MINIX Releases

This page provides some information on the various MINIX 3 releases. You can download release media from the download page.

Next Release 3.3.0

3.3.0 is in the works and will be available in the coming months. A small selection:

  • New features
    • The first release with ARM support, three Beagle targets ($45 boards with lots of features and power! More info on specs & where to buy on the beagle site) are supported - build a complete SD card image from scratch using just our source tree and a single shell script invocation!

    • Crosscompiling for both ARM and x86 - the buildsystem is very portable.

    • New input infrastructure: input server and keyboard driver separated from TTY
    • VND: vnode disk (loopback) block driver
    • LLVM Bitcode build of the system

    • Import of LLVM / clang in the sources
    • unified block cache shared by FSes and VM
    • mmap() allowing more sharing and less copying and lower memory footprint - used significantly by exec() and ld.so for all executables and shared libraries
  • Improvements
    • More complete source compatability with NetBSD in terms of utilities, calls, types (lots of 64-bit), toolchain, codebase and packages.
    • Updated packages overall
    • Packages are dynamically linked now, so they're smaller
    • Improved driver modularity: UDS separated from PFS; PTY separated from TTY; one controller (not two) per at_wini driver; LOG no longer in the boot image
    • The messages have been given a C type per request so all the types are cleaner; and the message size is a bit bigger now so there's more room for growth with the bigger types

Current Status

The current stable MINIX release is: 3.2.1.

Release 3.2.1

Release date: February 21, 2013

Documentation: User's Guide and Developer's Guide

Major Features:

  • Development:
    • Support for dynamically linked executables, also build shared versions of base system libraries. See UsersGuide/UsingSharedLibraries.

    • Remove the use of Intel segments altogether, giving a performance boost while context switching. Rely exclusively on page tables.
    • Added support for SYSENTER/SYSCALL based system kernel calls, a significant performance improvement
    • Full new clean updated NetBSD build system import. build.sh is supported, allowing crossbuilding MINIX 3. See Crosscompile MINIX.

    • Imported or upgraded many userland utilities and libraries from NetBSD: libc, lorder, join, mtree, tsort, cksum, kill, xinstall, du, libutil, tic, postinstall, flex, zlib, bsdtar, ls, sort, cat, echo, pax, file, mktemp, libc,csu, curses, byacc, tput, test, ln, nvi,ctags, infocomp, nbperf, make, m4, bzip2, libcrypt, printf, passwd, make, ed, nawk, expr, pwd.
    • DDEKIT support (support for USB keyboards, mice and mass storage). See DdeKitUsb.

    • Generalization of the TTY driver
    • Small and large cleanup represented by retiring MINIXisms such as nonsymbolic rootdev, dev2name, checkhier, badblocks, readall, BIOS_SEG and umap_bios, bios_wini, C macros as _ANSI, _CONST, _VOLATILE, _SIZET, _ARGS, _VOID, PUBLIC, PRIVATE and FORWARD, _PROTOTYPE
    • VM: Generalized munmap (boot time ramdisk is now freed, saving memory)
    • VFS interaction with drivers is fully asynchronous, making VFS immune to uncooperative drivers
    • Exec performance improvement and generalization. Reduce copying, and kernel, RS, VFS and VM all use the same executable parsing code.
    • Some more abstraction in VM to support future improvements
    • Implemented dynamic mtab support and the mount -a command
    • Generalized the file system cache
  • Changes
    • 'make world' was replaced with 'make build'
    • Dropped support for a.out binaries
  • Drivers, FS
    • E1000 add support for 82545EM
    • EXT2 support improvements.
    • Virtio: virtio-blk, virtio-net drivers. See UsersGuide/RunningOnQemu.

    • Support for AHCI
    • Add VBFS: VirtualBox Shared Folder File System

    • rtl8169: add support for RTL8101E family
  • Keymaps
    • Portuguese keymap
    • Brazilian keymap
  • Userland
    • Rewritten sprofalyze in C for better performance

Known Issues:

Release 3.2.0

Release date: February 29, 2012 (Leap Day)

Documentation: Users & Developers Guides

Major Features:

  • Clang is the default compiler (GCC is also supported)
  • NetBSD C library
  • ELF is the default executable format
  • Asynchronous, multithreaded virtual filesystem (VFS) server
  • Experimental SMP support
  • FUSE support (GSOC project by Evgeniy Ivanov)
  • NetBSD password file format (part of GSOC project by Vivek Prakash)
  • FS types infrastructure:
    • Use a proper /etc/fstab file
    • Clean/unclean FS flag in MFS
    • Full base system ext2 integration: newfs, fsck, can install on ext2
    • Do proper `fsck -p` on each boot for all fstab-listed filesystems

  • NetBSD bootloader
  • Smaller boot images (using gzip)
  • ProcFS: /proc file system
  • Multithreading and NCQ support in the AHCI driver
  • Debugging Improvements
    • GDB and core dump support (GSOC project by Adriana Szekeres)
    • Block device tracing
  • New NetBSD userland utilities (part of them as a GSOC project by Vivek Prakash)
    • ext2 fsck&mkfs, gzip, m4, man&tools, mkdep, mkdir, mkfifo, mktemp, rm, rmdir, tic, uniq

