rewriting legacy OS for new iron

From: Zane H. Healy <>
Date: Mon Sep 13 23:21:28 2004

>Would there be any interest in re-writing somthing like RSTS/E, ITS,
>TWENEX or one of the other
>legacy OS to work on x86 machines? The idea would be to do something
>like Linux has done for unix but for one of the other OSs, I think
>all the ones I mentioned ran on pdp machines, whatever we choose to
>write could have once run on anything.
>The new OS should be entirely self hosting. What would be the most
>interesting old OS to do.
>This would differ from the simh machines in that actual serial ports
>would connect to serial devices and printers would connect via
>parallel port.

Do you really want to go so far as to have to deal with device
drivers? The best choice might be build on top of the Linux kernel
making as few changes to the kernel itself as possible. That way you
can leave writing new device drivers to the Linux people, and
concentrate on the user interface. I believe this is the method that
the FreeVMS project is using.

If you were to go from the kernel level, write it such that it is
easy to port to different architectures.

As for interesting OS's RSTS/E, TOPS-20, and Multics all come to mind.


| Zane H. Healy                    | UNIX Systems Administrator |
| (primary)    | OpenVMS Enthusiast         |
|                                  | Classic Computer Collector |
|     Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing,    |
|          PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum.         |
|                     |
Received on Mon Sep 13 2004 - 23:21:28 BST

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