Booting a PDP-11/04 without drives?

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Fri May 28 07:58:27 2004

>>>>> "Wai-Sun" == Wai-Sun Chia <> writes:

 Wai-Sun> Hello list, Is it possible to boot a 11/04 (16kW core)
 Wai-Sun> without any drives?

 Wai-Sun> This may just be fantasizing.. 1. Connect a PC to the PDP
 Wai-Sun> via the console 2. Have a program (a'la vtserver) serve out
 Wai-Sun> a disk image 3. Toggle in a bootstrap loader to load from
 Wai-Sun> that virtual disk 4. Jump to start of image

 Wai-Sun> Possible?

Yes, depending on the operating system. In particular, RSX-11/S is
exactly that -- a diskless OS. It's designed to be loaded over the

If you have a comm device that can support MOP, you may be able to
find a bootROM that can do this directly (and MOP servers are
available on the net).

Similarly, there are some PDP-11 based embedded systems that are
diskless; some terminal servers, for example. (There was LAT-11 --
did that become a product?)

Most other PDP-11 operating systems require local block storage,
though. Usually a disk -- RT-11 will also work with local DECtape as
the only storage, if you're patient.

Oh yes, if you go WAY back, there are the paper tape based systems,
not really enough to call it an OS -- something called IOX for
example. I know nothing more than the name and I haven't seen any
docs. There are paper tape images for it on

Received on Fri May 28 2004 - 07:58:27 BST

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