[buug] Where do I find old versions of unix?

Michael Paoli mp at rawbw.com
Thu Apr 14 23:03:58 PDT 2005

If you're in Berkeley (or the Bay Area), these days low end Pentium or
better tend to dominate the curb-side discards.  UNIX or a reasonable
approximation on x86 hardware on <'386 typically tends to leave far fewer
options (and tends to be rather to quite slugish).  So, ... if not free,
'386 through roughly low end Pentium hardware should be relatively dirt
cheap, and quite available.

But, for a '286 ... that *was* the first architecture I got to be superuser
(root) on :-) ... at the time(~'86/'87), that was SCO Xenix.  For text only
and nothing too extreme, it was okay for one person, and marginally
tolerable for 2 people working on it semi-actively (no graphics or anything

Searching archives and/or checking around some of the news:comp.unix.*
newsgroups may be fairly useful - a moderate number of them cover flavors
which run, or have versions that run, on '286 hardware (e.g. xenix,
microport, sco, sysv286).  There may be a FAQ or sommething out there that
gives a more comprehensive and current list of what might exist and be viable
for UNIX (or similar) that will run on '286 hardware.

Dealing with quite old UNIX software could be a way to start, ... but you
may also have to learn, or in many cases, relearn, what's changed with much
more current software.  Except for historic interests :-) it may be
adviseable to try to find a solution that gets you relatively current
reasonably supported software (e.g. LINUX or BSD on >='386).

Quoting willtop31 at epsfh.com:

> I join specifically to get more involved with unix, and to be weened from
> the
> teat of microsoft.
> My first step is to find older versions of unix, preferably BSD Unix of
> FreeBSD
> if possible.
> I'm looking for something that will run on a x286 with 8 MB of ram.
> Can anybody point me in the right direction?

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