Minix 2.0.4 Virtual Machine for VMWare Player

modified: 27 Jun 2006

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


Downloading the Minix 2.0.4 virtual machine and the VMWare player

You can download minix204vmwp01.zip, a Minix 2.0.4 virtual machine for VMWare Player, here. There is a short description of the package in this text file. The free VMWare Player can be downloaded from http://www.vmware.com/products/player/.

Why Minix 2.0.4?

Although Minix 3 and the Operating Systems Design and Implementation, 3rd edition text are now available, Minix 2 and the second edition of the OSDI book are still in widespread use. Many professors have course materials based on Minix 2 that they wish to use, and it may be several years before translations of the new edition of the text to languages other than English are available.

This page provides a Minix 2.0.4 virtual machine for use with the free VMWare player. Although the version of Minix described in the OSDI, 2nd ed. text is Minix 2.0.0, the majority of the changes to Minix that were made between the 1997 release of 2.0.0 and the 2003 release of 2.0.4 are to optional parts of the system not described in the text, and 2.0.4 should still be useful in teaching a course based on the 2nd edition of the text. A Changes document available here lists differences between Minix 2.0.0 and Minix 2.0.4, and will help you to understand differences between Minix as described in the text and Minix 2.0.4.

The virtual machine is configured with a 512 MB virtual disk and 32 MB RAM. Empty VMWare virtual disks use little disk space, and initially the Minix 2.0.4 virtual machine will need about 64 MB, but this will expand as the virtual disk is used. The total virtual disk size is fixed, but the amount of memory used by the Minix virtual machine can be changed by editing the configuration file.


Unzip the archive to create a minix204_32MB_512MB directory. Within this directory a README.txt file describes how to start Minix on VMWare. No special configuration is needed to start Minix but there are a number of things you may want to change for serious use, and these are described here. This file also describes additional text files readable either on the host system or from within Minix once it is running. If you are impatient you can view the README file now.

Changing the virtual disk

You can create a virtual machine with a bigger or smaller virtual disk by mounting an empty virtual disk as a second drive, and using Minix tools top partition it, create file systems, and copy files, just like copying to a real hard disk. The EasyVMX.com website provides downloadable ready-made virtual disk files, or you can create a custom virtual disk there. See also the article How to use VMWare Player to create your own images.


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