    • libcurses, libcrypt, libprop, libterminfo, libutil
    • bzip2, date, indent, mdocml (mandoc), sed, zoneinfo ports
  • Better reliability
    • Transparent recovery from block device driver crashes in file systems
    • Transparent retry upon failing block device I/O in file systems
    • New Faulty Block Device fault injection driver
    • Servers and drivers run as unprivileged users
    • Fix all (potential) bugs found by Clang's more elaborate warnings
  • Better virtualization support
    • Added libvassert, to enable easier support for VMWare VAssert
    • New VirtualBox time sync driver

Other important differences:

  • The MINIX project now uses git as its version-control system

Known Issues:

  • VirtualBox: Minix cannot be installed w/o hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V)

  • Build warnings: Clang has much better diagnostics than ACK, so clang reports more warnings on the MINIX codebase. These warnings are being fixed over time.
  • Clang performance: On MINIX, clang builds more slowly than GCC. We are working on this. In the meantime, you have the option to build MINIX with GCC (CC=gcc).

Release 3.1.8

Release date: October 4, 2010

Major Features:

  • New package management infrastructure: pkgsrc and pkgin (contributed by Gautam Tirumala)
  • Unix Domain Socket support (contributed by Thomas Cort)
  • Multiboot support (contributed by Feiran Zheng)
  • Ext2 support (contributed by Evgeniy Ivanov)
  • ACPI driver

  • full APIC mode including IO APICs

  • Experimental AHCI support

Known Issues:

  • VirtualBox: Minix 3.1.8 cannot be installed w/o hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V)

  • VirtualBox 3.1 cannot boot Minix. Please use VirtualBox 3.2.

  • Some packman packages have not been ported to pkgsrc yet

Release 3.1.7

Release date: June 16, 2010

Major Features:

  • Userspace scheduling and a scheduling server (contributed by Bjorn Swift)
  • Proper support for multiple ethernet cards of the same type
  • Bugfixes (such as workaround to run on recent KVM)
  • Debug features ("verbose" boot monitor variable, access to debug registers DR0-DR7 in kernel)
  • Boot monitor allows loading images > 16 MB

  • Root partition size increased to 64MB (and setup script can now more or less safely deal with root partitions with non-default sizes)
  • Buildsystem support for building MINIX with GCC
  • Source tree reorganization/cleanup
  • New ports: Git, GCC updated to version 4.4.3
  • Secondary FS cache layer in VM that uses all available memory, reducing I/O wait time a lot
  • Support for the cp1251 and koi8-u charsets (contributed by Roman Ignatov)

Known Issues:

  • VirtualBox: Minix 3.1.7 cannot be installed w/o hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V)

  • VirtualBox 3.1 cannot boot Minix. Please use VirtualBox 3.2.

  • VirtualPC: the DEC Tulip network driver is broken
    • Fix: upgrade to SVN-trunk

Release 3.1.6

Release date: February 8, 2010

Major Features:

  • New drivers: Atheros L2, Intel E1000, Realtek 8169, DEC Tulip
  • VirtualPC Network Support (DEC Tulip)
  • PipeFS - removed pipe handling from filesystem drivers
  • HGFS - support for mounting VMware shared folders as file system
  • VFS: supplemental group support
  • VFS: sticky bit support
  • FPU support
  • System Event Framework (SEF)
  • Experimental APIC support (disabled by default)
  • More ports: more recent QEMU, BSD utilities, Benchmarks

Known Issues:

  • VirtualBox 3.1 cannot boot Minix. Please use VirtualBox 3.0 for now.

  • Qemu/KVM 0.12 cannot boot Minix. Please use Qemu/KVM 0.11 for now.
  • VirtualBox: Minix 3.1.6 cannot be installed w/o hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V)

Release 3.1.5

Release date: November 5, 2009

Major Features:

  • Better performance
  • Shared memory
  • setitimer function
  • ISO9660 FS
  • Open Source Sound System
  • Trap NULL accesses now, for user convenience
  • Improved signal handling
  • Better support for debuggers (ptrace improvements, etc.)
  • Network card autodetection (for supported PCI cards), improved network configuration
  • More ports: PostgreSQL, QEMU, Sudo, and a more recent OpenSSH, Tcpdump, Nedit, Gnu Go

Known Issues:

  • VirtualBox: Minix 3.1.5 cannot be installed w/o hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V)

  • VMware: after working correctly for a period of time, the lance driver may stop working silently, causing all network traffic to be dropped for some period of time.
    • Workaround: when this happens, run "service refresh lance" as root to restart the lance driver.
    • This issue has been fixed in the Minix trunk available from Subversion.

Release 3.1.4

Release date: June 9, 2009

Major Features:

  • Virtual Memory support
  • Improved Virtual Machine support (when MINIX runs as guest)

Release 3.1.3a

Release date: June 8, 2007

  • Fixes to 3.1.3

Release 3.1.3

Release date: April 13, 2007

Major Features:

  • Virtual File System (VFS)

See http://www.minix3.org/download/releasenotes-3.1.3.html.

Release 3.1.2a

Release date: May 29, 2006

Major Features:

  • Packman package manager

Known Issues:

  • Installation issue when auto-partitioning disks.

Release 3.1.0 (Book Release)

Release date: October 24, 2005

First release of MINIX 3

Corresponds with source discussed in OSDIv3.

MinixWiki: MinixReleases (last edited 2014-07-27 21:44:50 by BenGras)