What Unixes run on What PDPs?

  I am currently building up a list of PDP Unix versions, and what hardware they support. Here is the list so far.

Fifth Edition Unix and Mini-Unix

The versions of Fifth Edition Unix and Mini-Unix in the PUPS archive are in the form of bootable RK05 disk images. I have booted both of these on an 11/40, and they should also boot on an 11/45. Both are very similar to Sixth Edition, and so you should read the next section for hardware that is likely to be supported by these versions.

Comments from Henry Spencer

In an email, Henry Spencer writes:
V6 ought to boot just fine on a 34 with the full (calculator-style) front console. In general, a 34 looks so much like a 40 to the software that it was almost impossible to tell the difference, with the single exception that some variants of the 34 lacked a full front console and consequently would bus-error if the front-console-switches register was accessed. (Later 11s with limited consoles, like the 44, played it smart by still having the register!) Alas, V6 init used the getcsw() system call to decide whether to come up single-user, so a limited-console 34 probably won't boot V6 without modifications. The same comments apply to the 23.

V7 as shipped definitely will not boot on a 40 or 34. There are provisions for building a 40 version, but the boot image definitely assumes a 45 or 70. (Also, a 40 version has to be severely cut down, and won't support very much activity before running out of table space.)

Incidentally, a side effect of this is that V7 won't quite boot on a 44 - to the software, a 44 is almost indistinguishable from a 70 with Unibus disks, but V7 assumes 70s are Massbus systems and their disks don't need the Unibus map... so it won't boot on a 22-bit-address system with Unibus disks. The quick fix is to patch the software so it thinks it's running on a 45 and doesn't turn on 22-bit addressing; the better fix is to alter the startup code to initialize the Unibus map.

Hardware Supported by Sixth Edition Unix

The `Setting Up Unix - Sixth Edition' guide says that the distribution tape is configure to be able to boot on a PDP 11/40 with either an RK05, RP03 or RP04 disk, TU10 magtape or TU56 DECtape.

I have no idea as to whether Sixth Edition can be booted on smaller PDPs (11/34 etc). It can be reconfigured to run on an 11/45 and an 11/70.

The `Setting Up Unix' guide lists the following devices which can be configured:

Hardware Supported by Seventh Edition Unix

This section is taken from the `Setting Up Unix - Seventh Edition' guide which comes with Seventh Edition.

The distribution tape can be used only on a DEC PDP11/45 or PDP11/70 with RP03, RP04, RP05, RP06 disks and with a TU10, TU16, or TE16 tape drive.

I have no idea as to whether Seventh Edition can be booted on smaller PDPs (11/34 etc). It should be able to boot on an 11/70.

The manual for mkconf(1M) lists the following devices which can be configured:

The PUPS archive contains bootable Seventh Edition disk images for RK05s and RL02s, tailored for a PDP 11/40.

Hardware Supported by 2.9BSD

This section is taken from the `Installing and Operating 2.9BSD' guide which comes with 2.9BSD.

This distribution can be booted on a PDP-11/23, 24, 34, 34A, 40, 44, 45, 55, 60, or 70 CPU with at least 192 Kbytes of memory and any of the following disks:

RM03, RM05, RP04, RP05, RP06
RK05, RK06, RK07, RL01, RL02, RM02, RP03, RP04, RP05, RP06
AMPEX DM980 (emulating RP03)
AMPEX DM980 (emulating RM02)
AMPEX 9300
AMPEX 9300, CDC 9766 (emulating RM05)
CDC 9762, AMPEX DM980

The tape drives supported by this distribution are:

TE16, TU45, TU77
TE10, TE16, TS11, TU45, TU77
KENNEDY 9100 (emulating TE10)
KENNEDY 9100, 9300 (emulating TE10)

Other tape/disk controllers and drives may be easily usable with the system, but might require minor modifications to the system to allow bootstrapping. The controllers and the drives shown here are known to work as bootstrap devices.

Hardware Supported by 2.11BSD

This section is taken from the `Installing and Operating 2.11BSD on the PDP-11' guide which comes with 2.11BSD.

This distribution can be booted on a PDP-11 with 1Mb of memory or more, separate I&D, and with any of the following disks:

Other disks are supported (RX23, RX33, RX50, RD51) but are not large enough to hold a root filesystem plus a swap partition. The old restriction of using RL02 drives in pairs has been lifted. It is now possible to define a root ('a') partition and a swap partition ('b') and load at least the root filesystem to a single RL02. Discs which are too small to hold even a root filesystem (floppies for example) may be used as data disks or as standalone boot media, but are not useable for loading the distribution. Others, while listed above, are not very well suited to loading the distribution. The RK06/07 drives are hard pressed to even hold the system binaries, much less the sources.

The tape drives supported by this distribution are:

Warren Toomey
Wed Feb 21 12:10:14 EST 1996