MINIX-ST by Werner Müller
This article has been kindly translated and supplied from a
German usergroup magazine called "CCD-INFO", number 16, February
"Minix ST" is an alternative operating system for the Atari ST.
Its function calls are mostly compatible with the UNIX 7
It is created mainly for learning about operating systems. Its
documentation is in English, and no German version of that is
The Operating System is provided complete with its source code,
and also as a piece of executable code. A C-compiler (without
source) that's compatible with Kerninghma and Ritchie is
included, as well as 60 utlity programs known from UNIX (source
code only). A simple editor, which is used like EMACS, is elso
The OS only supports Textscreen (VT52 Terminal), Floppy Disk and
Harddisk. There is, unfortunately, no support for the serial
port, graphics, the mouse, ROM cards, etc. Also, no "umlaute" are
possible. It is multi-tasking, and can therefore run several
programs at the same time. In contract to UNIX, it's a single
How does MINIX work in practice?
When you open the package you find 9 single sided diskets. You
must first make safety copies and then you can start preparing
the operating systems for the first trials.
(Takes about 1 hour)
You convert the diskets to double sided discs and costumize a
RAM disk. The RAM disks contains the main directory and the
utility programs you always need.
(Takes 1 day....)
Then you can try to create and compile a simple C program "Hello
world" .... and it will work.
(Total time required: 5-10 minutes)
If you want to use and modify the source you must first
(This will require a free weekend)
Er....Who should try to get MINIX-ST?
- The person must be able to read and understand english
- The basics of the C language should be known
- The person should be able to quikly type long texts
(one command requires about 30 keystrokes or more....)
- The person should have a connection to BITNET
Updates are available via Bitnet
Problems are discussed there and
Mister Tannenbaum helps if it get really difficult
- The person wants to learn UNIX
- The person should have time
DID you survive? See you again on MINIX-L on bitnet!
People who are just interesting in operating systems should try
to get the book from A.S. Tannenbaum I will mention in a sec.
It's a really nicely written text on operating system. I learned
a lot on problems one has to solve if you want to create your own
In Germany, you can get this operating system from:
Bissendorfer Straße 8
D-3000 Hannover 61
It costs DM 228 (for Atari ST) or DM 248 (for IBM PC).
Most likely, you'll also need the book:
Operating Systems; Design and Implementation
ISBN number: 0-13-637331-3
It is sold from Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NY 07632,
United States of America.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.