[TUHS] VTServer/etc for V6 Unix

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Mon Oct 24 01:02:57 AEST 2016

So, in a fit of brain-fade, I originally sent this to the Classic Computers
list, when it was probably really more appropriate for this one. (Apologies to
those who are subscribed to both, and are thus seeing this again.)

So, I'm trying to do what VTServer was invented for - load Unix into an actual
PDP-11, over its serial line, when one doesn't have machine-readable Unix on
any mass storage for the machine.

However, all the initial code that VTServer loads ('mkfs', etc) is V7-specific
(V6 has a slightly different file system format) - and I want to install V6.

Has anyone ever tweaked the programs which VTServer loads to do V6-format
filesystems? I did a quick Google, but didn't see anything.

Another option is to do something more V6-like, and copy a small bootable V6
file-system image over the serial line; that may be an easier way to go.

No biggie if not, it won't be much work to adapt things, but I figured I'd try
to avoid re-inventing the wheel...

Note that the installation procedures for V6 and V7 are wholly different,
something which confused a number of people on CCTalk.

The 'Setting up Unix' documents are more checklists, they don't go into a lot
of detail as to what is actually happening, so I have prepared two pages on the
Computer History wiki:


which go into more detail on what is actually happening.


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