an interesting look at how Linux was in February 1992, and how a few techies working for an American IT company in Saudi Arabia saw Linux at the time.Subject: LINUX - a free System V/POSIX compatible UNIX for 386 with sourceDate: Sun, 23 Feb 92 14:12:36 KSAFrom: Khalid BaheyeldinTo: Tarek BTarek, as discussed with you, pls find ff info on LINUX.If we have ftp/internet access, we could download it and use it. If you cancheck with Dr. Morad, this will be helpful.Pls do not order it, as I am already in this process, and hope to get it soon.Rgds--Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1992 16:04:30 -0700 (MST)From: "It helps if you plug it in..." Subject: RE: linux, hurd (gnu-os) (was: a summary of unix vendors)To: Khalid BaheyeldinI'm getting mail from Saudi Arabia? cooool.anyway, I'm afraid I haven't heard of GNU's OS product, although I know they have a lot of good products on the market, such as GNU-Emacs, and severalcompilers. The other (cheap) company that I mentioned was BSDI.BSDI is much further along than linux is. Linux does not yet have SCSI support,X-windows is not yet ported, and there is no TCP/IP yet. It is completely free, however, unlike BSDI. BSDI has, or will have the above apps by the end of the year, at the latest. Both versions still have a lot of bugs.Dell seems to have the best things going for it, as far as I'm concerned with.I want to get down to work, and not have to tweak my OS just to get a simpletask accomplished.here is info on both linux, and below it, BSDI. happy reading!-daveDate: Sat, 1 Feb 92 02:03:31 PSTFrom: Conway YeeTo: SEAGULL@tiamatSubject: Re: linuxHere you go. This is the Info Sheet for Linux. This is slightlyout of date as there was just created the newsgroup alt.os.linux(which should soon become comp.os.linux). Conway Yee, N2JWQ==============================LINUX INFORMATION SHEET(last updated 13 Jan 1992)1. WHAT IS LINUX 0.12 LINUX 0.12 is a freely distributable UNIX clone. It implements asubset of System V and POSIX functionality. LINUX has been writtenfrom scratch, and therefore does not contain any AT&T or MINIXcode--not in the kernel, the compiler, the utilities, or the libraries.For this reason it can be made available with the complete source codevia anonymous FTP. LINUX runs only on 386/486 AT-bus machines; portingto non-Intel architectures is likely to be difficult, as the kernelmakes extensive use of 386 memory management and task primitives. Version 0.12 is still a beta release, but it already provides muchof the functionality of a System V.3 kernel. For example, varioususers have been able to port programs such as bison/flex without havingto modify code at all. Another indication of its maturity is thatit is now possible to do LINUX kernel development using LINUX itself and freely-available programming tools.2. LINUX features - System call compatible with a subset of System V and POSIX - Full multiprogramming (multiple programs can run at once) - Memory paging with copy-on-write - Demand loading of executables - Page sharing of executables - Virtual memory: swapping to disk when out of RAM - POSIX job control - virtual consoles on EGA/VGA screens - pty's - some 387-emulation - ANSI compliant C compiler (gcc) - A complete set of compiler writing tools (bison as yacc-replacement, flex as lex replacement) - The GNU 'Bourne again' shell (bash) - Micro emacs - most utilities you need for development (cat, cp, kermit, ls, make, etc.) - Over 200 library procedures (atoi, fork, malloc, read, stdio, etc.) - Currently 4 national keyboards: Finnish/US/German/French - Full source code (in C) for the OS is freely distributable - Full source code of the tools can be gotten from many anonymous ftp sites (Almost the entire suite of GNU programs has been ported to Linux.) - Runs in protected mode on 386 and above - Support for extended memory up to 16M on 386 and above - RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc. - Supports the real time clock3. HARDWARE REQUIRED - A 386 or 486 machine with an AT-bus. (EISA will probably work, also, but you will need an AT-bus hard disk controller.) Both DX and SX