386BSD was a free operating system produced from the BSD derived UNIX operating systems for the Intel 80386.

386BSD was written mainly by Lynne and William Jolitz. It was developed off 4.3BSD and later 4.3BSD NET/2. According to the authors' assumptions it contained enough modifications to allow it to run without the AT&T source license.

The port began in 1989 and first, incomplete traces of the port can be found in 4.3BSD NET/2 of 1991. It was first released in March 1992 (version 0.0) and in a much more usable version on July 14, 1992 (version 0.1).

Soon after the initial release of 386BSD, its own development slowed down considerably. Many users were unsatisfied by these turns and consequently, two groups developed off the existing source. NetBSD developed off the 386BSD 0.1 release, and was the first free software organization founded on BSD. This was shortly followed by FreeBSD. While these systems were being developed, the Computer Science department at the University of California, Berkeley continued development, and had progressed to 4.4BSD.

Due to a lawsuit by AT&T, USL v. BSDi, some potentially so-called encumbered sources which existed within 386BSD were to be removed from all the derived systems, and the distribution of 386BSD was to be stopped. In late 1993, Berkeley subsequently removed the Net/2 tapes from distribution, and replaced them with 4.4BSD-Lite, which existed without the code that AT&T claimed patents on. Starting late 1993, NetBSD continued their development off of the NET/2 tapes with 4.4BSD-Lite filling in for most of the encumbered source. FreeBSD resynced nearly all their source with 4.4BSD-Lite and rebuilt what parts were missing themselves, keeping very little of the 386BSD code.

In late 1994, a finished version 1.0 of 386BSD was distributed by Dr. Dobb's Journal on CD only (the "386BSD Reference CD-ROM"). However, by that time both, NetBSD and FreeBSD both had released finalized, downloadable versions (version 1.0 or higher) based on unencumbered code.

386BSD is often confused with BSD/386 which was developed by BSDi starting in 1991. BSD/386 was a separate port to the Intel 80386 based on 4.3BSD NET/2 and the predecessor to BSD/OS. Although Jolitz worked for BSDi in 1991, he did not contribute to the final version of BSD/386 since he destroyed his work before he left.

Work continues on these 386BSD derived operating systems today, along with several derivatives thereof (such as Apple's Darwin and OpenBSD).

Further reading

  • Jolitz, William F. und Jolitz, Lynne Greer: Porting UNIX to the 386: A Practical Approach, 18-part series in Dr. Dobbs Journal, January 1991 - July 1992.
  • Jolitz, William F. und Jolitz, Lynne Greer: Operating System Source Code Secrets Vol 1 The Basic Kernel, 1996, ISBN 1-57398-026-9
  • Jolitz, William F. und Jolitz, Lynne Greer: Operating System Source Code Secrets Vol 2 Virtual Memory, 2000, ISBN 1-57398-027-7

External links

fr:386BSD ja:386BSD pl:386BSD


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