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Newsgroups: mod.os.unix,mod.newprod
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Date: Mon, 22-Dec-86 14:33:21 EST
Article-I.D.: cuae2.6326
Posted: Mon Dec 22 14:33:21 1986
Date-Received: Tue, 23-Dec-86 04:39:45 EST
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Reply-To: (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
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[This article was submitted to mod.os.unix.  I believe it likely to be of
interest to mod.newprod readers, too.  So, since I moderate both, I'm
cross-posting it.  RWH]

I have recently finished rewriting UNIX from scratch. This system, called MINIX,
does not contain even a single line of AT&T code, so it can be distributed with
source code.  It runs on the IBM PC, XT, and AT and those clones that are 100%
hardware compatible (not all, unfortunately).  To the average, unsophisticated
user, using MINIX is indistinguishable from using V7 UNIX.  Experts will notice
that some relatively less commonly used programs and features are missing.


  - System call compatible with V7 UNIX (except for a couple of minor calls)
  - Kernighan and Ritchie compatible C compiler is included
  - Shell that is functionally identical to the Bourne shell is included
  - Full multiprogramming (fork+exec; background jobs in shell:  cc file.c & )
  - Full screen editor vaguely inspired by emacs (modeless, autoinsert, etc.)
  - Over 60 utilities (cat, cp, grep, ls, make, mount, sort, etc.)
  - Over 100 library procedures (atoi, fork, malloc, stdio, strcmp, etc.)
  - Supports a hard disk, but also works quite well with just floppies
  - Contains programs to read and write MS-DOS diskettes
  - Full operating system source code is included
  - Source code for all the utilities (except C compiler) is included
  - System will recompile itself (requires 640K and 2 floppies or 1 hard disk)
  - C compiler source is available as a separate package
  - Kernel organization radically different from UNIX and much more modular
  - Software is not copy protected

Furthermore, I have written a 719 page book telling you everything you ever
wanted to know about operating systems in general and this one in particular.
The book contains the manual pages, an appendix describing how to recompile the
system from the sources supplied, a full source code listing of the operating
system (253 pages), and a cross reference map.

The software is available in 4 packages (book is separate):
  - Box of eight 360K diskettes for 640K IBM PCs (512K is sort of ok too)
  - Box of eight 360K diskettes for 256K IBM PCs (no C compiler)
  - Box of five 1.2M diskettes for the IBM PC-AT
  - 9 track industry standard tape (1600 bpi, tar format)

All four distributions contain the full source code, about 54,000 lines,
(kernel + utilities, except the compiler), virtually all of it in C.  The 
source code for the C compiler is also available separately (as described 
in the book).  The C compiler is NOT based on pcc at all.  It is based on 
ACK (see Communications of the ACM, Sept. 1983, pp. 654-660).  The following
programs are included, among others.  Like the kernel, these have all been 
rewritten from scratch by me, my students, people I paid to write them or in 
a small number of cases, were donated by other people to whom I am grateful:

   ar basename cat cc chmod chown cmp comm cp date dd df dosread echo
   grep gres head kill ln login lpr ls make mkdir mkfs mknod mount mv 
   od passwd pr pwd rev rm rmdir roff sh shar size sleep sort split stty
   su sum sync tail tar tee time touch tr true umount uniq update wc 

     The book and software are being sold by Prentice-Hall.  They are NOT
public domain.  However, the publisher does not object to people making a
limited number of copies of the software for noncommercial use.  For example
professors may make copies of the software for their students. Universities
may exchange modified versions. You may make a few copies for your friends etc. 
If you want to port the software to other CPUs and sell it, you need permission
from Prentice-Hall, but they will not be unreasonable.  To acquire the software,
go to any bookstore and ask them to order the book for you:

Title:      Operating Systems: Design and Implementation
Author:     Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Publisher:  Prentice-Hall (Jan. 1987)
ISBN:       0-13-637406-9

In the book you will find a postcard that you can use to order the software.
Please don't ask me for the software.  I have already spent approximately 8000 
hours over the past 5 years writing it; I don't want to spend the next 5 years 
duplicating floppy disks.  The book costs about $35.  The software is $79.95 per
set, including the source code.  I hope most people will consider $79.95 for the
binaries and sources of something almost functionally equivalent to UNIX as
being reasonable.  I know of no other software package where you get 54,000 
lines of source code for this price.  As bugs are reported, I will send Prentice
Hall new disks, so that the version they sell will remain up to date.  (This
also provides some incentive to buy rather than copy.)

