[TUHS] Re: Porting Unix v6 to i386

P.A.Osborne P.A.Osborne at ukc.ac.uk
Fri Feb 1 20:24:30 AEST 2002

> >http://hp.openwatcom.org/ftp/zips/    for the binaries
> >http://hp.openwatcom.org/ftp/docs/    for PDFs of the documentation
> Cool!


> Still, no source code => not much use for porting Unix, unless you
> want to be limited to cross-compiling from DOS.  (Making the Watcom
> binaries run under v6 Unix seems very unlikely since they probably
> use fancy 32-bit extenders that know all sorts of esoterica about
> DOS memory management...)

The reason I want the compiler is that it will generate standalone
16 bit code on a sensible platform.    GCC doesnt produce 16 bit
code as far as I am aware - so personally I thought it would be
amusing (I must be mad) to use tools that run under DOS (well OS/2).

> Someone else on the mailing list suggested using old versions of
> Tanenbaum's Minix, which has a different set of compilers; again
> the problem is, no compiler source code last time I looked at Minix.
> So far the only viable compiler suggestion seems to be the one
> from Warner Losh who recommended bcc.  (Or, port the PDP-11 compiler
> yourself.)

I think we are looking at this from different ends, let me try and explain:

Initially we need to be able to compile the kernel/system so it runs,
I feel that updating the code to ANSI C and using a modern compiler
will do the job for that.

Eventually it would be nice to be able to get v6-i86 (or whatever we 
call it) to boot itself and then be able to compile itself - at that
point it becomes a complete project.  

It is however essentially two projects:
1.   rewriting the OS so it boots as i86
2.   (re)writing a compiler that will run native and be able to compile 
     the OS on its own platform 

The second part is not essential by any means,  but it could by the 
purists be considered the ultimate goal.  


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