Michael Sokolov mxs46 at k2.scl.cwru.edu
Tue Jan 26 13:23:32 AEST 1999

Thor Lancelot Simon <tls at rek.tjls.com> wrote:

> It would be nice to have the pre-4.4 (was it 4.4-alpha?) and 4.4BSD
> distributions, as shipped by CSRG, in the archive.

See my previous posting.

> What would be even nicer would be the entire system as of the last
> time it was touched -- the AT&T-encumbered system which would correspond
> to the free 4.4BSD-Lite2 distribution which was the last public output
> from CSRG.

You'll get exactly this if you order Marshall Kirk McKusick's CSRG Archives
CD-ROM set. The last CD-ROM is the image of CSRG's master /usr/src as it
existed on the last second of CSRG's existence, one hour after the 4.4BSD-Lite2
tape was pressed.

> Did anyone ever build a distribution of such a system?

You mean binary distribution? Well, the machine the master /usr/src was stored
on ran this system presumably, so I guess the binaries you want existed at some
point. Whether they have been preserved anywhere is an entirely different

> Is it feasible
> to do so now?

I suppose so. The best way to do it would probably be to bootstrap from the
4.4BSD tape and then recompile the system from the new source tree.

> I don't have a firm grasp on which architectures would
> actually compile and run as of that point in the SCCS files -- would
> VAX, using the old VM system?

I also have a very vague idea of what exactly can 4.4BSD-* run on. But
definitely not VAX or Tahoe. There is no old VM in the 4.4BSD-* tree, and the
kernel architecture has changed so much between 4.3BSD and 4.4BSD that back-
porting it is not something I would volunteer to do.

> I'd assume hp300 would work, since it
> was the primary development platform, right?


> Had the LBL SPARC port been integrated?


You know, if your interest is in resurrecting CSRG, my advice to you is not to
bother with 4.4BSD-*, but to join Quasijarus Project instead. The break point
in the history of CSRG was in late 1988. Everything after that is so far from
True UNIX that I have decided to put a big X over it, turn the Universe clock
back to that point (using my SCCS Time Machine), declare all of CSRG's
post-1988 work "not really CSRG", and declare myself CSRG's true successor.

If you look at my mail signature, you'll see that I'm the new official
maintainer of Berkeley UNIX and the principal architect of its further
development, known as Quasijarus Project. As far as I am concerned, 4.4BSD
never existed except as a "side branch" from True UNIX, and the last True UNIX
release from CSRG was 4.3BSD-Tahoe. I picked it up from that point and now I'm
maintaining and developing it just as CSRG did until 1988. I am the true
successor of true CSRG. If you want CSRG, here I am.

BTW, it's not just that I suddenly declared myself to be the new CSRG. I earned
this title, not just assumed it. Marshall Kirk McKusick himself (the previous
maintainer of CSRG) acknowledges me as the new principal maintainer and
architect. Oh, and he doesn't even object to my decision to undo all of his and
others' 1988-1995 work with the SCCS Time Machine. He said himself in a private
E-mail that he would love to see the golden old non-bloated system resurrected.

I have used the term "True UNIX" several times in this message. Let me explain
what I mean. While others may view the history of UNIX as a tree (you hear
about UNIX history tree diagrams all the time), I view it as a straight line.
The straight line of _mainstream_ True UNIX development looks like this:

V6 (Bell) -> V7 (Bell) -> 32V (Bell) -> 3BSD (UCB) -> 4.0BSD (UCB) -> 4.1BSD
(UCB) -> 4.2BSD (UCB) -> 4.3BSD (UCB) -> 4.3BSD-Tahoe (UCB) ->
4.3BSD-Quasijarus0 (Michael Sokolov) -> future Quasijarus releases (Michael

For each release the responsible entity is indicated in parentheses. There are
several things worth noting here. Notice how after V7 and 32V the torch of True
UNIX development moves from Bell to UCB, never to return to Bell again. This is
because everything Bell did after that (System V and such) deviates from the
True UNIX ideology and loses the True UNIX torch. In late 1970s or early 1980s
UCB picks up this torch and carries it until 1988. In 1988 UCB starts deviating
from True UNIX too with the evil spirit of POSIX and everything, and loses the
torch. The torch was laying on the ground from that point until the 27th of
December 1998 when I picked it up with the 4.3BSD-Quasijarus0 release. Now I'm
carrying it into the next millennium.

Check out the Quasijarus Project WWW page referenced in my mail signature.

Michael Sokolov
TUHS 4BSD Coordinator
4.3BSD-* Maintainer
Quasijarus Project Principal Architect & Developer
Phone: 440-449-0299 or 216-217-2579
ARPA Internet SMTP mail: mxs46 at k2.scl.cwru.edu
TUHS WWW page: http://minnie.cs.adfa.edu.au/TUHS/
Quasijarus WWW page: http://minnie.cs.adfa.edu.au/Quasijarus/

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