     For those of you going to USENIX or UNIFORUM in Washington, D.C.
January 20-23, Prentice-Hall will have a stand at the show where you can
play with the software.  You can also buy the stuff there, but since the P-H
people drive to Washington in their own cars, they have a limited carrying
capacity and they are only taking 50 copies, so get there early the first day.

     If anyone is interested, we could set up a newsgroup comp.os.minix to
discuss minix, report bug fixes, distribute updates of individual files etc.
This letter is being multiply posted to several newsgroups.  I propose that
the initial discussion take place in (subject: MINIX) to avoid 
having it spread all over the place.  Besides, the only other newsgroup I read
is  I don't think the moderator will go for floppy disk with 
Hollandaise sauce.

Andy Tanenbaum, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
(mail to; if your machine doesn't know where nl is 
[The Netherlands], try mi...@vu44.uucp, but that will vanish soon)

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From: (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.lang.c,comp.lang.c++
Subject: C Compiler SOURCE CODE available
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 6-Jan-87 15:16:43 EST
Article-I.D.: botter.1025
Posted: Tue Jan  6 15:16:43 1987
Date-Received: Wed, 7-Jan-87 02:52:12 EST
Reply-To: (Andy Tanenbaum)
Distribution: world
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 26

I recently posted a note to mod.os.unix (article 16) and then crossposted it
to several unmoderated groups about the UNIX clone that I have written and
which is now being sold for $79 including all the source code for the kernel
and utilities.

The SOURCE CODE for the C compiler is also available for sale (but, like the
operating system, is not public domain).  If you are interested in the 
C compiler source code, contact one of the companies below.  The compiler
is based on the Amsterdam Compiler Kit (see Communications of the ACM, Sept.
1983, pp. 654-660).  It is NOT based on pcc and contains no AT&T code at all.

In North America & South America	Europe and rest of the world

UniPress Software			Transmediair Utrecht BV
2025 Lincoln Highway			Melkweg 3
Edison NJ 08817 USA			3721 RG Bilthoven, HOLLAND
phone: (201) 985 8000			(30) 78 18 20

If you want to find out more about the UNIX clone itself, check out article
16 in mod.os.unix or look in the (719 page) book about the system:

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and
published by Prentice-Hall (Jan. 1987).  If you are going to UNIFORUM or
USENIX, Prentice-Hall and UniPress will be at the show and can give demos.

Andy Tanenbaum  (  or mi...@vu44.uucp)

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From: (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga,,,comp.sys.mac
Subject: MINIX - From the mouth of the horse
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 8-Jan-87 18:11:03 EST
Article-I.D.: botter.1026
Posted: Thu Jan  8 18:11:03 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 9-Jan-87 02:45:09 EST
Reply-To: (Andy Tanenbaum)
Distribution: world
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 255

I have just learned of quite a discussion going on in comp.sys.atari about
porting MINIX to the Atari.  For all I know a similar discussion is going on
in comp.sys.amiga and elsewhere.  I am cross posting this to several groups
in case there are people there who are interested in porting MINIX to their
machine.  If you missed the original note in mod.os.unix, I have just written
a UNIX clone that is available now with all the SOURCE CODE for $79.95 from
Prentice-Hall.  There is also a book telling how it works inside.
I suggest that subsequent discussion go on in to avoid 
scattering it all over the place.  At the very least, crosspost comments to under the subject MINIX. Later, we can set up comp.os.minix
if there is enough interest.

Read the comp.sys.atari group under the heading Forwarded for the last 2 weeks
to get the background for this note.

