Monday, December 30, 2013

[Minix][Tutorial 1] How to install Minix and setup VMware Player

This tutorial has been updated to conform with the 2015/2016 LCOM course program.

Hello again!

This is going to be the first tutorial of the Minix series. I will be running Ubuntu and I strongly advice you to do the same. Just install it alongside Windows.
So... shall we start?

Get Eclipse

If you don't have it already installed, you will need to get Eclipse. Check my tutorial on this.

Get VMware Player

[Outdated] This is no longer used in LCOM. Check the Get VirtualBox section below.

Follow this link and download the version corresponding to your system.

If you are using Ubuntu as I told you, installing VMware Player can be tricky.
As you will see, the link above will get you a VMware-Player-xxx-version.bundle. How do we install something like this? Go to this site and follow step number 2.

Good, now you have VMware Player installed! :)

Get VirtualBox

If you are using Ubuntu as I told you, installing VirtualBox should be really easy - you just need to open the Terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

If you are running Windows - Really?? STOP USING IT..! Install Ubuntu now! - follow this link and download the version corresponding to your system.

Get Minix 3.1.8

Download the Minix image - last updated in 2015/16 (may be outdated if you are viewing this in 2016/17 or beyond).

Extract the download and place it somewhere. I put it here:

Now open Minix-LCOM and launch Minix-LCOM.vbox.

VirtualBox should have opened.
Now you just need to press Start in the top bar.

After pressing start, Minix should start to boot up. Give it a couple of seconds and you should be prompted with the login screen:

The login username and password are both: lcom

That's it for now!

On the next tutorial I'll show you the basic commands to use Minix and how to link Eclipse with the virtual machine to start programming stuff ! :)

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

New tutorial series about Minix 3.1.8

Hello everyone!

As you might not know, I live in Portugal and I am studying computer engineering at FEUP, in Oporto.

I'm currently taking a course called Computer Labs. To sum it up: we start with an image of a Linux micro kernel called Minix. We run it through VMPlayer on Ubuntu.
From there we mess with registers and program the basics for all the devices from scratch: graphics card, timer, keyboard, mouse, rtc, uart. We must program them in interrupt or polling mode.

If you are wondering if that is easy: well it depends. Most of the times, we rage quit. Other than that, once you get how things work (on the lab before the last one), things should start to make sense?

All this to announce a new series of tutorials, where I'll explain how to set up the virtual machine, how to use Eclipse to code stuff via Remote System Explorer, basic Minix commands and how to do... stuff!

The course is near the end and my final project is almost done. It looks good I must say!
So yeah, this series will be useful for me because I'll get to review every detail from the very start. I'll record my progress so I can check it in the future if I need to.

Actually, I think this series will be of great value for future students who need to take the course or a similar one, and for my friends who didn't quite understand things properly at first and will have to take the course again next year.
Whichever the case is: good luck!

I'll start the series soon!

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