Author Topic: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)  (Read 7339 times)

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Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« on: 00:39, 05 November 14 »

By Alan Cox of Linux Kernel fame.


"FUZIX is a fusion of various elements from the assorted UZI forks and branches beaten together into some kind of semi-coherent platform and then extended from V7 to somewhere in the SYS3 to SYS5.x world with bits of POSIX thrown in for good measure. Various learnings and tricks from ELKS and from OMU also got blended in"


The real hardware test platform is an Amstrad NC100!


EtchedPixels/FUZIX · GitHub

https://plus.google.com/+AlanCoxLinux/posts/a2jAP7Pz1gj




Offline Jckf

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #1 on: 00:54, 05 November 14 »
I saw the guys on IRC discuss this the other day, and although it sounds cool I cannot help but think that perhaps it will be abandoned soon just like so many other OS projects. I'll be excited once I can run it on my own CPC without much hassle though ;)

Offline CraigsBar

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Pcw first please. :)

Offline Prodatron

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #3 on: 10:45, 05 November 14 »
The CPC is not a good candidate for it. Fuzix requires 32K memory mapping to run in a good way, otherwise you will have either no multitasking or only very small apps. With a Vortex memory expansion it would probably work, but these are not very common. So yes, a PCW port could be more realistic.

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Offline robcfg

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #4 on: 10:54, 05 November 14 »
A NC100 with Unix... Sure it was worth waiting!  8)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #5 on: 20:58, 08 November 14 »
Wow. But you got to think why not the NC200?

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #6 on: 23:37, 08 November 14 »
I guess he had access to an NC100 and not an NC200...?

Offline Prodatron

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #7 on: 02:02, 09 November 14 »
Probably the NC100 has a better availability, and the difference between the NC100 and NC200 is only the double display and the floppy disc. So nothing serious. Anyway currently he is working on the MSX version... :)

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Offline Munchausen

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #8 on: 03:17, 09 November 14 »
NC200 and PCW code is there... looks as though PCW works in Joyce (but untested on really hardware?), and NC200 should also be sort of working

Offline CraigsBar

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NC200 and PCW code is there... looks as though PCW works in Joyce (but untested on really hardware?), and NC200 should also be sort of working
Since I have not put my pcw away yet. I think I'll test this sometime soon.

Offline Trebmint

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #10 on: 11:02, 09 November 14 »
Are there any images or videos of this working? I don't even know if this is a graphical OS, or just some command line thing... the whole Unix / Linux thing floats over my head as I submitted to the evil mircosoft years ago.


Perhaps we should have a Harry Hill style fight-out between Fuzix, SymbOs and FutureOs :)

Offline Poliander

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #11 on: 11:15, 09 November 14 »
...from Alan Cox's G+ account:

Q: Hmm, 40K, a bit big to fit in a Beeb B without using a bit of banking; how much of that needs to be in the address space at once?

A.C.: With userspace code executing not a lot (just some entry points and small bits of common code), in kernel space if your tools could do it then you could certainly bank the code but not so easily the constants and you'd need the data mapped always really. I do want to sort the sdcc linker out as mapping it into 16K banked ROMs is a must really for spectrum 128, Amstrad CPC etc too
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Offline Munchausen

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #12 on: 14:08, 09 November 14 »
Are there any images or videos of this working? I don't even know if this is a graphical OS, or just some command line thing... the whole Unix / Linux thing floats over my head as I submitted to the evil mircosoft years ago.


I havent seen any screenshots.  Were there some MSX ones? It is a command line only OS, basically like a Linux/unix command prompt. There's nothing stopping graphical applications being written for it, but there is no kind of graphics abstraction like in symbos, just text mode abstraction AFAIK.


I'm trying to get a memory card to give this a go on my NC100. I also (by chance) got my PCWs out yesterday as I'm having a clear out, but I don't know if I'll get time to compile and test it today. When I do I'll take some pictures if none are about already.


