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2003 May 30 13:26

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Re: [vox] Interesting thing i read today
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Re: [vox] Interesting thing i read today



On Fri, May 30, 2003 at 09:15:38AM -0700, Richard Crawford wrote:
> John McDonnell wrote,
> 
> > Yes, he took the idea of MINIX, but wrote it from scratch himself, then
> > unwittingly got people to help.
> >
> > Uhh... something like that - it's early.
> 
> My understanding was that Linus wanted to create an OS that would mimic
> the functionality of Minix (itself created to mimic the functionality of
> Unix) so that he could essentially have a mini-Unix box at home.  And I
> think I heard that Minix was a licensed "miniaturized" version of Unix
> created for educational purposes.

According to his book, "Just for Fun", he was using Minix up until
that point because it was the only real freely available UNIX-like
system for i386. It had many shortcomings, though, compared to "real"
Unices.

Linus originally wrote Linux as a self-contained, bootable terminal
emulator! One major reason hee wrote it was to teach himself x86
assembly. One of the first things he added was the ability to
read/write the Minix filesystem so he could upload/download. Things
just sorta grew from there, and he decided to build it into a real OS.

IIRC, none of that original code would be found today (for the most
part); Linux 2.0 was almost completely a rewrite.

So, Linux wasn't really *based* on Minix, it was written to address
Minix's short-comings, which is a different thing, to me at least.

BTW, "Just for Fun" is a very entertaining read (if somewhat haphazard, but
that's part of the fun); I highly recommend it.

-Micah
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