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Operating Systems Education Software Unix Upgrades Technology Linux

Minix 3.2.1 Released 107

Posted by timothy
from the won't-be-big-and-fancy-like-gnu-linux dept.
kthreadd writes "Minix, originally designed as an example for teaching operating system theory which was both inspiration and cause for the creation of Linux has just been released as version 3.2.1. Major new features include full support for shared libraries and improved support for USB devices such as keyboards, mice and mass storage devices. The system has received many performance improvements and several userland tools have been imported from NetBSD."
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Minix 3.2.1 Released

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  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:46PM (#42991263) Homepage Journal

    Looking under "Drivers, FS" it would seem that the Minix developers are still focusing on keeping it compatible with qemu and virtualbox, ie, they don't expect anybody to run it on real hardware and use it for real jobs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:58PM (#42991333)

    Wikipedia will give you an answer quicker (30 seconds) than Slashdot responses (5 minutes):

    "MINIX is a Unix-like computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum for educational purposes"

  • by Raenex (947668) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @05:48PM (#42991559)

    Looking under "Drivers, FS" it would seem that the Minix developers are still focusing on keeping it compatible with qemu and virtualbox, ie, they don't expect anybody to run it on real hardware and use it for real jobs.

    How does support for virtual hardware mean they don't expect people to run it under real hardware too? I don't follow your logic. Not only that, your conclusion is directly contradicted by the Minix website [minix3.org]:

    "Research Projects

    MINIX 3 won a grant from the European Research Council for 2.5 million [euros] to further research in highly reliable operating systems. Due to its modular nature and fault tolerance, it is easy to use it as a basis for operating systems research or for a product."

    and more [minix3.org]:

    "It was only with the third version, MINIX 3, and the third edition of the book, published in 2006, that the emphasis changed from teaching to a serious research and production system, especially for embedded systems. A few of the many differences between MINIX 2 and MINIX 3 are given here [minix3.org].

    Going forward, we are making a serious effort to turn MINIX 3 into an industrial-grade system with a focus on the embedded market, especially for those applications that need high reliability and availability."

  • by pipeep (2106308) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @07:58PM (#42992399)
    I'm currently in a university course where Minix 3.2.1 is being used to teach OS principles. It's certainly small, and therefore semi-easy to wrap your head around. But I would not agree that its source code is "clean". They have a lot of really old code and suffer from coding guidelines that have changed greatly over time. I've never seen someone mix tabs and spaces so much in a piece of code. And can anyone say "no namespacing"? That said, I don't have much familiarity of the internals of other kernels, but I'm not too impressed by Minix.
  • Embedded Market (Score:5, Informative)

    by crow (16139) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @08:38PM (#42992587) Homepage Journal

    I spoke with Andy Tannenbaum when we were at the OSDI conference last October. He said that Minix has a role in the embedded market, especially in places where companies want to avoid the GPL.

    It's a large and growing market. Much as I would prefer Linux, I agree that there's plenty of room for Minix in that market.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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