low-end vaxen and unix

Thor Lancelot Simon tls at rek.tjls.com
Sat Jan 30 07:41:53 AEST 1999

On Fri, Jan 29, 1999 at 03:28:52PM -0500, Pat Barron wrote:
> As I recall, you can attach an external SCSI hard disk to a MicroVAX 2000,
> and Ultrix will be able to use it, but you can't boot from it.  The
> Centronics expansion port really is a SCSI port, even though it was never
> billed as such (and the TZK50 tape drive really is a SCSI drive, and you
> can use it on other systems that have SCSI - not sure why you'd want to,
> though....).
> 4.3BSD (and its variants) for the VAX has no SCSI support at all, so
> you're out of luck if you want to use SCSI disks on a MicroVAX under 4.3.

As far as I recall, stock 4.3 won't run on the MV2000, 3100, etc.  The
people who made it do so used the relevant source bits from Ultrix, I
think, so even with a 32V source license you're out of luck.

There is a reasonable alternative.  NetBSD runs on the 2000, many 3100 models,
and even the 4000/60, which Ultrix never ran on.  It will also run 4.3BSD
binaries -- in fact, in my experience, more of them than Ultrix will.  I
ran Ultrix on a 3100 on my desk when I worked at DEC, and it was even odds
whether binaries I'd built on 4.3 would work correctly -- remember, Ultrix
branched from 4.2, not 4.3.

SCSI on the 2000 is supposed to work pretty well, SCSI on some 3100 models
less so; the LANCE ethernet on the older boxes and the SGEC on the 4000/60
work; a few models support graphical console on a QDSS or equivalent.  For
the boxes where you're stuck with small RD series disks, shared libraries
may help a bit.

Hope this helps.


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