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Questions tagged [unix]

For questions about the Unix operating system.

1
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0answers
135 views

How do I compile C code with the IRIX X Window System?

I have typed out a rather large file in C code that is defining OpenGL graphics and will draw a triangle on the screen. While I know all of the functions of the X Windowing System, I do not know how ...
3
votes
0answers
126 views

Where did /usr/mdec come from?

On UNIX, the boot code is traditionally found in the directory /usr/mdec. Some modern UNIX variants keep this tradition up (e.g. OpenBSD) while others have changed the directory layout (e.g. FreeBSD)....
56
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2answers
7k views

Why did Unix use slash as the directory separator?

The Unix designers came from the GE/MIT Multics project, and Multics inspired some Unix features. In particular, Multics has a hierarchical filesystem, and so does Unix. On Multics, pathnames were of ...
6
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1answer
323 views

On the use of the “Code Improver”

Very early C compilers, (mostly K&R C, as seen in UNIX V6, or this compiler for the Atari ST called "Megamax C") came with a "code improver". This was apparently a separate binary, named c2, and ...
3
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0answers
109 views

a learning gomoku in Lisp

Years ago I played a version of gomoku that was written in Lisp that learned as you played. After a few rounds, it became nearly unbeatable. This was on Unix System III on a small PDP-11. I have ...
43
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2answers
8k views

Why is Windows using CRLF and Unix just LF when Unix is the older system?

Windows and MS-DOS use for new lines the control characters CR-LF (carriage return, line feed), while unix uses just LF. As far as I know CR-LF made sense for systems controlling an real teletyper, ...
16
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5answers
2k views

What determines which architecture an a.out executable runs on?

The ELF file format has an e_machine field in the header, which specifies which ISA the executable expects. And the e_ident structure also has an EI_OSABI field that specifies which ABI the executable ...
29
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2answers
4k views

Why was UNIX never backported to the PDP-7?

Originally, UNIX was written in PDP-7 assembly, and then in PDP-11 assembly, but then when UNIX V4 began to be re-written in C in 1973 and was run mostly on the PDP-11. So far as I can tell, there ...
1
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1answer
220 views

File system performance and the Unix API

A 1994 book called 'The Design and Implementation of a Log-structured file system' contains the claim "We have implemented a prototype log-structured file system called Sprite LFS; it outperforms ...
3
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2answers
179 views

Setting up and using UUCP (with analog modems)

These days, of course, we have the Internet, but back in the day, there was Unix to Unix Copy - UUCP. In its heyday it was a terrific way to get email and other simple data moving across the world, ...
12
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1answer
2k views

How many lines of code were in the first Unix version (with the Thompson shell)?

How many lines of code were in the first Unix version (with the Thompson shell)? Given that the modern Linux kernel has about 15 million lines of code, I do wonder of the amount with the first Unix ...
71
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14answers
13k views

How did people use ed?

ed was the standard Unix editor, and is present on all POSIX certified systems (though it's not installed by default in Debian, FWIW). It's a line editor (meaning, you can't see all the text at a ...
35
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2answers
22k views

Why were the /\ (min) and the \/ (max) operators abandoned in the C language?

In the UNIX V7 version of the C language (but not yet in the V6 version), there were the /\ (min) and the \/ (max) operators. In the source of the scanner part of the compiler, case BSLASH: if (...
5
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2answers
222 views

Could we change the baud rate for the two serial ports on a terminal and on a computer?

Say we have a terminal (for example: VT100) that is connected to a computer (for example: PDP-11), and UNIX V7 is installed on the computer. The terminal will have a serial port that is connected ...
13
votes
1answer
469 views

Slash versus backslash as directory separator - what/who caused this rift?

MS DOS and derived systems use backslash \ for path separator and slash '/' for command parameters. Unix and a number of other systems used slash '/' for paths and backslash \ for escaping special ...
19
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3answers
555 views

What software stack could I use to get X10 (the version of X before X11) up and running on a modern system?

"What's the story behind the name "X11"?" showed up in the sidebar while I was browsing stackoverflow earlier and I noticed the question getting some high-signal answers, so I added a ...
51
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1answer
8k views

What's the story behind the name “X11”?

