modified: 27 Jun 2006

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For MINIX 3 go to http://www.minix3.org. (Minix 3 released Oct 2005)

Q: I have heard of Minix-vmd, what is it?

A: Short answer: Minix-vmd = 32-bit Minix + virtual memory + X11.

Long answer: Minix-vmd is a superset of standard Minix that provides virtual memory and support for X-Windows. It was written by Philip Homburg (philip@cs.vu.nl) and Kees Bot (kjb@cs.vu.nl). Here is the 1996 announcement of the release of Minix_vmd 1.7.0 with an html link added:

Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 15:31:06 GMT
From: Kees J Bot <kjb@CS.VU.NL>
Subject: Minix-vmd 1.7.0 is available

In the past few years Philip Homburg and I have been working on our own
little version of Minix named Minix-vmd.  We have been implementing our
ideas on what it should look like.  Next to that we have added bits and
pieces to make it easier to work under Minix-vmd.

There may be a few others interested in the system, so I've made a
Minix-vmd 1.7.0 distribution that can be found at:

or by using FTP to the same machine.  (The machine in question is a
486sx/25 with a random collection of old disks running Minix-vmd.  Our
objective is to keep this crate running acceptably.)

Note that Minix-vmd 1.7.0 was not tested as thoroughly as Minix 1.7.0
when it came out, except from the fact that we use it every day.  The
installation is also not as simple as installing Minix.
Kees J. Bot  (kjb@cs.vu.nl)  Systems Programmer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Minix:       http://www.cs.vu.nl/ftp/minix/   ftp://ftp.cs.vu.nl/pub/minix/
Minix-vmd:   http://http://www.Minix-vmd.org/ ftp://www.Minix-vmd.org/

Current versions of Minix-vmd

Q: The above note refers to a 1996 release. Isn't there anything newer?

A: Yes. Please do not be discouraged by the fact that the above announcement was written in 1996 and refers to version 1.7.0. Kees and Philip have been working continuously on Minix-vmd, and many of the improvements that have been added to standard Minix in the 2.0.2 and 2.0.3 releases were originally developed and tested in Minix-vmd. However, as noted above, this is a personal project, and its authors have not wanted to be distracted by all the effort involved in freezing development and issuing numbered releases.

Don't be fooled. I'm somewhat deliberately not providing links to subsections of the Minix-vmd site. When you follow the http://www.Minix-vmd.org/ link you will see sections labelled Current Minix-vmd tree and Current Minix-vmd manual pages. These will take you to directories which are frequently updated. Typically you will find things less than a month old there. But please read the main page before going for the newest stuff.

Q: OK, so how do I install a current version of Minix-vmd?

A: Install the early version, then upgrade. The newsgroup and mailing list archives are your friends. Here is a series of comp.os.minix articles on upgrading to the current Minix-vmd

In July 2003 this question was posted to comp.os.minix:

Q: What does vmd of Minix-vmd stand for?

A: Once it was Minix-386vm, a Minix version running on the 386 with Virtual Memory extensions. We didn't like the "386" in the title, because it would be wrong if we'd ever port it to another processor, so it was changed to Minix-vmd. The D was added to make the name look like BSD.

The system got more warts than just VM, so that part of the name became wrong. Maybe it should be VU Minix Distribution, but we don't really like to have "VU" in the name, because the only connection to the VU is that both of the authors work there on totally unrelated things.

So currently the name means nothing, and that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. It doesn't listen when we call it anyway.

Kees J. Bot, Systems Programmer, Sciences dept., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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