EDIT: there are some MSX screenshots here: https://plus.google.com/+AlanCoxLinux/posts
« Last Edit: 14:11, 09 November 14 by Munchausen »

Offline Trebmint

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #13 on: 14:56, 09 November 14 »
Oh, an ugly command line OS... that's something from the 80's that IMHO should stay there. I must be missing something since everyone seems excited?

Offline Poliander

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #14 on: 15:03, 09 November 14 »
Oh, an ugly command line OS... that's something from the 80's that IMHO should stay there. I must be missing something since everyone seems excited?

Running an unix-like OS with a somewhat familiar environment on a CPC is actually a dream coming true (for me). And even Mac OS has a "unixoid" fundament. It would be most interesting if additional hardware would get supported on OS-level, e.g. PlayCity, serial I/O adapters, (GFX cards? *ducks*) and so on, accessible through standardized libraries...
« Last Edit: 15:10, 09 November 14 by Poliander »
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Offline steve

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #15 on: 15:13, 09 November 14 »
I do not understand the attraction of getting an operating system running on machines of widely differing capabilities, unix runs on powerful hardware, what software is there that will run on the CPC?
If you want a command line, use CP/M at least we know we can get a lot of software that is designed for 8-bit hardware.

Offline Trebmint

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #16 on: 15:19, 09 November 14 »
Running an unix-like OS with a somewhat familiar environment on a CPC is actually a dream coming true (for me). And even Mac OS has a "unixoid" fundament. It would be most interesting if additional hardware would get supported on OS-level, e.g. PlayCity, serial I/O adapters, (GFX cards? *ducks*) and so on, accessible through standardized libraries...
I guess I'm biased as I've written a number of things for it, but doesn't symbos offer all this and a load more already? Plus it looks pretty, and is now usable on 4 different machines. Perhaps its just I recall the olden days when my head used to spin as I was expected to install linkers, compilers and modify bat files just so I could get an app to run. I like Graphical UI's :)

Offline Munchausen

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #17 on: 16:08, 09 November 14 »
Aside from being a curiosity I think a lot of the appeal is that you should be able to compile standard posix/unix software to it pretty easily, and having unix there does a lot of things for you if you are a coder. Familiarity is also key - it is a familiar, multi-tasking environment for development and use - and if you know unix reasonably well then the unix command line and shell utilities are a million miles beyond CP/M or AMSDOS, and you can also get up to speed coding very quickly. I'd certainly welcome a unix environment, a nice editor, and a good terminal emulator. It's also open source so anyone can add whatever they like to it.


However, for the average user this probably adds up to very little - you probably wont be able to launch pre-existing software for your machine from it, and IMHO symbos is a much greater achievement. I see this as something awesome especially for the NC100 - but it remains to be seen if any useful software can actually run on it.
« Last Edit: 16:12, 09 November 14 by Munchausen »

Offline Munchausen

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #18 on: 16:10, 09 November 14 »
It would be cool if symbos had some kind of posix compatibility and standard shell utilities btw. But I guess this is something a 3rd party could do at some point (like cygwin for symbos).

Offline TFM

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #19 on: 00:38, 10 November 14 »

Perhaps we should have a Harry Hill style fight-out between Fuzix, SymbOs and FutureOS :)

 8)

How would this look like?


Oh, an ugly command line OS... that's something from the 80's that IMHO should stay there. I must be missing something since everyone seems excited?

No offense, but isn't that a pretty superficial look?
« Last Edit: 00:42, 10 November 14 by TFM »
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Offline TFM

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #20 on: 00:47, 10 November 14 »

I do not understand the attraction of getting an operating system running on machines of widely differing capabilities, unix runs on powerful hardware, what software is there that will run on the CPC?

