Minix Information Sheet 1.5 ...

Information Sheet 1.5

(IBM, Macintosh, Atari, Amiga and SparcStation versions)
  • System call compatible with V7 of the UNIX operating system
  • Full multiprogramming (multiple programs can run at once)
  • Kernighan and Ritchie compatible C compiler
  • Shell that is functionally identical to the Bourne shell
  • Five editors (emacs subset, vi clone, ex, ed, and simple screen editor)
  • Over 175 utilities (cat, cp, ed, grep, kermit, ls, make, sort, etc.)
  • Over 200 library procedures (atoi, fork, malloc, read, stdio, etc.)
  • Spelling checker with 40,000 word English dictionary
  • Full source code (in C) supplied on diskettes (OS, utilities, libraries)
  • Easy-to-read manual telling all about MINIX and how to install and use it

  • Up to 3 simultaneous users on one machine
  • RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc.
  • Runs under Multifinder
  • Includes support for multiple user windows

  • Up to 2 simultaneous users on one machine
  • RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc.
  • Support for various real time clocks (Mega, BMS, ICD, Supra, Weide)

  • Native operating system. Runs on bare SparcStation hardware.
  • Up to 3 simultaneous users on one machine
  • RS-232 serial line support with terminal emulation, kermit, zmodem, etc.
  • Multi-windowed display driver
  • ANSI compatible GNU C compiler



Apple Macintosh Plus, SE, SE/30, II, IIcx, or IIx with at least 1M of RAM. An additional 1M of RAM and a hard disk is strongly recommended. MINIX has been tested primarily with version 6.0 and latter of the Apple system software. Problems may conceivably arise with earlier versions. Any hard disk or display that is supported by the normal Macintosh OS is also supported by MINIX.


Atari ST or Mega ST with at least 1M of RAM. Although the system will boot with only 512K, you will be very restricted in what you can do. A 720K diskette drive is required to install the software. The older 360K diskette drives are supported, but are not capable of reading the (720K) distribution disks. A hard disk is supported, but is optional. Some of the Supra hard disks are not Atari compatible, which can cause problems. A fix is available from the MINIX Centre.


Commodore Amiga 500 or 2000 with at least 1M of RAM. One 720K diskette drive is sufficient. A hard disk is not required (or even supported). To use a hard disk with the Amiga, someone familiar with how this disk works will have to write a driver for it. If this driver is then posted to the net, it will be possible to use a hard disk with MINIX on the Amiga. Minix will NOT run on 68020 and larger Amiga systems.


Sun SparcStation 1, 1+ or IPC. Does NOT run on a SparcStation 2 and has not yet been tested on a SLC, IPX or ELC. A floppy disk drive is required, a SCSI hard disk is not required but strongly recommended to take full advantage of the system. 4MB RAM is sufficient to run Minix, up to 64MB is supported. The monochrome framebuffer (bw2) as well as a color framebuffer (cg3 or cg6) are supported. SCSI hard disks can be used and even booted from. Ethernet, mouse and audio are not supported. Printers can only be connected via a serial port.

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Minix has been designed as a teaching system. It is easy to learn and maintain. A book describing operating systems in general and how Minix works in particular is available. It can be used as a textbook or for independent study. The bibliographic information is:
  • Title: Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, 2/e
  • Authors: Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Albert S. Woodhull
  • Publisher: Prentice-Hall

SunOS Minix is a version of Minix that runs as a user process on Sun 3s and 4s running SunOS 4.X. In SunOS Minix, the processor time used is the time allocated to the SunOS process running SunOS Minix, each file system is a SunOS file, and the console is /dev/tty of the SunOS process. Also, it is possible for multiple users to log into a single instance of SunOS Minix.

SunOS Minix runs as a user process, so does not require a dedicated machine. Also, multiple instance of SunOS Minix can run on a single machine simultaneously without interfering with each other.

SunOS Minix is produced by applying a set of patches to Mac Minix 1.5 (both and can be used) or PC Minix 1.5. Also, Atari Minix has been used as the base version by at least one person. The SunOS Minix patches are available via anonymous ftp from in the file SMX_2_00.TAR_Z in the UNIX directory.

Also in version 2 of SunOS Minix is our first efforts at providing support for Solaris 2.0.

Any enquiries should be sent to There is a SunOS Minix mailing list. Postings and admin requests for the mailing list should be sent to the same address.

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Computer Science department, University of Genoa, Italy
E-mail to: (Minix/P5 Workgroup)