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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 ?
RT-processes are executed when necessary regardless of what MINIX is doing.
The RT-microkernel works by treating the MINIX OS kernel as a task being executed under a small RTOS based on software emulation of interrupt control hardware.
--Real-Time Sub-kernel: An RT-microkernel that deals with interrupts, Interprocess Communications (IPC), time management and scheduling is installed below MINIX kernel.
--Timer Resolution Management Detached from MINIX Timer: A Timer interrupt of 50 Fiz is emulated for the MINIX kernel even though the hardware Timer interrupt has a higher frequency [4].
Therefore a RT-process is managed by the RT-kernel and blocked for the MINIX kernel; and a NRT-process is managed by the MINIX kernel and blocked for the RT-kernel.
Operators can maximize their capital investment by implementing a PhyFlex miniX together with a single FTTxSWITCH to enable Carrier Ethernet services across a large service area such as headend/hub and multiple nodes.
The organization then turned to its corporate partners for volunteers, but "found that we needed more time to spend with our larger, more strategic partners," said Minix. "We now have in place a disaster training program for our corporate partners.
According to Minix, the ARC is now taking this effort online, "because it's always important to manage people capacity, and online will make it simpler."
"Our Web site nearly crashed due to the immense traffic," said Minix. The organization again tapped its corporate partners for help, who were able to ghost host the organization's site and keep it up and running.
Placing a call to Western Union, a corporate partner, staff were able to create a robust system to get financial aide to the victims, said Minix. In preparation for this hurricane season, she added, the ARC has partnered with MasterCard and stocked more than 2 million assistance debit cards.
TANENBAUM is the principal architect of three operating systems--TSS-11, MINIX, and Amoeba, as well as the chief designer of the Amsterdam Compiler Kit.
McNichol, D., Tyson, K., Hiller, J., Cloud, H., & Minix, J.