Low End Unix

Hello World

Why are we here?

Are you a computer enthusiast? OS nerd? Vintage computer collector? Maybe all of the above? Well, you've came to the right place! Here, we will talk about operating Unix-like systems to make them viable as "secondary daily driver", without spending "high end" money.

Low End Unix Software

When we say "low end" here, we meant "low cost" rather than "low quality".

The following Unix-like systems are known to be open source and free (as in beer).

Since Linux-based systems are already popular and well known, we will not cover them extensively.

BSD-based systems and illumos-based system will be the main focus of this blog. We will perform day to day tasks on them and record the knowledge and experience.

Commericial Unices

Their costs are prohibitive for individual users. While unofficial archives of commericial unices could sometimes be found. We will not cover them.

The only exception might be Solaris 11.4 "CBE" which is offered as a free download.

Low End Unix Hardware

x86-64 PC / Intel-based Mac

While Unix was/is sometimes associated with RISC-based processors, x86-64 (aka amd64) is without doubt the best supported CPU architecture these days. So why don't we grad some inexpensive, slightly old PC or Intel Mac, and make them work with your Unix-like OS of choice?

Even if you are very interested in non-x86 architectures, operating a system on x86 first could be a very good learning experience.

ARM-based single board computers

Raspberry Pi's, ODROID products, PINE64 products, etc. Maybe you already have some in your drawer :)

PowerPC-based Mac

Only when they are inexpensive to obtain. So G4 Cube is probably out while Mac mini G4 and some G5-based Macs will be considered.

Keep in touch

As you can see, I have not written many articles yet. If your interests overlap with mine, feel free to join my Discord server, Hill's Computer Lab and Museum to talk more.