Minix 3 vs portability - was Re: Looking for a small fast VAX development machine

Liam Proven lproven at
Mon Feb 22 10:17:22 CST 2016

On 22 February 2016 at 16:54, Toby Thain <toby at> wrote:
> Portability was a fundamental free software tenet. It has technical benefits
> and it would make the project more relevant. The original Minix was far more
> portable.
> If it can't adapt to what comes after x86 and ARM in whatever markets(?) it
> is pursuing then it will be in danger of extinction. Surely if it is chasing
> things like QNX then that would be vital - it's a different market with more
> diversity of architectures.
> I don't think the current perceived size of x86/ARM markets will protect it
> as effectively as a diversity of targets would. Remember how ubiquitous
> SPARC, VAX, 68K were at one time; if you were stranded there, you don't
> exist now.

Again: *it's an experimental research and educational project*.

It is not a replacement for NetBSD. If you want lots of platforms,
then NetBSD still exists.

And it *is* portable and it runs on 2 totally dissimilar CPU
architectures, one CISC, one RISC.

It is an attempt to demonstrate that it is possible to build a true
microkernel Unix.

There are or have been compromised hybrid microkernel Unices -- DEC
OSF/1, Mac OS X, arguably MkLinux, and various other academic projects
that were never released or deployed publicly.

Minix 3 is different: it's true FOSS and the team are soliciting
community involvement.

But while it's still an incomplete project that is in development,
they're only targeting the 2 main arches which comprise about 99.9% of
the modern computer market.

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