[rescue] SPARCclassic X - what software did this run?

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Wed Sep 6 19:52:43 CDT 2017

On 09/06/2017 04:49 PM, Skeezics Boondoggle wrote:
> The package we used (or at least started with) way back in the '90s was
> called "Xkernel," IIRC, and it was exactly that:  a very minimal SunOS 4
> kernel, the basic set of executables and /dev tree required to support the
> X server, and a shell script to replace "init".  We ran it very comfortably
> on 8MB SS1s and SS2s, long before the Classic was out, but early versions
> of Netscape triggered memory leaks in Xsun that caused it to pack it in
> every few days.  16MB was much more comfortable.  As older diskful machines
> were too sluggish and expensive to patch and maintain running SunOS or
> Solaris, we could pull disks and reconfigure them in minutes to be almost
> zero-maintenance X terminals, which was great for academic institutions
> where the interval between grants meant desktops languished while resources
> got allocated to beefier servers instead.

  Ahh I remember Xkernel well.  At Digex in the early 1990s we ran a
bunch of X terminals based on Xkernel as a starting point, which we
modified pretty heavily from there for our applications.  These were on
the desks of our sales and support staff.  The machines were Sun-3/50s,
3/60s, and a few 3/140s.  They were back-ended by a Sun-4/380, the staff

> I even created a version of Xkernel for NeXTstep 3.3 (called it
> "NeXTkernel", naturally) so that you could turn lovely black NeXTstations
> into X terminals.  But I'd be hard pressed to dig that code up at this
> point.  Searching for Xkernel brings up a competely different "x-kernel"
> project, or a "Melodic death metal band from Kiev, Ukraine." :-)

  Nice! :)


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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