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Useful tools

MINIX comes with several tools that were created to ease configuration and development on MINIX that are not part of any standard and are therefore unlikely to be known to people familiar with other POSIX systems. This page describes these tools. For more in-depth information consult their man pages.


The dev2name tool converts major/minor device numbers into device names.

dosread and friends

dosread, doswrite and dosdir allow one to manipulate FAT filesystems. Such tools are needed because they cannot (yet) be mounted.

isoread and friends

isoread and isodir allow one to read files from CD-ROM ISO filesystems. These tools were created before it was possible to mount such filesystems, but can still occasionally be useful to obtain files quickly or test whether a given device has an ISO filesystem.


The netconf utility allows one to change the networking configuration from the options you selected when installing. It allows disable networking, select a different network card (PCI cards are detected, if you have a non-PCI card you should find out what type of card you have first) and allows one to enable or disable DHCP.


pkgin is available on MINIX 3.1.8 onwards. It allows one to install binary pkgsrc packages. Use pkgin up before the first use, then pkgin av to find packages and pkgin in to install them.

This script is not installed, but found in the tools sub-directory of the source tree. It can be used to create ISO images for installing MINIX. The script is mostly self-documenting, but it may give you some errors due to changes in the pkgsrc deployment that have been made over time.

Obsolete tools

In addition to these tools which are useful nowadays, MINIX used several other specific tools. Theirs descriptions have been moved into a separate page.

developersguide/usefultools.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/11 14:52 (external edit)