Abner Ballardo

Do you want to test MiNIX 3 (just for fun or duty)? ,… Using an emulator (virtual machine) is the easiest way to probe this OS.

My favorite GNU/LiNUX distribution is Debian and that’s the reason why this steps are for Debian (Etch).

First of all, we need to download MiNIX image from here. As you will see, there are three ISO’s:

  • IDE CD-ROM: Use this if your CD-ROM device is connected to a master or slave IDE
  • USB CD-ROM: Use this if your CD-ROM device is connected to a USB port
  • USB Memory Stick: Use this if you want to boot MiNIX from a popular USB key

Download IDE CD-ROM (QEMU can emulate an IDE CD-ROM) and move it to an appropriate place, please be neat!

$ mkdir -p ~/work/minix
$ cd ~/work/minix
$ wget --tries=inf http://cd.minix3.org/download/IDE-3.1.1.iso.bz2
$ bunzip2 IDE-3.1.1.iso.bz2
$ ls

It’s time to install QEMU and apt-get (aptitude) is a nice tool for this purpose (I assume that you have configured /etc/apt/sources.list)

# aptitude install qemu

We need a place to install MiNIX and QEMU allows us to create a virtual disk. How much space do we need? well, it depends of what you are planning to do with MiNIX,… I think 128MB is enough (Full instalation required 68MB without /home).

$ cd ~/work/minix
$ qemu-img create minix.img 128M
Formating 'minix.img', fmt=raw, size=131072 kB

Go ahead! and start QEMU using the IDE-3.1.1.iso like CD-ROM and minix.img like hard disk (hda). Ah! don’t forget to boot from CD-ROM (for more information ‘man qemu’)

$ qemu -hda minix.img -cdrom IDE-3.1.1.iso -boot d

That’s all,… now read the instructions of how to install MiNIX. Feel confident to install, re-install,… you are installing into a virtual hard disk! (In this version of MiNIX, the installation is more friendly than old versions).

After installing MiNIX in your virtual hard disk, you have to shutdown MiNIX (stop QEMU) and start QEMU again but with this options:

$ qemu -hda minix.img -cdrom IDE-3.1.1.iso -boot c