[TUHS] DG UNIX History

David Barto david at kdbarto.org
Sun Nov 13 03:13:09 AEST 2022

I worked on the DG-UX software porting device drivers to it.

It wasn’t a Unix port, it was a complete re-write from the ground up.

The interfaces to the drivers was different and the internal locking mechanisms
were unique to the OS. I’d never seen anything like it before, or after.


> On Nov 12, 2022, at 8:52 AM, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:
> I'm pretty sure that DG never ported DG-UX to the Nova. There was
> a native port to the Eclipse (32 bit).  There was also a Eunice-style
> Unix environment that sat on top of their native OS, whatever it was
> called.
> When I was working there, DG gave the Georgia Tech School of Information
> and Computer Science an Eclipse running their native OS in the early
> mid-80s. I didn't do much with it, and I suspect that nobody else there
> did either.
> I'm bcc-ing Scott Lee, who was the admin for that machine at the time;
> maybe he remembers more.
> There was a guy who worked at DG and contributed a lot of the Motorola
> 88000 code to GCC whose name I don't remember, although I met him
> at a USENIX.  If someone else remembers who this is, maybe he can
> be tracked down for more info.
> DG-UX was a pretty generic SVR3 (and later SVR4) system, IIRC.
> In any case, DG-UX on the Eclipse preceded it on the 88000.
> I hope this helps,
> Arnold
> P.S. For the youngsters here who've never heard of it, I highly
> recommend Tracy Kidder's "The Soul of a New Machine" about the
> development of the Eclipse. (https://www.amazon.com/Soul-New-Machine-Tracy-Kidder/dp/0316491977/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+soul+of+a+new+machine+by+tracy+kidder&qid=1668271720&sprefix=the+soul+of+a+new%2Caps%2C233&sr=8-1).
> It was originally written in 1982 - 40 years ago!
> Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
>> This recent activity on the simh mailing list WRT to DG Nova and
>> Ecpilse got me wondering.  At Locus in the 80s and 90s, we did a lot of
>> work with DG and DG-UX with their later MP-based ports using commercially
>> available microprocessors (which I have reported was a very nicely done
>> system, easy to work on, the locks tended to scale well, e*tc*.).
>> But I am trying to remember if C or UNIX was on a Nova or an Eclipse.  This
>> could be my failed memory, given that so many people ported V7 in the late
>> 1970s (the infamous 'NUIX' bug from the Series/1 port probably being my
>> favorite tale).  So to the hive mind, did anyone (DG themselves or a
>> University) ever build 16 or 32-bit tools for the DG architectures and do a
>> UNIX port, and if so, does anyone know what became of those efforts?  Is
>> this something that needs to be in the TUHS archives also?
>> Clem
>> ???

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