Although MINIX is copyright (not licensed), Prentice-Hall has agreed to permit
people to make a LIMITED number of copies for educational use, home study etc.
Posting the source code on the network (54K lines of C, kernel+utilities) is a
no no, but if each purchased copy doesn't generated more than say, 2 or 3 
copies it is ok. While this is not public domain it is a lot better than Lotus,
Microsoft, Borland, and every other software company in the world's policy.

About the pricing.  It is clearly not shareware, but by publishing the
source code on diskette, we are clearly not acting like AT&T either.
I had some discussion with people like Brian Kernighan (author of
the Software Tools package) and Doug Comer (author of Xinu, a little
embedded operating system for the LSI-11, although not really UNIX
like) and came to the following conclusion.  I would like to see MINIX become
widespread, so the distribution mechanism is crucial.  Having a major
publisher like Prentice-Hall advertise it, bring it to shows, send out
junk mail, etc. will get it a lot more attention than a note on the
net.  Getting a commercial publisher like Prentice-Hall interested means
charging something.  I think in the long run, this funny, copyrighted
but not real aggressive position we are taking will cause MINIX to become
widespread, new software to be made for it, etc.  The GNU people are
upset because deep in their hearts they, too, know that people would rather
pay a reasonable price for good stuff than get empty promises for free.
Does anyone know how much GNU charges for its "free" software for the tape,
postage, handling etc?    Berkeley generally charges something like $125
for its tapes, as I recall.  If GNU also charges $125 for its "free" software
it seems to me that their moral indignation at Prentice-Hall's outrageous
$79.95 price is somewhat weakened.  I mentioned MINIX in netnews last year
and I got quite a few reactions.  I have also contacted lots of people for
various reasons.  With two exceptions, everybody congratulated me and wished
me good luck.  Some people, especially Martin Atkins, Charles Forsyth, and
Richard Gregg gave me a lot of help, for which I am grateful.  Only two
people were really negative, almost bitter--both from the Free Software
Foundation (names withheld because I don't believe in character assassination
on a world-wide network).  I am tempted to comment further, but I won't.

As to the port to the Atari/Amiga/etc as far as I see, there are no technical
problems with the MMU.  The trouble is as follows.  When you fork, the
child has to go somewhere else in memory than where the parent was.
Unfortunately, the child's stack contains absolute addresses, such as
the return from the fork routine.  If the child runs somewhere other
than where the parent was, it will crash.

There are a couple of solutions, the simplest of which is this.  When the
child is created, record in the process table where the parent was.
When it is time to run the child, just swap the parent and the child,
and actually run the child where it belongs.  When the parent wants to
run, swap them again.  Although this sounds horrendous,  it is not at all
so bad.  Swapping two 10K programs in memory might take 30 millisec.
MINIX programs are small.  I am a strong believer in Small is Beautiful.
At the end of this note you will find the sizes of the MINIX utilities.
The only big ones are the compiler passes, cpp, cem, opt, cg, and asld.

Furthermore, 99.9% of the time, the child does an EXEC, at which point the
operating system can put the parent back where it belongs, and put the
new core image anywhere in memory.  In practice, all this trick will
cost is about two copies of the forked core image, and it doesn't require
modifying the compiler. My experience with fragmentation is that it is not bad.
MINIX doesn't swap because one of the design goals was to have it run on CHEAP
hardware (meaning a 256K PC with 1 floppy disk) and floppies are not ideal as
swapping devices.

The MINIX memory management scheme is very simple, because the PC's hardware
is primitive.  A core image consists of the text, the data, a gap, and then the
stack, growing downward.  The stack and the data segments grow into the
gap.  If they meet, BOOM!  In practice, very few programs have wildly
growing stacks or data segments.  I ran some statistics once, and for 90%
of the MINIX utilities, 2K stack is plenty.  On the PC, the text is limited to
64K, and the data + stack is also limited to 64K.  On a 68000, there would
be no need for such a limit.  It comes from the 8088 architecture.
All you have to do is change a couple of constants in the memory manager.

