5 Jan 2012

Super short review: Minix 3

The world of the UNIX system is very wide.
There are many different flavours. Linux is just one of them. Honestly, though, it is the most popular and the most widely used.
What is next? Probably BSD and its variations: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and their derivatives.
Can you name any current UNIX operating systems?
AIX? SCO-UNIX? HP-UX? These are UNIX-like operating systems from corporate monsters like IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
Anything else? Let me help you: Minix. This is a Unix-based community-driven free (as beer and as freedom) operating system targeted to low-end laptops, embedded systems and alike.
The Minix project is not new. In fact, the current system version is Minix 3. The latest stable version is Minix 3.1.8. But Minix 1 and 2 were considered as experimental and training ones. Now they take things seriously.
How serious are they? That was a question I wanted answered.
You can download Minix 3 as a bz2 archived ISO image. The archive itself is only 288 Mb, and the unpacked image is 385 Mb. Rather a small distribution, and it justifies its name.
I tried to "burn" the ISO image to USB stick using Unetbootin, but without much luck. Obviously, Minix 3 is not supported by this useful tool. Then I burnt the ISO image to DVD-RW disk.
So, the disk is in the optical drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

If you think that I will start a long review here, you are terribly wrong. For one very simple question. Minix 3 did not boot. At all! The only thing I saw on the screen was a blinking cursor in the top left corner.
I tried same disk on another laptop, Toshiba L500-19X. Same result. That's all.
Yes, that's all. As promised in the title, the review is super short. Nothing to talk about.

My previous shortest review was about BerliOS operating system. This review beats the BerliOS. But that's life.
Is it only me? Maybe Because there are other people who saw Minix 3 working.
If you have your own experience with Minix 3 Operating System, please share in comments below.

Whereupon Goodbye. See you next time! Stay connected!


This post was edited by djohnston.


  1. i was able to try it in virtualbox but as theyre no wireless drivers for my cards i dont want to waste cds

  2. The same thing happened to me too. I have a friend in Holland who is really into Minix. I thought the first download must have been flawed. So I tried it again and got the same results you did. Hmmmm...

  3. @Anonymous:
    at least, each of us is not alone! ;-)

  4. My minix 3.1.8 from the burned iso disk during installation on my desktop asked me as root if I will format my partitions. No other option was available. Of course I was afraid to continue and I gave up the instalation.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. Hope, the developers will look into this too.

  5. I was able to run minix3 on real machine using IDE drive, but failed to boot on SATA drives, especially when using large drive and installed onto primary partitions whose offset larger than 5 GB. Minix3 seems to run better on old machines :-)

    Actually I am going for another attempt tonight, using Windoze partition if I have to (rarely use it anyway). I will be using my new Fujitsu LIFEBOOK P Series with AMD E-350 and Vision Radeon HD-6310 GPU. Quite an "expensive" test :-)

    1. Looking forward for your report! :) Will even welcome your guest post about this!