BSD License    
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A free UNIX-like operating system designed mostly for embedded system and low-power laptops

editor's review





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MINIX is an open source, independent and freely distributed UNIX-like computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture. It is a small OS that has been designed from the ground up to be used as an educational tool targeted at low-power laptops and embedded systems.

The OS is distributed as a dual-arch ISO image

The MINIX operating system is distributed as a dual-arch ISO image, which has been archived with the bz2 compression method and engineered to run on computers that support both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) instruction set architectures. While the bz2 archive has approximately 120MB in size, the ISO image weighs in about 400MB.

The old-school boot menu features four different options

Please note that the ISO image must be written to a CD disc or a USB thumb drive of 512MB or higher capacity in order to boot it from the BIOS of a PC. It will prompt users with a boot menu that features four different options, the ability to start the live system with or without AHCI support, the ability to drop to a shell prompt, and the ability to edit the menu options.

It runs in live mode and can be installed on a local drive

While the system will run smoothly from the bootable medium and many of its pre-installed commands will work properly, you will have to install it on a local drive in order to take full advantage of its functionality, including the graphical desktop environment. By default, you will be dropped to a shell prompt where you must login with the “root” username. Type “setup” (without quotes) to start the installation script.

It is not a Linux or BSD operating system

All things considered, MINIX should not be confused with Linux or BSD. It’s still in heavy development and is nowhere near as mature as the aforementioned UNIX-like operating systems. It is not designed for end-users, as a day-to-day operating system!

MINIX was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on September 16th, 2014
MINIX - screenshot #1

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