The book is already out.  You should be able to order it at any book store.
The title is Operating Systems: Design and Implementation.  The software 
will be out in three weeks.  It went into production about three weeks ago,
and it takes about six weeks.  Don't ask me why.  Probably the same reason
as why it takes Prentice-Hall 18 months to produce a book from the finished
manuscript (unless you give them camera ready copy, as I do).  If you want to
get the software (either on PC diskettes or 9 track tape), first order the book
and then send back the business reply card (software order form) in the book.

I would like to see a MINIX version for the Atari/Amiga/etc.  The 68000 is
clearly much better than the 8088, but the PC has a lot of software going for
it.  Maybe a tolerable UNIX clone might help the Atari/Amiga/etc in its fight
against the monster from 8088-land.  A colleague of mine at Philips has
already started to port MINIX to the Atari.  He is an absolutely top rate
programmer, but he is VERY busy, so he doesn't have much time.  I think he
has already rewritten the MINIX assembly code (low level interrupt
handlers, etc) for the 68000.  I will check with him one of these days; he
seems to be away right now.  What I would like to find is someone who:

(1) knows the Atari (Amiga, Macintosh, etc) hardware well 
(2) knows UNIX well on the outside and moderately on the inside
(3) has a substantial amount of free time
(4) has access to an IBM PC for testing things etc.  (not essential, but helps)

Perhaps such a person could do the port with a little assistance from me.
Unfortunately I don't have much time either, as Prentice-Hall is bugging me to
revise a book on networks I wrote a million years ago.

The main things to do, other than the 68000 assembly code, are the device
drivers, all of which are in C, but of course are totally different for
the PC and Atari etc.  The PC version doesn't use the BIOS at all, because the
stupid thing doesn't use interrupts.  When you start a background job up
and then start up the editor in the foreground, calling the BIOS to read
a character would put the whole computer in a tiny loop sitting and waiting
for the keyboard to produce a character.  MINIX supports the full UNIX
multiprogramming, so I had to write all the drivers from scratch (in C).  I 
suspect that the Atari BIOS isn't any better, although maybe we could use the
screen output BIOS.

And here we come back to the $79 again. If the person doing the port does a
good job, Prentice-Hall could sell the other version on diskettes, source code
and all, for the same $79 as the PC version.  I have enough clout with P-H
that I think I could arrange that.  Needless to say, the person doing the
port would be remunerated for his efforts, probably in the form of a royalty
on each disk set sold.  The royalty is typically only a couple of dollars,
but that small amount is why capitalism works and socialism doesn't.

If anyone is interested, let me know.  I don't think it will be that difficult,
but you have to plow through much of a very tightly written 719 page book and
understand a 12,000 line program before you can even start, so it will no doubt
be months of work.  Also, debugging operating system code on a bare machine
even a relatively nice one like the 68000, will be a fair amount of work.

One other point is the compiler.  The compiler is based on ACK, which is 
described in Communications of the ACM, Sept. 1983, pp. 654-660.  ACK is a big
system for writing compilers.  It is being distributed by UniPress in Edison
NJ and Transmediair in Utrecht, Holland.  It uses the old UNCOL idea of having
front ends that generate a common intermediate code and then back ends that
compile from that code to the target machine.  At present we have front ends
for C, Pascal, Modula 2, Basic, Occam, and even a subset of Ada. There are back
ends for virtually every micro around, from the 6502 to the 68020.  The ACK
software is owned by the university I teach at. UniPress pays them a royalty on
each copy they sell (academic price is $995 for a source tape containing 6
megabytes, although Modula 2 and Occam aren't on the tape yet).  Our department
doesn't have much money, and we use the royalties to allow grad students to go
to conferences and the like.  For these reasons the compiler kit is not part
of MINIX.    Furthermore even the 8088 C compiler source by itself fills 4
diskettes.  If the compiler source were in the MINIX distribution, that would
have meant raising the basic price to over $100, very much against my idea of
keeping the price low. I personally wrote MINIX in my spare time, which is why 
it doesn't have to follow the same rules as ACK.

