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From: Clem Cole <>
To: Grant Taylor <>
Cc: The Unix Heritage Society <>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Pre-init initialization
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2019 09:04:36 -0400
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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A couple of the commercial systems did this for sure. Linux definitely
picked it up from UNIX practices, although I have no idea/memory of who did
it first.  We used the idea at Stellar (Stellix) and at Masscomp (RTU).
IIRC, a couple of others like Pyramid made have created a RAMFS - but it
was kicking around the UNIX community for a fairly long time - certainly in
the late 1970s - *i.e.* post V7.

FWIW: V7 had /stand which was a funky UNIX-like standalone system that some
applications could be compiled.  The problem was that it was a little
different so you would end up seeing #ifdef STAND in code for things like
fsck, fsdb, even cat.  At Masscomp we ended up with three target
environments for a couple of the system maintenance utilities: the OS,
/stand and the boot ROMS.   This was expensive/a PITA to maintain and keep
straight, and in the case of the boot ROM, space was a huge problem.

The RAMFS idea was created to get rid of at least /stand and IIRC we were
able to drop a number of utilities out of the boot ROM.  I'm not sure how
far they took it.   I left for Stellar and it was always the way Stellix

On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 7:47 PM Grant Taylor via TUHS <>

> Do, or did, anything other than Linux use a concept of an initramfs /
> initrd to create a pre-(main)-init initialization environment to prepare
> the system to execute the (main)-init process?
> --
> Grant. . . .
> unix || die

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  parent reply index

Thread overview: 17+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-08-06 23:46 Grant Taylor via TUHS
2019-08-07  1:22 ` Andrew Warkentin
2019-08-07 13:04 ` Clem Cole [this message]
2019-08-07 16:40   ` Warner Losh
2019-08-08 13:31     ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2019-08-09  1:52       ` Grant Taylor via TUHS
2019-08-10  0:23         ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2019-08-10  2:28           ` Grant Taylor via TUHS
2019-08-10  4:21             ` Kevin Bowling
2019-08-10  4:50               ` Grant Taylor via TUHS
2019-08-10  4:52               ` Adam Thornton
2019-08-08 13:43     ` Clem Cole
2019-08-08 18:59       ` Warner Losh
2019-08-09  1:46   ` Grant Taylor via TUHS
2019-08-09  2:15     ` Warner Losh
2019-08-09  6:43       ` Kevin Bowling
2019-08-10  1:45 ` Chris Hanson

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