The most stringent test so far is that the following operating systems are known to boot:
- UNIX 5th edition. Released in June 1974. This very early UNIX uses only a fraction of the hardware capabilities, and also works happily on a CPU without FPP. This system fits on a single RK05 volume ( download disk image; under Caldera license).
- UNIX 7th edition. Released in January 1979. In many ways the
first fully functional UNIX, with a full set of tools. Can use
separate I/D space and 22 bit addressing and large disks (RP04/RP06).
This system fits on a single RP04 volume
download disk image; under Caldera license).
!! So far only very preliminary support, not yet fully ported to the w11a environment without FPP !!
- 2.11 BSD UNIX. Released in 1992. This end-point of historical UNIX development on PDP-11's uses almost all features (22 bit addressing, separate I/D space, 3 processor modes) to squeeze a full UNIX with most of the 4.3 BSD features into a 16 bit machine. A system with the latest patches is needed to get the kernel FPP emulation (patch 445) and RK05 as boot device (patch 446/447) to work. Several disk sets are avaialable, see below under OS Kits. See Figure S-1 for a screenshot of a 2.11BSD boot sequence on a w11a system.
See w11a_os_guide.md for a description of the FPGA board and backend server setup as well as the boot procedure of these UNIX systems.
License Situation Unix
Ancient UNIX systems for the PDP-11 can now be freely used, see Caldera license.
License Situation DEC Operating systems
Unfortunately, there is no hobbyist or non-commercial license available for historical DEC PDP-11 operating systems like RSX-11M V3.2, owned since 1994 by Mentec Inc. (see DEC press release dated 7/1/94). The Mentec license is commonly understood to cover some older versions of DEC operating systems on software simulators, most notably on the 'SimH' suite. The Mentec license does not cover the usage of these historic systems on any 'real hardware' implementation of a PDP-11. Usage on the w11 is not covered by the Mentec license. If somebody happens to have a valid license, please try and send a note to the author.
Available OS Kits
A number of ready-to-use operating system images are provided for usage on w11a or on SimH in a configuration equivalent to a w11a. Consult the w11a_os_guide.md, and the README files in the tools/oskit folders for the procedures to use them and the license restrictions to obey. The available OS kits are
|Unix 5th Ed.||RK05||rkset||README||Caldera||Caldera|
|Unix 7th Ed.||RP04||rpset||README||Caldera||Caldera|
|2.11BSD||RK05||rkset||README||BSD||BSD||very limited subset on 5 RK05 volumes|
|2.11BSD||RL02||rlset||README||BSD||BSD||very limited subset on a RL02 volume|
|2.11BSD||RP06||rpset||README||BSD||BSD||full distribution, kernel without networking|
|2.11BSD||RP06||rpethset||README||BSD||BSD||full distribution, kernel with networking|
|2.11BSD||RP06||rpminset||README||BSD||BSD||full distribution, minimal kernel for small memory systems|
|2.11BSD||TM11||tmset||README||BSD||BSD||bootable tape for installation on a RP06 disk|