Nevertheless, the source of the 8088 MINIX C compiler is available
as a separate package from UniPress.  I suspect that the easiest way to get
a 68000 C compiler is for someone at a university to have their university buy
the ACK tape and use that to develop the 68000 compiler.  When it is done, it
will be necessary to negotiate a deal with UniPress to allow it to be sold,
but I know Mark Krieger, the president of UniPress, and he is a reasonable guy,
so I am sure some deal can be worked out that won't raise the price too much.
He is on the net (m...@unipress.uucp) if you have questions about all this.

The reason that I think this route is the easiest, is that ACK already has a
backend for the 68000, so there isn't much work to be done, but you really
need a VAX or a SUN or something like that to bring up the full ACK development
system.  The compilers that are produced aren't so big, but the compiler-
compilers, and backend generators and the other meta-software doesn't really
fit easily on a PC.  In addition to the 6 megabytes of source code on the
tape, you have to count on at least 20 megabytes of object files and working
space to compile everything.  The 68000 compiler has been running for years
and it is pretty good.  We recently rewrote the backend table for the
68000, 68010, and 68020 and the code quality seems very good (about 15% better
than the C compiler Motorola sells).  I haven't even thought about using the
Pascal, Modula 2, Basic etc. front ends because I wanted the system to fit on,
and be able to recompile itself on a system without, a hard disk.  This
succeeded.  Technically there shouldn't be any big problem with the other
front ends.  Note that UniPress has TWO packages: 8088 MINIX C compiler, and
full ACK.  The former is 4 diskettes; the latter is 6 megabytes on a mag tape.

Andy Tanenbaum (, or in emergencies, m...@vu44.uucp)

Sizes of the MINIX commands

  Program  Text  Data   Bss  Total   (all sizes in decimal bytes)
    sync:   424    20    26    470
     clr:   714    28   156    898
  update:   836    42    58    936
   sleep:   848    58    58    964
      ln:  1070    86    74   1230
   chmod:   984    98   156   1238
basename:  1060    66   156   1282
     tee:  1228    82    94   1404
    kill:  1240    78   156   1474
  umount:   782   758    26   1566
   touch:  1348    76   156   1580
     sum:  1438    84   156   1678
   mknod:   930   738    26   1694
   mount:   890   782    26   1698
     pwd:  1546    84   172   1802
   mkdir:  1656   158    58   1872
   split:  1656   132   130   1918
     rev:   886    42  1052   1980
   rmdir:  1802   196   188   2186
     cat:  1212   722   540   2474
      mv:  2444   244    58   2746
    echo:   648    24  2076   2748
    stty:  2336   260   170   2766
      rm:  2468   276    30   2774
      df:  2030   948   156   3134
    time:  2584   666   266   3516
     lpr:  1314   126  2114   3554
    comm:  1822   104  2400   4326
      tr:  1470    82  2852   4404
   login:  3376  1436    28   4840
   chmem:  3178   278  2074   5530
    size:  3102   232  2208   5542
     tar:  4010   456  1774   6240
    head:  2762   168  3484   6414
      wc:  4460   208  2104   6772
      su:  3548  1498  2076   7122
      dd:  4966   532  2148   7646
   chown:  3522  2148  2074   7744
    date:  5338   412  2104   7854
      od:  5388   288  3654   9330
  passwd:  4976  1764  2620   9360
      pr:  5776   514  3110   9400
    sort:  6404   694  2490   9588
    grep:  6740   694  2208   9642
    uniq:  4956   850  5150  10956
      cc:  4404   826  5986  11216  4404   834  5986  11224
    gres:  8496   768  2076  11340
    tail:  4550   184  7200  11934
      ar:  4900   488 11350  16738
    mkfs:  8708   906  7376  16990
    roff: 12742   820  4710  18272
      cp:  1914   876 16412  19202
    make: 15216  1976  3614  20806
    shar:   980    82 20506  21568
     cmp:  3372   224 18468  22064
 dosread:  7440  3688 11992  23120
   mined: 15680  2198  5308  23186
      sh: 21536  1668  1310  24514
      ls:  7164   584 17994  25742
     cpp: 16896  3764  8580  29240 (Pass 1 of the C compiler)
    asld: 14048  7882  7412  29342 (Pass 5 of the C compiler)
     opt: 16400  9368  9494  35262 (Pass 3 of the C compiler)
      cg: 24816 22968 10520  58304 (Pass 4 of the C compiler)
     cem: 59856 10656  3164  73676 (Pass 2 of the C compiler)

