[TUHS] Installing a large set of files into v6 from a modern host

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Dec 4 23:51:32 AEST 2015


On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 12:02 AM, Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1. a utility on the host that is capable of copying a directory and its
> contents, recursively, onto a blank magtape/dectape/rk image that is then
> readable in the v6 environment
​Right - you want a common archive format between the two systems that talk
to the tape device.
You can either create your own or better take on the old ones that exist.

> 2. a tar and unzip binary for v6 that is capable of dealing with the
> tarball (but isn't the tarball going to exceed the max file size anyway, if
> so this won't work)

I think you have a many to chose from off the top of my head I can think of
each with different advantages (more in a minute):

   - tar
   - cpio
   - ​tp/stp
   - ar (new format)

You seem to also want a compression tool, but you might try compressing on
the modern system - but there are solution here also.

   - pack/unpack was the old v5/v6 compression tool - I've forgotten where
   it was sourced check the first USENIX tape in 77
   - porting a modern zip/gzip/bzip

> 3. an alternative archiver that runs on FreeBSD or Mac OS X, that can
> create a single file archive from a subdirectory's contents on the host
> (the resultant file would need to be extractable on v6, and if file size is
> too limited, won't work either).
​That is a lot of work and unless this is going to be a very long term
thing, I'm not so sure it's worth it.    Basically you want a virtual FS on
the v6 system and the simulator.    If you are going to do this alot, then
its worth it.   Think the VFS that vmware and like offer.​

> 4. some kind of directory transfer utility that works over telnet that can
> be executed from a FreeBSD or Mac OS X host and that can be executed on the
> v6 system as well.
​the original unix kermit will compile using ​the v6 compiler (maybe the
v5) compiler.   You have to dig in the archives, but you want a version
from Columbia circa 1977 and you be fine.   The latest version will use
things in the language first described in the white book - aka Typersetter
C (Dennis was wrote the book starting with v6, but's not published until
v7).   If you a later compiler running on v6 you'll be fine.

> 5. a utility capable of creating an empty magtape/dectape/rk image and
> another capable of making a filesystem on the image and another of
> populating the image (analogous to fdisk rkimage; mkfs rkimage; rkcopy dir
> rkimage)
You could move the file system creation tools and set of a virtual v6 FS.
It's a lot of work and unless this is going to be a very long term thing,
I'm not so sure it's worth it.

​As for the archivers which in the short term is likely to be your best bet:

   1. tar - there a couple of versions of tar for v6 including binaries.
   I personally would start there.
   2. cpio was written for PWB 1.0 which is v6 kernel based.  That binary
   should run.  But IIRC correctly the original cpio was only binary headers
   (the -c/ascii headers was added later).   So you'll need to be careful on
   the modern computer and make sure you set the switches so that he created
   the proper endian/byte swapping -- ness in the header
   3. tp/stp - on the original USENIX tape is a "super tp" that replaced
   the original one.   The binary should run as is.  The code for it is
   pre-K&R so compiling it with a modern compiler will be a little bit of
   work.   Also, IIRC the "directory" which is on the front of the tape is
   binary, so you'll need to make sure you write everything in PDP-11 format.
   4. ar - was updated by the community.   Eventually, V7 took the "new ar"
   from original USENIX tape.  Again that binary should just run fine.
   Although I don't think its directory is recursive so it may fail that
   requirement for you

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