RSTS V7 magtape images on bitsavers

Bill Gunshannon bill.gunshannon at
Sat Feb 11 09:48:45 CST 2017

From: cctalk [cctalk-bounces at] on behalf of Noel Chiappa [jnc at]
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2017 10:08 AM
To: cctalk at
Cc: jnc at
Subject: Re: RSTS V7 magtape images on bitsavers

    > From: Paul Koning

    >> When did V7 come out, BTW?

    > The files on the SYSGEN tape have a timestamp of 26-Sep-79, so "Fall
    > 1979" sounds right.

Ow. I was looking for something a lot earlier than that. I used RSTS-11 in
the '72-'74 timeframe, so it's a version from that era I'd like to have. Any
idea what version that would be - and if it's still extant?

    > I've used the V4A kit (DECtapes) to build that ... (There's a V4A
    > sysgen manual on Bitsavers too ...)

When was that one?

    >> It would be really nice to have sources - are they gone forever?

    > Some still exist. I know someone who has a RSTS source kit, not sure
    > which version. I have pieces of source.

OK, better than nothing.

    > A complication with all of this is the question of licensing. There's a
    > hobbyist license for RSTS to build and run it, but whether that carries
    > over to making sources available is an interesting question. I'm not
    > sure who to ask these days, either.

Hmm. I guess technically HP owns it now?


Not so sure of that.  When Mentec went away the word was that some other
party had bought all of the old PDP-11 OSes (except maybe IAS) but I have
heard nothing about it in several years and fear a lot of it may now have
become lost.  It certainly isn't being held in secret because of some percieved
commercial value.

RSTS was my favorite PDP-11 OS and I have long wanted to see it Open
Sourced in its demise as I always wanted to try porting it to other machines
just for the fun of it.


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