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!watmath!clyde!rutgers!mit-eddie!tower
From: t...@mit-eddie.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga,,,comp.sys.mac,comp.os.minix
Subject: Re: MINIX - From the mouth of the horse
Message-ID: <4564@mit-eddie.MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 17-Jan-87 16:53:46 EST
Article-I.D.: mit-eddi.4564
Posted: Sat Jan 17 16:53:46 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 17-Jan-87 23:55:57 EST
References: <>
Reply-To: (Leonard H. Tower Jr.)
Followup-To: comp.os.minix
Distribution: world
Organization: Project GNU, Free Software Foundation, 1000 Mass. Ave.,
Cambridge, MA  02138, USA +1 (617) 876-3296
Lines: 67
Keywords: MINIX FSF GNU freedom Unix
Summary: diffs between FSF/GNU, MINIX, AT&T Unix

In article <> (Andy Tanenbaum) writes:

> ...  The GNU people are
>upset because deep in their hearts they, too, know that people would rather
>pay a reasonable price for good stuff than get empty promises for free.

First, I would like to commend ast for doing MINIX, and going a large part of
the way towards giving MINIX its freedom.

Second, GNU isn't an empty promise.  GNU Emacs is out there.  GDB (GNU's
Debugger) is out there.  Bison, a YACC compatible Parser Generator, is out
there.  The GNU C compiler (highly optimizing with VAX, 68000, and 68020 code
generators) will be released soon.  Etc.

The remaining large undone piece is the kernel.  Work has started on that,
and its being leveraged off of existing code for a Unix style kernel, Trix,
written at MIT a while back.

GNU is a more ambitious project than MINIX, and rms hasn't had much more help
than ast.  Most of rms' help has been volunteer.  rms has also been working on
it for a shorter period of time.

Third, none of the GNU people I know of are upset.  We are just sad that yet
more software has been chained up.

>Does anyone know how much GNU charges for its "free" software for the tape,
>postage, handling etc?    Berkeley generally charges something like $125
>for its tapes, as I recall.  If GNU also charges $125 for its "free" software
>it seems to me that their moral indignation at Prentice-Hall's outrageous
>$79.95 price is somewhat weakened.

First, "free" doesn't refer to cost, but to the freedom of the software.

Second, I would like to present some comparisons between GNU, MINIX, and
Unix.  I know the facts are straight for GNU, correct me on the others.

					GNU	MINIX	Unix
					---	-----	----

Is source code distributed?		Yes	Yes	For many more $$

How many copies of the source can
   you give away, legally?	     Unlimited	3-4	None

Can one legally restrict use by others? No	YES	YES

Can one legally post it on USENET?	Yes	NO	NO

Can one legally ARPA ftp it, freely?	Yes	NO	NO

Cost of non-ARPA distribution from
   home organization:		      $ 150.  $ 80.	Many times more.

People are referred to:
	- the GNU Public License
	- the GNU Manifesto
	- Minix's Licensing arrangements (I have yet to see these)
	- AT&T and susbsidiary vendor Unix Licenses
for further details.

happy hacking, len tower
Len Tower, Project GNU of the Free Software Foundation
	   1000 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA  02138, USA +1 (617) 876-3296
HOME: 36 Porter Street, Somerville, MA  02143, USA +1 (617) 623-7739
UUCP: {}!mit-eddie!mit-prep!tower	INTERNET:

