30 May 2012 The VAX-Linux Porting Project
After a long time of silence, we're moving to out new site, There's not yet much to see, but the mailing List, which was sponsored for countless years by Pergamentum, will be moved soon.
27 January 2006 Toolchain
Most of the uClibc patches went upstream! Only some libpthread sysdeps, the .config file and my libm hack are kept as patches in our CVS repo. I can now start dealing with the fallout.
27 December 2005 Toolchain
The very last outstanding binutils patch was checked in into upstream sources today.
17 December 2005 Toolchain
Since yesterday, I've got a build daemon (it's called "Nemo" for now until I find a better name) running that compiles the the vax-linux and vax-linux-uclibc toolchain every 30min. So we will now detect errorneous upstream changes really soon after they were checked in.
The vax-linux-uclibc target should basically work, and I'm now hacking on the GNU libc based vax-linux target. Though that'll take some time to get mature...
09 December 2005 Toolchain
config.guess, part of the ./configure ritual, should now recognize the vax-dec-linux-gnu target as a patch for this issue went upstream today. Work is being done to generically also recognize the -uclibc variant.
30 November 2005 Toolchain
A cross-compiled GCC-4.2 (checked out from SVN, plus some patches), running on a VAX, properly compiled a "Hello World!" program.
12 November 2005 Kernel
For some time, we were playing with GIT, Linus' new source code management tool. Today we announce it: the CVS tree is now closed, all further development will (at least for now) happen in the GIT tree. Docs will be updated soon to show how to access and how to work with it.
October 2005 Toolchain
uClibc compiles again (using the toolchain/scripts/ script) and we've now again got a mostly working userland compiler, based on GCC HEAD. Unfortunately, there's still a problem with stat() so it isn't really usefull for real-world applications yet.
29 May 2005 Toolchain, Kernel
With a toolchain generated by the toolchain/scripts/ script Kenn managed to fix our 2.6.x based kernel to boot into userspace with a really really up-to-date gcc. (Our old compiler is based on a snapshot which is more than five years old.) All fixes are already checked in. This is a major milestone!
21 Mar 2005 Kernel
2.6.10 was imported into the CVS repository by Kenn.
20 Nov 2004 Kernel
2.6.9 was imported into the CVS repository and it seems all issues are now resolved. Enjoy!
24 Sep 2004 Kernel
We've now got a driver for VMS' ODS-2 filesystem which was initially written by Jonas Lindholm and now forward-ported to 2.6.x. It basically works, but needs some more testing (ie. verify if file's time stamps are correct compared to VMS).
22 Jul 2004 Info
Jan-Benedict Glaw is to show up with a 3100/78, a 4000/60 and a 4000/90 at the Developer's Meeting in Oldenburg, Germany. (Current plan is from Sep. 22 to Sep 26.) TODO: network on 3100/78, get 4000/90 to fully boot (currently no timer interrupts, so it stops during calculating delay loop...). And I want to learn more about gcc and glibc. Maybe others show up, too?

Oh, sorry for not putting any news online since, um, sooo long...

31 May 2002 Kernel
The SGEC Ethernet driver is now functional. VXT2000's and uVax3100's using the card should now be able to netboot their machines. Get the latest version from CVS and make sure you enable the SGEC in your kernel config.
24 Sep 2002 Info
The old FTP site is no more. A copy has been saved at But it's pretty much out of date. New stuff is at the download link off the main page.
01 Apr 2002 Kernel
(Andy Phillips) Kernel version now up to 2.4.14. Work progressing towards keeping current with a view to merging in 2.5.x. Dave is tackling the port of glibc3, with a view to shared libraries.
23 Sep 2001 Userland
A new root image has been posted to the download area. This contains instructions and prebuilt kernels for some VAXstatsions, and should allow (with some self assembly) most people to enjoy the bleeding edge of Linux/VAX development.
20 Sep 2001 Kernel
Updated Website with more useful information. 3100/30,38,76's working - mostly. There is a first cut bootloader for the above, called "Andy's Scsi Boot loader", or asbl.
24 Jun 2001 Userland
Mopd, uLibc and busybox now in CVS.
16 Jun 2001 Kernel
Kernel boots to shell prompt and forks properly... more details and bootlog in this message.
11 Jun 2001 Kernel
Got a shell prompt (busybox + uClibc static)!!!!! this message has more info... Complete bootlog and more information will be available soon.
21 Feb 2001 Kernel
Mounted a root filesystem for the first time tonight! See this message for the proof... This build is tagged as kh-20010221.
20 Feb 2001 Kernel
Things are going pretty well right now. We're now working off the official 2.4.0 kernel. Next I'll merge in 2.4.1. We intend to track the 2.4.x series at least until 2.5 starts. Don't know which way we'll go at that point yet...