processors will work. - A hard disk implementing the standard AT hard disk interface-- for example, an IDE drive. SCSI drives are not supported yet. - A high-density disk drive--either 5.25" (1.2MB) or 3.5" (1.44MB). - At least 2 megabytes of RAM. (LINUX will boot in 2 Mb. To use gcc 4 MB is a good idea.) - Any video card of the following: Hercules,CGA,EGA,VGAIn addition, LINUX supports - Up to two serial lines - A real time clock 4. PARTIAL LIST OF UTILITIES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE FOR LINUX 0.12 - The MTOOLS package (reading/writing to DOS filesystems) - The complete GNU filetools (ls, cat, cp, mv, ...) - The GNU C compiler with GNU assembler, linker, ar, ... - bison - flex - rcs - pmake (BSD 4.3 Reno/BSD 4.4 make) - kermit - Micro emacs - less - mkfs - fsck - mount/umount5. LINUX BINARIES The LINUX binaries and sources are available at three anonymous FTP sites. These are: nic.funet.fi:/pub/OS/Linux tsx-11.mit.edu:/pub/linux tupac-amaru.informatik.rwth-aachen.de:/pub/msdos/replace6. LEGAL STATUS OF LINUX Although LINUX is supplied with the complete source code, it iscopyrighted software. Unlike MINIX, however, it is available for free,provided you obey to the rules specified in the LINUX copyright.7. NEWS ABOUT LINUX Since LINUX's introduction to the public there has been a rapidlygrowing mailing list, "linux-activists@niksula.hut.fi". To subscribe to this list, mail to "linux-activists-request@niksula.hut.fi". If thetraffic in this lists increases further, there are plans to swap ( at least partially ) over to comp.os.misc, so watch out for any LINUX articles in this group. For the current status of LINUX, do "fingertorvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi".8. FUTURE PLANS Work is underway on LINUX version 1.0, which will close some of thegaps in the present implementation. Various people are currently workingon: - A virtual filesystem layer - STREAMS - init/getty/login - Interprocess communication - IEEE POSIX P1003.1 / P1003.2 compatibility - SCSI supportTo: Khalid BaheyeldinSubject: Re: Info on LINUX needed - Thanks in advance In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 18 Feb 92 19:19:17 -0100.Date: Tue, 18 Feb 92 16:49:18 MSTFrom: Drew -------- Hello Drew! Sorry for interrupting your valuable time, but I couldn't resist your description of LINUX in a recent posting of yours. My work is almost 70% on UNIX machines (System V.2/3/4) NCR platforms that is, and I own a clone at home 386/25Mhz, 104MB IDE Conner, VGA color multisync monitor, and 2MB of RAM. I wonder if you could help me on pointing me to LINUX, as follows: 1. Is there a newsgroup and/or mailing list on linux?Both. alt.os.linux (soon to be comp.os.linux)linux-activists@joker.cs.hut.fi - mail to linux-activists-request@ same 2. Who is the author(s) (email preferred)?The guy in charge is Linux Torvalds, torvalds@cc.helsinki.fi - butcontrinutions are in it from a large number of people. 3. Can I get it Snail mailed (we have no ftp access, and I don't want to spend a fortune on X.25 charges Saudi Arabia to US transferring MBs). I have sent help to the archie server at nic.funet.fi, where you have po inted out there are LINUX archives. The purpose it to see if I can get it emailed, or the size would be restrictive.Don't know. 4. Do you have a writeup or report on LINUX, what utilities are there (e.g cc, vi, grep, nawk, find, uucp, ...etc. Appreciate if you send it to me.Well, if I do file name completion for commands (given some will be duplicates - ie /bin/sh is a hard link to /usr/local/bin/bash) I get around 250 commands. Of the top of my head, GNU stuff :gcc (cc - K&R and ANSI) / gas (as)gnu binutils : ar, ld, nm, objdump, ranlib, size, strip gnu fileutils : chgrp, chown, chmod, cp, dd, df, du, install, ln, ls, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mv, rm, rmdir, touchshellutils : basename, date, dirname, env, expr, groups, id, pathchk, printenv, printf, sleep, tee, test, tty, whoami, yes, nice, nohup, stty, unametextutils : cat, cmp, comm, csplit, cut, expand, fold, head, join, paste, pr, sort, split, sum, tac, tail, unexpand, uniq, wcbash (sh), bison (yacc) , compress, elvis (vi), emacs, diff, find, flex (lex), gawk (awk), less (more), micro emacs, rcs : ci, co, ident, merge, rcs, rcsdiff, rcsmerge, rlogsed, tar, uncompressBSD :install, make, moreOther :as86, cawf (nroff), hostname, init, kermit, kill, ld86, login, man, patch, perl,su, update, uudecode, uuencode, vixie cron (crond, crontab), zip, zooKA9Q (TCP/IP over SLIP or KISS)mtools (read / write DOS sloppies)prolog of some sortMost things will compile "out of the box" with no modifications, when configured for SYSV. What's being worked on : X11R5 is being debugged and worked on by a fewpeople (we want shared memory segments, with the sysV semantics, limitedaccess to control ports for the server). GDB is being debugged, as is ptrace(2) Some people are running SLIP networks, and are running ftp, telnet, etc directly from their machines.---.13 supports shared libraries (Essential to squeeze X widgets into a minimalamount of memory, I think the VFS, swapping to a file, init, line printersupport, etc (All officially - as Linux evolves, you patch your kernel heavily until the next release -)Memory, disk, etc :Disk space is not a problem (yet) - I have everything mentioned above,plus a full kernel and library source tree, in around 15M. I have 4M ofreal memory, and 10M of swap - but only swap when I do several large builds at once, or compress / uncompress large files.Technically, it is possible to run in 2M (My kernel image is up to about 175K, and shared pages / demmand paged executables really save space) - but you will page thrash on your system.Also, if you get it before .13 (End of February), you'll need a dedicatedswap partition if you don't recompile with swapon(). From: Ari LemmkeNewsgroups: news.announce.newgroups,news.groups,comp.os.minix,comp.os.misc,alt.os.linux,comp.unix.sysv386Subject: CFV: comp.os.linuxDate: 19 Feb 92 06:20:19 GMTNntp-Posting-Host: cs.rpi.eduThis is first Call For Votes to create newsgroup comp.os.linuxHOW TO VOTE:------------ To vote YES ,send e-mail to: linux-yes@bloom-beacon.mit.edu To vote NO ,send e-mail to: linux-no@bloom-beacon.mit.eduVOTING PERIOD:-------------- The voting period starts now and will last through 00:00 UTC (7:00pm EST), 19 March 1992.------------------------------AND HERE'S COPY OF THE RFD:comp.os.linux---Request for Discussion======= === ==========GROUP: comp.os.linuxSTATUS: unmoderatedPURPOSE: Linux-related discussion: Linux kernel hacking, porting utilities to Linux, Linux bug-fixes, and implementing new features in Linux.----------------------What's Linux ?Linux is a UNIX clone, which currently runs only on 386/486 machines.Linux is freely distributable (within rules in the Linux copyright)and available with the complete source code.Why comp.os.linux ?Our mailing list has now far too much traffic, which has caused someunsubscribtions, but still we have ~400 subscribers (and ~10 mailinglists) - which is really too big, because list users activity isreal high.What happens to Linux-activists mailing list?There will be a News <-> Mail Digest gateway for people people who donot have access to Usenet, much like the comp.lang.perl <->Perl-Users@fuggles.acc.Virginia.edu mailing list. It is anticipated,however, that the vast majority of the Linux community will be usingthe comp.os.linux newsgroup.When will voting begin ?Voting will begin on Februrary 18th, one month after the posting ofthis Call for Discussion. Theodore Ts'o (tytso@athena.mit.edu) willserve as vote collector; the exact address and voting procedures willbe contained in the Call For Votes when it is issued. The usualrequirements (2/3 of the votes in favor, and at least 100 more YESvotes than NO votes) will apply. arl // Ari Lemmke--------------------------------------------------LINUX INFORMATION SHEETby Robert Blum (blum@cip-s01.informatik.rwth-aachen.de) et al.