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Path: utzoo!watmath!clyde!rutgers!sri-unix!husc6!mit-eddie!tower
From: t...@mit-eddie.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.amiga,,,comp.sys.mac,
Subject: Re: MINIX - From the mouth of the horse
Message-ID: <4654@mit-eddie.MIT.EDU>
Date: Sun, 25-Jan-87 22:40:12 EST
Article-I.D.: mit-eddi.4654
Posted: Sun Jan 25 22:40:12 1987
Date-Received: Mon, 26-Jan-87 06:38:24 EST
References: <> <4564@mit-eddie.MIT.EDU>
Reply-To: (Leonard H. Tower Jr.)
Followup-To: comp.os.minix
Distribution: world
Organization: Project GNU, Free Software Foundation, 1000 Mass. Ave.,
Cambridge, MA  02138, USA +1 (617) 876-3296
Lines: 73
Keywords: GNU MINIX FSF freedom
Summary: rms' reply
Posting-Front-End: GNU Emacs 18.36.1 of Wed Jan 21 1987 on eddie (berkeley-unix)

rms asked me to post this followup to article <>
of (Andy Tanenbaum).  I apologize for the delay (I was
keyboard-less at USENIX for the last week  ;-} ).

   When Andy Tanenbaum announced his plans for MINIX, I told him that he
   could certainly use any of GNU in MINIX, as long as he followed the
   terms, which say that everyone must be able to redistribute it in any
   quantity to anyone.  Also, I said that if he produced something that
   fit the GNU system and was suitably available, I would use it.
   I don't think this was an antagonistic response.
   But I wasn't interested in more than passive cooperation, for two
   One was that the technical goals were very different and I doubted
   that any code written for one system would really be suitable for the
   other.  He planned a small system to fit the machines now common.  I
   am aiming for a more powerful system that people will prefer to 4.2 or
   system V, to run on the next generation of machine.  Each of these
   paths has its advantages and disadvantages which I'm sure the reader
   can see.
   The other is that I doubted that MINIX would ultimately be available
   on terms that would allow GNU to use it.  I wasn't interested in
   investing any effort on it until this doubt was resolved.  Now
   it appears the resolution is that GNU can't use it.
   Meanwhile, Tanenbaum hasn't used any GNU software, perhaps because
   some is too big for today's IBM PC's or perhaps because GNU copylefts
   would not permit their distribution on Prentice Hall's terms.
   I do not understand why Tanenbaum calls the GNU project "empty
   promises".  Several pieces of GNU software are already in
   distribution, complete with fanatical admirers and detractors.
   I think we have demonstrated that we can deliver what we promise.
   There is no charge whatever for using GNU software for any purpose.
   The Free Software Foundation charges for mailing tapes, but this is
   not the same as a charge for the software on the tape.  That is free,
   and you can make as many copies as you like for anyone at all.  The
   Free Software Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization and
   the money that tape distribution brings in is spent on the creation of
   more free software.  (None of it goes to me personally.)
   The GNU C compiler will be released for testing soon.  It compiles
   itself, GNU Emacs and Monardo's free TeX-in-C successfully, so it is
   not far from ready.  And it will be free, with sources.  (TeX-in-C is
   still being tested; the Free Software Foundation and probably others
   will distribute it by and by.  There will be announcements.)
   Further questions on GNU, GNU mailing lists, and the availability
   of GNU software can be directed to or
   mit-eddie!prep!gnu or seismo!!gnu.

rms (Richard M. Stallman) is directly reachable at
<>.  Please realise that any time you spend
communicating with him will delay the delivery of GNU software, by the
time it takes him to read and reply.

happy hacking, -len tower
Len Tower, Project GNU of the Free Software Foundation
	   1000 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA  02138, USA +1 (617) 876-3296
HOME: 36 Porter Street, Somerville, MA  02143, USA +1 (617) 623-7739
UUCP: {}!mit-eddie!mit-prep!tower	INTERNET:

			  SCO's Case Against IBM

November 12, 2003 - Jed Boal from Eyewitness News KSL 5 TV provides an
overview on SCO's case against IBM. Darl McBride, SCO's president and CEO,
talks about the lawsuit's impact and attacks. Jason Holt, student and 
Linux user, talks about the benefits of code availability and the merits 
of the SCO vs IBM lawsuit. See SCO vs IBM.

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