A Minix Web Server on a 286

modified: 02 Jan 2003

In a comp.os.minix posting, Mike Mulder <phoenix@anomic.net> mentioned his Minix-based web server running on a 286 machine. It is on the net at http://phoenix.anomic.net

The first incarnation of minix1.hampshire.edu offered anonymous ftp access using Michael Temari's Tnet system on Minix 1.5 on an 80286 system, but I had not heard of anyone running a server with the current version of Minix on such primitive hardware, so I took a look and then wrote to Mike to ask for more info.

Here's what he wrote back:

"Well, I'm working as a network operations engineer at an ISP here in the Netherlands, and the server is connected to a permanent uplink at our colocation. Nice to see my trusty old 286 between all those Sun Enterprise 250's and Cisco 7500's :). So for as long as it keeps running I can say it is a permanent setup. It therefore can be used as a mirror for the Minix resources. I dedicated the webserver for this, and I have no other use for the webserver.

"The story is simple: my old computer is useless for a Windows environment, and this way I proved to myself (and the rest of the world) that even a 286 is a powerful machine. I think it is very funny to have such obsolete equipment worth 1 dollar serving pages to the public. Instead of most people using Minix, my main goal is not to learn about the basics of Unix, just have a powerfull OS for this computer. The choice for Minix was easy, since there is not much else available.

"I would like to tell you about my experiences with Minix from my point of view: just as a user like most people use Linux. I have to say I did not develop any software myself. The webserver and mailserver are written by Michael Temari, so I am a true "user". I wrote the story on an info page which is published on my server.

"Besides the software I also do some experimenting with the hardware, for getting the most out of my 286. Especially speed it up to maximum performance. I have it running at 18 MHz now, but soon I hope to reach 21 MHz. Finally I hope to end up with the fastest 286 ever :). This might cause some downtime every now and then, and I hope I will not kill it."


Mail comments on this page to: Al Woodhull <awoodhull@hampshire.edu>
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