(last updated 13 Jan 1992)1. WHAT IS LINUX LINUX 0.12 is a freely distributable UNIX clone. It implements asubset of System V and POSIX functionality. LINUX has been written>from scratch, and therefore does not contain any AT&T or MINIXcode--not in the kernel, the compiler, the utilities, or the libraries.For this reason it can be made available with the complete source codevia anonymous FTP. LINUX runs only on 386/486 AT-bus machines; portingto non-Intel architectures is likely to be difficult, as the kernelmakes extensive use of 386 memory management and task primitives. Version 0.12 is still a beta release, but it already provides muchof the functionality of a System V.3 kernel. For example, varioususers have been able to port programs such as bison/flex without havingto modify code at all. Another indication of its maturity is thatit is now possible to do LINUX kernel development using LINUX itself and freely-available programming tools.2. LINUX features - System call compatible with a subset of System V and POSIX - Full multiprogramming (multiple programs can run at once) - Memory paging with copy-on-write - Demand loading of executables - Page sharing of executables - Virtual memory: swapping to disk when out of RAM - POSIX job control - virtual consoles on EGA/VGA screens - pty's - some 387-emulation - ANSI compliant C compiler (gcc) - A complete set of compiler writing tools (bison as yacc-replacement, flex as lex replacement) - The GNU 'Bourne again' shell (bash) - Micro emacs - most utilities you need for development (cat, cp, kermit, ls, make, etc.) - Over 200 library procedures (atoi, fork, malloc, read, stdio, etc.) - Currently 4 national keyboards: Finnish/US/German/French - Full source code (in C) for the OS is freely distributable - Full source code of the tools can be gotten from many anonymous ftp sites (Almost the entire suite of GNU programs has been ported to Linux.) - Runs in protected mode on 386 and above - Support for extended memory up to 16M on 386 and above - RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc. - Supports the real time clock3. HARDWARE REQUIRED - A 386 or 486 machine with an AT-bus. (EISA will probably work, also, but you will need an AT-bus hard disk controller.) Both DX and SX processors will work. - A hard disk implementing the standard AT hard disk interface-- for example, an IDE drive. SCSI drives are not supported yet. - A high-density disk drive--either 5.25" (1.2MB) or 3.5" (1.44MB). - At least 2 megabytes of RAM. (LINUX will boot in 2 Mb. To use gcc 4 MB is a good idea.) - Any video card of the following: Hercules,CGA,EGA,VGAIn addition, LINUX supports - Up to two serial lines - A real time clock 4. PARTIAL LIST OF UTILITIES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE FOR LINUX 0.12 - The MTOOLS package (reading/writing to DOS filesystems) - The complete GNU filetools (ls, cat, cp, mv, ...) - The GNU C compiler with GNU assembler, linker, ar, ... - bison - flex - rcs - pmake (BSD 4.3 Reno/BSD 4.4 make) - kermit - Micro emacs - less - mkfs - fsck - mount/umount5. LINUX BINARIES The LINUX binaries and sources are available at three anonymous FTP sites. These are: nic.funet.fi:/pub/OS/Linux tsx-11.mit.edu:/pub/linux tupac-amaru.informatik.rwth-aachen.de:/pub/msdos/replace6. LEGAL STATUS OF LINUX Although LINUX is supplied with the complete source code, it iscopyrighted software. Unlike MINIX, however, it is available for free,provided you obey to the rules specified in the LINUX copyright.7. NEWS ABOUT LINUX Since LINUX's introduction to the public there has been a rapidlygrowing mailing list, "linux-activists@niksula.hut.fi". To subscribe to this list, mail to "linux-activists-request@niksula.hut.fi". If thetraffic in this lists increases further, there are plans to swap ( at least partially ) over to comp.os.misc, so watch out for any LINUX articles in this group. For the current status of LINUX, do "fingertorvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi".8. FUTURE PLANS Work is underway on LINUX version 1.0, which will close some of thegaps in the present implementation. Various people are currently workingon: - A virtual filesystem layer - STREAMS - init/getty/login - Interprocess communication - IEEE POSIX P1003.1 / P1003.2 compatibility - SCSI supportIf you want to help, join the mailing list.

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