You got a point there. An OS which runs on different computers is always forced to loose power to stay compatible to everything.
The perfect OS for a computer has a monolithic architecture and uses the particular strength of the computer. So everything can implemented in perfection. CLU would like it.  ;)



If you want a command line, use CP/M at least we know we can get a lot of software that is designed for 8-bit hardware.

Right, and with Z3Plus the CPC's CP/M does provide a lot of unix stuff. People just don't know it, because they are no interested.


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Offline Trebmint

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #21 on: 02:37, 10 November 14 »
No offense, but isn't that a pretty superficial look?
I dont really see how it can be classsed as superficial. GUI's aren't just asthetic, they are functional and improve use by ease of understanding and speed. You would have a point if the competition on the CPC like FutureOs and Symbos were just pretty interfaces and had less ability, but they dont. They do the same and more, and given they are written in z80 they do it faster too.
Im obviously biased as I code things for symbos, but I also think FutureOs is cool too... but I guess that's cos it has lots of sexy superficial icons and pointers which I'm sure you TFM only put in for us shallow users that hate ASCII and keyboards

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #22 on: 02:42, 10 November 14 »
An OS which runs on different computers is always forced to loose power to stay compatible to everything.
The perfect OS for a computer has a monolithic architecture and uses the particular strength of the computer.
Erm, no. Why should it be like this? Funny statement, as most native systems are so terrible slow  :D
The secret is in the low level routines. If these are optimized to the maximum and the remaining "general" system is totally written in optimized Z80 assembler, there is no loose of power at all. Why should it?
Speaking about the "perfect" OS: The perfect "OS" is something where the app don't need to know anything special about the computer. If an app needs to know something about the computer, you don't need an OS at all, right? In this case it's better to use libraries ;)

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Offline TFM

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #23 on: 03:45, 10 November 14 »
Funny point of view!  :)  IMO the perfect OS is exactly the opposite: The App is not dump, in contrast, it knows exactly in which environment it is running and it has full interface power / control over the hardware. Anything else makes it slower.

Well where is that slow native system? And then where is the faster not-native system? Windows? I guess no.  :P  Maybe Linux, but then we're back at unix.  ;)

Reality proves me right, compare multi platform OS (cpm, symbos) and native systems (disc'o'magic in this case):
Speedcheck - CPCWiki

Any monolithic system is always faster and more powerful, because it lacks the layer of abstraction. For example, I can load a screen as it is for Amsdos. For other OS is must be converted before it can be written in the screen RAM. What a terrible loss of resources. Sorry, but adding an abstraction layer will always lead to a significant slow-down. And all OS I know prove that right.


You are right about quick low level routines, but the gain of speed get's wasted for data conversion (see example of showing GFX, etc).


« Last Edit: 03:58, 10 November 14 by TFM »
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Offline TFM

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Re: FUZIX "Unix" for NC100 (and other Z80 systems soon)
« Reply #24 on: 03:51, 10 November 14 »
I dont really see how it can be classsed as superficial. GUI's aren't just asthetic, they are functional and improve use by ease of understanding and speed. You would have a point if the competition on the CPC like FutureOs and Symbos were just pretty interfaces and had less ability, but they dont. They do the same and more, and given they are written in z80 they do it faster too.
Im obviously biased as I code things for symbos, but I also think FutureOs is cool too... but I guess that's cos it has lots of sexy superficial icons and pointers which I'm sure you TFM only put in for us shallow users that hate ASCII and keyboards


I don't refuse GUIs in general. But I think that a combination between GUI and text section is the best solution. Sadly people don't know it, and so it scares them off. Eventually... The command line may be the best and efficient way of UI anyway because people know it.
A WIMP looks nice, but that's about it. Efficient work with mousing around? No, the keyboard will be always more quick. What I don't like are windows, they either cut down the usable screen area or can not be displayed in full. Further the bring chaos to the surface, look at recent published GUI pictures with windows. That's for my poor eyesight just chaos, I don't see whats going on. Why not using a status line which allows to switch between different full screens, that would be nice.

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