To this day on Linux configs and startup scripts for the GUI system are stored in /etc/X11. I remember this name appearing alone, or alongside others - XFree86, X.org, X - for as long as I had contact ...
47
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5answers
8k views

Why did base64 win against uuencode?

From the the two methods of encoding 8-bit data as human-readable ASCII, for a time, uuencode format was more popular. USENET 'binaries' groups were filled with uuencoded posts with whatever goodies ...
7
votes
1answer
369 views

Can you get the file descriptors of a process in UNIX V7?

In Linux, if I want to get the file descriptors of a process, I would go to the following directory: /proc/<pid>/fd But in UNIX V7, the /proc directory does not exist.
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Was job control supported in UNIX V7 or earlier?

Linux supports job control, i.e. you can start a process in the background, or make a foreground process run in the background, or make a background process run in the foreground, etc. Did any V7 or ...
8
votes
2answers
283 views

Is there anything special about /dev/console?

I am using the SimH emulator to emulate a PDP-11 computer with UNIX V7 installed on it. So basically I am emulating something like this: I issued the tty command to see on which TTY port my terminal ...
6
votes
2answers
483 views

Does ancient UNIX create a new shell process for each terminal?

In Linux, each terminal is associated with a new shell process. For example, here I have two xterm terminals, and each xterm terminal has an associated shell process: I am wondering if in the old ...
7
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3answers
517 views

Is the SimH emulator available on macOS?

Is the SimH emulator available for macOS? I can't find it on their website: http://simh.trailing-edge.com/ What I am specifically interested in is to run UNIX V7 on a PDP-11 emulator.
4
votes
2answers
249 views

Does the “backspace” key places the cursor on a new line in UNIX V7?

I am running UNIX V7 using the SimH emulator. Whenever I press the "backspace" key, instead of the previous character being deleted, what happens is that the cursor is placed on a new line. Is this ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Does UNIX V7 have a built-in file editor?

I can use cat to display the content of a file in UNIX V7, but I don't know how can I edit the content of a file. Is there a built-in file editor in UNIX V7?
7
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1answer
190 views

How to get a list of processes on UNIX V7?

I am running UNIX V7 using the SimH emulator. I am trying to get a list of processes using ps, but I am getting the following error: No namelist So I tried the following fix (from this post): cd /...
7
votes
2answers
170 views

Is the terminal number fixed?

Let's say that we have a PDP-11 computer with Unix installed on it and we have three terminals connected to it: A terminal can use the tty Unix command to get the terminal number. Now my question is:...
7
votes
1answer
226 views

“ps” returning “No namelist” on UNIX V7

I am using this emulator for UNIX V7: http://www.jbox.dk/sanos/pdp11.htm When I type ps to get a list of processes, I get the following error:
10
votes
2answers
857 views

What is the version of Unix and the name of the computer it run on in this 1982 video?

I am learning about the history of computers, and based on what I know so far, Unix was run on a large computer, and in order to use it, you have to use a computer terminal. Does anybody knows what ...
46
votes
5answers
8k views

Which Linux or BSD distributions do still support i386, i486 or i586 CPUs?

Unfortunately Debian kicked out Pentium 1 (i586) CPU support from its 32-bit PC port (named i386 for historic circumstances) for its next stable release Debian 9 Stretch. (Then again they complain ...
11
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2answers
681 views

How can I build Gameboy Development Kit 2.1.5 on a modern Unix/Mac platform?

Continuing with my quest to build the Infinity Game Boy Color source code, I am trying to build the Unix source of GBDK 2.1.5 on my macOS El Capitan machine. Trying to make the files in the lib ...
7
votes
3answers
379 views

Was The Telemark Assembler available for the Unix or Mac Environments?

I'm trying to build the recently released Infinity Game Boy Color source code on my macOS El Capitan box. The original development environment was a Windows box, and I'm trying to modify the build ...
10
votes
1answer
412 views

How POSIX-compliant is Xenix?

Xenix was the most popular Unix flavour of the 80's. However, it was designed before the POSIX standards came to be, and its final version was released shortly after the first POSIX specification was ...