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(operating system)
/MIN-ix/ A small operating system that is very similar to UNIX. MINIX was written for educational purposes by Prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum of Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

MINIX has been written from scratch and contains no AT&T code -- neither in the kernel, the compiler, the utilities, nor the libraries. Although copyrighted by Prentice-Hall, all sources, binaries and documentation can be obtained via Internet for educational or research purposes.

Current versions as of 1996-11-15:

MINIX 2.0 - Intel CPUs from Intel 8088 to Pentium

MINIX 1.5 - Intel, Macintosh (MacMinix), Amiga, Atari ST, Sun SPARC.


(MINimal UnIX) A version of Unix for the PC, Mac and Sun platforms. Versions for the Amiga and Atari ST were also available. Developed as sample source code to teach operating systems by Andrew Tanenbaum of Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Minix was first introduced in 1987 in the book, "Operating Systems, Design and Implementation." Within a few months, more than 40,000 people subscribed to the Minix newsgroup on the Internet. For more information, visit

Inspiration for Linux
Linus Torvalds, who developed the immensely popular Linux operating system, was inspired by Minix. Although the operating systems use different approaches to kernel architecture (Minix uses a microkernel), Torvalds developed Linux on Minix and was influenced by its design principles. See Linux and microkernel.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the same way, RT-processes are inhibited from making any MINIX System Calls (except exit()) due to the use of MINIX IPC primitives.
These System Calls use MINIX primitives and do not have timing constraints.
These Kernel Calls do not use MINIX primitives and do have timing constraints.
MINIX has proved to be a feasible test-bed for OS development and extensions that could be easily added.