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  1. #1

    first Linux for PC source code


    I am looking for an early Linux version that can be compiled on a 8086 machine.
    The idea is to adjust is for a project of mine.
    already tried: * google: "linux source code" * google: "first linux for PC" * google: "first linux source code" > got me the original code written by linus torvalds but this is not what I needed * exploring * and some other google queries.

    Please help, I'm not a linux expert.

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi and welcome

    There is no kernel for 8086
    The earliest supported x86 cpu up to now is an i386

    ..but starting with 3.8, i386 is dropped. An i486 is now the minimum - linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Check out the history of Linux. There is a fine summary at History of Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Specifically, Linux was created after the 80386 was released and was designed to take advantage of features not found on earlier processors. So, there was never a version of Linux that would run on the 8086 processor.

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  5. #4
    What Irithori says is in part correct. But, as a non-Linux person you should understand almost all existing distros as used by millions do NOT have the 3.8 kernel. The 3.8 kernel is being introduced, and future distros may, in fact most will, use it. But, it is not yet in use by most Linux users.

    >>An i486 is now the minimum

    should be "distros using the latest kernel will have 486 as the minimum." Distros with older kernels will be available for a very long time.

    In the late '90's before I retired from a high tech factory, we had one of the first PC's, no HD, etc. I used it solely for an impedance transformation program written in abasic. They came and took it from me, because we had a new military box which needed the clock speed of that old PC for testing. I wrote the program again in C, and compiled it as an executable file, runnable on most Intel machines.

    So, while it is not our business, it would sure be interesting fo know why you are using an old machine like that.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    I ran AT&T and SCO Unix on 8086 boxes in the mid-1980s. I think early versions of BSD Unix, which you should still be able to get the source to, ran on 8086 hardware as well. These were command-line implementations for the most part because until the 80286, you were limited to 1MB of RAM (640k in reality) because of the 20bit address space.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  7. #6
    Thank you all for helping!

    irlandes : the reason I need this is pretty much academic , I have a crazy idea to compile build a linux distro for "myCpu" (due to site [rightful] policy [I don't have 15 posts yet] you'll just have to google it)
    so I assumed that the less opcodes in the bootloader and the less code in the kernel the better...

  8. #7
    ELKS- Linux port for 8086 8088, 80186, 80286. Try earlier versions
    ELKS: The Embeddable Linux Kernel System:

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Santa Cruz, California
    The Microsft/SCO Xenix system had mainly 8086 versions. That was very much hampered by lack of memory protection.

    And yes, Xenix preceded MS-DOS by several years!

  10. #9
    Thanks for explaining. You were not obliged to, but people on these technical forums are pretty curious folks. Good luck. That ELKs thing sounds interesting.

    By the way, I am curious why this page is larger than the screen, the postings over-run the screen, and there is no slider to move it over. I have seen no other page which does that, at least not on later versions of Kubuntu.

  11. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by irlandes View Post
    By the way, I am curious why this page is larger than the screen, the postings over-run the screen, and there is no slider to move it over. I have seen no other page which does that, at least not on later versions of Kubuntu.
    And all this time I thought it was just me experiencing this odd phenomenon! Looks like vBulletin developers have decided that everyone out there is/should be running on widescreen monitors and each window is/should be maximized - !


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