[TUHS] Last officially distributed and currently available BSD version

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 02:51:55 AEST 2017


On Oct 22, 2017 1:39 AM, "Will Senn" <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:

[...]
What is the last bootable and installable media, officially distributed by
Berkeley?

Is that image currently publicly accessible?

What is the closest version, that is currently available, that would match
the os described in "The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating
System"?


Probably one of the best ways to get questions about installation media
answered is to simply email Kirk McKusick. He's a really nice guy and will
probably give you an answer pretty quickly.

That said, of the three distributions you mentioned, bootable/installable
media only existed for 4.4BSD (also called the "encumbered" distribution).
-Lite and -Lite2 were "reference distributions." It didn't take *too* much
work to get -Lite working, but it wasn't something that ran out of the box
(or more properly, off of the tape). The original idea was to release
4.4BSD-encumbered to Unix source licensees, and at the same time publish
4.4BSD-Lite sans the redacted bits as an open source distribution. These
were to be the final BSD releases from UCB, but the CSRG found they had
some coin left in the coffers a few months later, so they did -Lite2 as
something of a final hurrah snapshotting some ongoing maintenance work (and
possibly some research?) before officially shutting down.

At one point, I had a copy of a bootable exabyte tape with 4.4-encumbered
installation and source images for SPARC, specifically sun4c machines, that
I had liberated from somewhere. My understanding was that the reference
hardware at Berkeley was 68030- and 68040-based HP 9000 machines, and the
SPARC bits were a contribution from Chris Torek. I got -Lite running on an
older SPARCstation 1, but it wasn't particularly reliable (the compiler
would segfault, and it panic'ed once a day or so), so we put SunOS back on
it pretty quickly.

Hope that helps.

        - Dan C.
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