ULTRIX is DEC's own version of UNIX. It's derived from BSD (while it was not free, so this is a UNIX that has no sources included), but borrowed some things from System V. The last version (V4.5) was released in 1995. V4.0 itself appears to be from the end of the 80s.
The installation tape with the supported software, an additional tape “unsupported software” and some
documentation can be downloaded
from bitsavers.org. There are other ULTRIX versions available, but the 4.0 tapes seem
to be the newest one that works. The original form of the distribution tapes
is was available from the FTP server of the
International Free Computing Task Force.
; chevron prompt (extended memory boot ROM) and non-volatile RAM for the ; emulated MicroVAX 3900 load -r /usr/share/simh/ka655x.bin att nvr ultrix.nvr ; 32MB RAM set cpu 32m set cpu conhalt ; console interface set tto 7b set tti 7b ; RA90 disk drive, 1.2GB set rq0 ra90 att rq0 rq1.dsk ; tape set tq tk50 att tq0 Ultrix_4.0_Supported.tap ; disable stuff set cr dis set lpt dis set rl dis set ry dis set ts dis set tq1 dis set tq2 dis set tq3 dis ; use "setcap cap_net_raw=ep /usr/bin/simh-vax" to be able to run SIMH as ; non-root. This must be a dedicated NIC on the host, in up state. at xq0 eth1 ; start the VAX boot cpu
After starting the CPU, the VAX will show the chevron prompt (>>>) from the extended memory boot ROM.
boot mua0 boots from tape,
boot dua0 from disk. The boot command can be shortened to just b.
The installation is pretty straightforward. Only the ADVANCED Installation can install all software sets. The default installation doesn't include a pager or even the man pages!
Partitioning: I didn't fully grok the difference between the different partition letters. The “c” partition seems to span the whole disk. Either “a” or “c” must be used to partition the disk, because these partitions start at 0, where the partition table is. Choosing the same partition for different directories will put both directories into the same partition. The default configuration scheme from the handbook is
a root b swap b crash g usr h var
The output of
date '+99%m%d%H%M' on the host can be used to set the time during the installation. ULTRIX 4.0 is
not Y2K-compliant. Setting a year after "99" will kick the system back to the 70s.
Multiple software sets can be chosen by writing the numbers separated with spaces. The man pages (19) require the document preparation software (9) to be installed. I just installed everything.
setenv TERM=vt100in an xterm seems to work best for terminal emulation. But vi does not show the first few lines with any terminal setting …
find / -name '*.c' -print).
|setld -i||list all known sofware sets and their status (installed, corrupted, …)|
|setld -i ULTUUCP400||show all files installed by a given software set (like
|setld -a /dev/rmt0h||show the set selection menu as seen during installation. The list is read from tape. It omits the sets that are already installed|
|setld -a /dev/rmt0h ULTDCMT400||installs the specified software set without prompting|
netstat -i shows all available interfaces. Something like
ifconfig qe0 192.168.0.7 netmask 255.255.255.0 configures one.
There's a script
netsetup install to put the needed commands into the startup scripts automatically.
The gateway can be set with
route add default 192.168.0.1 1. How to set it permanently though?
/etc/resolv.conf must be complete for the resolver to work, i.e. it must contain both the domain and
nameserver lines. Otherwise the message “*** Can't initialize resolver” is shown every time the resolver is used.
Then configure the service selection (old style Name Service Switch) to use DNS lookups for hosts by setting hosts=local,bind in
/etc/svc.conf. Both can be acomplished with
nslookup still doesnt work though.
*** Can't find server name for address 192.168.0.2: Not implemented
IP 192.168.0.7.1037 > 192.168.0.2.53: 1 inv_q+ (27) IP 192.168.0.2.53 > 192.168.0.7.1037: 1 inv_q NotImp [0q] 0/0/0 (12)
Another thing that strikes attention while using tcpdump are the frequent “trailer-arp replies”, which I have never seen before.
Xnest -ac :1)
snmpwalk -Ou -c public -v1 192.168.0.7 system