Atari computers & Unix
Atari computers & Unix
Hi guys,

This forum is a Unix centric place so I thought I would add some Atari Unix info.

Atari System V

Back in 1991-92 Unisoft ported Unix System V to the Atari TT. The TT was a 32mhz Motorola 68030 based system with a full 32bit bus, the most powerful workstation Atari ever released to the public. It was always supposed to ship with Unix, but the port took a couple of years longer than they intended and as such missed the critical launch of the machine. The following website is an informative archive on Unix for Atari, they have the only two images known to man backed up here. With modern hardware like SCSI2SD it is possible to save  these images to SD and boot the OS on real hardware again. There is also an IDE addon interface for the TT called 'Thunder' and a ram adapter called 'Storm' which can allow up to 256mb of ram, making the system far more usable than it originally was on 16mb.



NetBSD is probably the most current Unix port on the Atari, NetBSD/atari runs on the TT030, Falcon and Hades. In the forum link I posted a user called Icky has experimented with this port on TT and Falcon successfully, he has also compiled the xfce desktop shell, but it is slow progress.


Linux on Atari

Linux has been ported to the Atari platform and over the years has had quite a few different releases. This is the ALD Linux distribution (1995 vintage), running on an Atari TT with ET4000 graphics card (in 1024x768) and with Internet connection.



MiNT is Now TOS (MiNT) is a free software alternative operating system kernel for the Atari ST system and its successors. It is a multi-tasking alternate to TOS and MagiC. Together with the free system components fVDI device drivers, XaAES graphical user interface widgets, and TeraDesk file manager, MiNT provides a free TOS compatible replacement OS that can multitask. FreeMiNT is a Unix-like kernel with up to date features and modern device drivers. For instance you can run graphics cards like the et4000, Ati Mach32/64 and also modern graphics chips like the Atari Falcon SuperVidel. There are also device drivers for USB as long as you have the required hardware. For programmers there are modern up to date tools like GCC etc for compiling for the OS. This is the modern standard for most 32bit Atari machines, the OS of choice for enthusiasts.


HeliOS & the Atari Transputer Workstation

Helios is a discontinued Unix-like operating system for parallel computers. It was developed and published by Perihelion Software. Its primary architecture was the Transputer. Helios' microkernel implemented a distributed namespace and messaging protocol, through which services were accessed. A POSIX compatibility library enabled the use of Unix application software, and the system provided most of the usual Unix utilities.



Atari Falcon ct60e 060 - 256mb ram // Atari TT - IDE CF -  64mb ram - Lightning VME - USB LAN - Ati Mach64 2mb // Atari STM 4160 - 4MB ram - 16Mhz exxos CPU //  Octane2 SGI Octane 3GB RAM 2x400Mhz R12 CPU & V12 Graphics
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2019, 12:39 PM by stormy.)
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06-01-2019, 12:17 PM
RE: Atari computers & Unix
Thanks for that nice overview! Nice to see what was possible on those machines Smile

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06-01-2019, 12:46 PM

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