[TUHS] BSD 4.1, 4.1x, Quasijarus, and 4.3x

George Michaelson ggm at algebras.org
Wed Feb 2 09:40:40 AEST 2022

4.2 was sockets. This was a huge change in network stack. It was also
bust off the tape, we tried a unix domain socket binding and crashed
the Vax.  At that stage, we were using UUCP and cu heavily to do
VMS-UNIX networking.

When it settled down, much though I hated them, (I wanted the
newcastle ... connection model to work, and then streams) sockets
drove a lot of things. sockets became everything in some ways. the
energy behind SunOS is NFS, and thats sockets.

To me, noting some work on multi-core CPUs which fed into things, 4.3
onward is mostly about novel networking stacks. Its the side story to
OS design, but the Van-Jacobsen work and related stuff by Sally Floyd,
Alison Mankin and others looking into network dynamics and algorithms
was huge. the IBM PC-RT became the fuzzball/BBN-Butterfly replacement
in the NSFnet, run by Elise Gerich and others, Elise went on to be
IANA after Jon Postel died. So the BSD-> IBM-PC/RT (BSD port) -> BGP
story is huge in this. And .. It drives on sockets. BSD drove sockets
drove NSFNet drove the explosive uptake of the network. Sockets sold

I don't entirely buy "off the rails" but I could believe the dynamic
of the BSD workgroup and the surge in burden for not enough visible
increment in benefit to Berkeley overall combined with the first
pre-dotcom boom of Sun, Dec into the space probably drove people to
seek salary and live outcomes better met in commerce. I didn't much
get MT-XINU or the other breakout when the 386 port went live. an ISP
I worked for used it, but frankly it was wierd. A Sun, pre Solaris was
a more natural place to be for a BSD refugee.

The dark side of this being Ingres. What happened there remains a bit
shrouded to me, but I'm told a lot of dirty tricks went on.

Kirk McKusick remained part of BSDs (V)FS story to this day. Others
have become more occasional on the BSD lists but they are there, if
they chose to remain silent, perhaps its because there's little upside
to buying into the current debates.  I didn't run BSD on any Vax after
the 7 series, Maybe the effort to port to the later Vax-Cluster models
was hard, but by then (looking backwards) DEC was already in Decline
and Sun was spinning up to Solaris and the brave future of SYSV
alignment hell.  I had this wierd 2 floppy OS from some kid in
northern europe, I mean FFS Andy Tannenbaum did tiny unix, who needs
another one it doesn't have sockets it doesn't have anything. This
linux thing will never work guys. We need more BSD. (worked out well,

DEC kind-of "got" networks but wierdly. They tried to sell UQueensland
an entire campus of FDDI but we had to commit to buying 1000 linecards
at a tiny discount. It was an insanely stupid idea. We stuck to
thinwire and PCs with lightweight sockets stacks.  Thats when two (2,
I counted them) DECmate devices turned up and somebodys PA had to move
over to them, hated them. The IBM Golfballs were much more heavily

NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD can't agree on support for tabstop=4 and
expandtabs in vi, and Python2 has just been deprecated EOL and Black
rewrites tabs to 4 spaces. So I guess we can argue about that for some
time yet.

On Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 7:35 AM Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:
> All,
> I did my research on this, but it's still a bit fuzzy (why is it that people's memories from 40 years ago are so malleable?).
> 1. What are y'all's recollections regarding BSD 4.1's releases, vis a vis the VAX. In McKusick's piece, Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix, I get one perspective, and from Sokolov's Quasijarus project, I get quite another. In terms of popularity and in terms of stable performance, what say you? Was 4.1 that much better than 4BSD? Was 4.1as obsolete immediately as McKusick says? 4.1b sounds good with FFS, was it? 4.1c's the last pre 4.2 release, but it sounds like it was nearly a beta version of 4.2...
> 2. Sokolov implies that the CSRG mission started going off the rails with the 4.3/4.3BSD-Tahoe and it all went pear shaped with the 4.3-Reno release, and that Quasijarus puts the mission back on track, is that so?
> 3. I've gotten BSD 4.2 and BSD 4.3 releases built from tape and working very well. I just can't decide whether to go back to one of the 4.x releases (hence question 1), or go get Quasijarus0c - thoughts on why one might be more interesting than another?
> 4. Is Quasijarus0c end of the line for VAX 4.xBSD? Why does tuhs only have Quasijarus0 and 0a, was there something wrong with 0b and 0c?
> 5. Has anyone unearthed an original 4.1 tape, or is Haertel's reconstruction of the 1981 tape 1 release as close as it gets?
> Later,
> Will

More information about the TUHS mailing list