Andy's pagelet layer is in place, making the main kernel think we really have 4K pages, when we really only have 512-byte pages. (Sssh! Don't tell it...). Good work Andy!

Richard Banks has started trying it out ion a MicroVAX 3100 Model 85 (KA55 CPU) and, well, it's just not working... My best guess is that the PCB needs to be set up correctly before turning on virtual memory. I'll get to that real soon now, Richard. Honestly...

Anyway, I've tagged a build as kh-20010220 in CVS. You can see the default configuration (i.e. rm .config && make oldconfig) booting on a VAXstation 3100 Model 76 and a VAXstation 4000 Model 60. Thanks for the 4000/60, Andy! (Incidentally, those BOOTP transmission attempts in the VS3100 bootlog are not actually putting packets on the wire.)

You will need the 20001231 toolchain to build this kernel. You can get it from CVS or grab snapshots from the FTP site.

31 Dec 2000 Kernel
Some reasonable progress recently. Check out this boot sequence on my VS3100m76. The LANCE ethernet chip, one of the NCR5380 SCSI controllers, the internal SCSI disk and it's partitions are detected. The usual bunch of initial kernel threads are created and you can see the scheduler switching between them while it waits for an interrupt from the disk.

I've tagged this build as kh-20001231.

Unfortunately, getting further is going to be a bit more difficult. I'm starting to run into problems due to our small PAGE_SIZE, that won't be easy to get around. Following discussions with Andy, I'm going to start working on 2.4 which should make things easier for us.

I've CVS tagged a toolchain build as tools-linuxvax-20001231. Real soon now, I'll be checking in a kernel change that will require this new toolchain. So now might be a good time tocvs update and rebuild.

You don't need this latest toolchain to build kh-20001231. The 20000808 release should work fine.

Oh yeah... Happy new year! - KPH

11 Aug 2000 Toolchain
Snapshots of the gcc-2.95.2/binutils-2.10 toolchain released, and available on the FTP site. Source and binary versions for Linux/i386 are provided, with documentation to follow (honest). (atp)
07 Aug 2000 Toolchain
Andy continues to work on the toolchain. Migration to gcc-2.95.2 seems to be complete (at least it makes bootable kernels for me - Kenn). He continues to work through the bugs. Hopefully we'll do a binary snapshot of the toolchain soon, for those of you who don't want to compile up your own tools.

Dave Airlie's LANCE ethernet driver for the VS3100-series machines is starting to take shape. Well, it generates lots of output on the console and then prints the ethernet address!
Dave's also started on a proper FAQ generated from these SGML sources.

23 Jul 2000 Toolchain
A newer binutils (version 2.10) has been checked into CVS. It seems to work fine so far. Details in Andy's mail message.

The interrupt and exception handling framework is complete. I hope...

Interrupt and exception handlers are all registered at run-time now. It looks like autoprobing interrupt vectors will be possible too.

14 Jul 2000 Info
The website is now updated via CVS. The pages are pulled from CVS hourly.

Out of date documentation has been removed and replaced with a link to current docs.

We're getting further slowly. Here is Kenn's VAXstation 3100 booting the latest kernel. The framework for handling interrupts is taking shape...

23 Feb 2000 Info
Web site has moved to SourceForge Expect some broken links and general randomness as we iron out bugs.
18 Feb 2000 Info
This project is moving to sourceforge, in order to speed up access to the software and to allow people aside from me to manage the web site.

New release this weekend.

01 Feb 1999 Info
New snapshots at the http link. Old packages are still available under the "old" directory. A mopd, this time including the loop.c fix, has been put up as well. Whilst I'm away patches and new releases can be found on Kenn's site at
24 Oct 1999 Info
  1. All the vaxes have arrived. The only problem now is that as a result of moving jobs and house, they are all in storage.
  2. The mailing list has moved. The new details are below.
  3. If you were on the old linux-vax list, you will have to re-subscribe, as the list of members was not saved.
  4. I am about to depart to a desert island (with no internet access) for several months. I'll try to update documentation and the web site before I go.
  5. Simplified web pages a bit. Amazing how being on a DECstation running NetBSD with a 33.6 dialup instead of a T1 can lead to a lack of patience with useless graphics.
25 Jul 1999 Info
New snapshots for things at the download link.

Linux C code now compiles. Pretty much all of arch-dependent stuff to do (or redo) still. I'm acquiring the rest of the VAX hardware I need tomorrow.

Still dont know where to store it ...