Subject: Ian's Xkernel
To: None <>
From: Ian Dall <>
List: port-sun3
Date: 04/10/1997 09:56:49 ("D. Hugh Redelmeier") writes:

  > I'm typing this on my Sun 3/60, running Ian's Xkernel.  Thanks Ian and
  > Curt!

Glad to see someone getting use out of it.

  > Here are some incomplete notes to help future explorers.

It would have been good if I had turned this into a friendly package,
but I didn't have time so I just tarred up what I had.

The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to use this is
have a look at

especially the file  Xpert.tar.z.

The latter has detailed, but not 100% correct(!) instructions for
setting up an Xkernel configuration. All I did was follow those, put
NetBSD versions of all the executables instead of SunOs versions and
make some minor tweaks to /sbin/init. There is no necessary win to
doing this except in my case I want to set up some PC's as X terminals
and using NetBSD I should be able to have a more or less identical
software configuration for the Sun3 and the PC. Plus, of course,
NetBSD is more up-to-date and I get the source.

  > - I filled in /etc/myname as per DISKLESS(8).  I don't know if this
  >   matters.

I don't think it does. If it isn't referred to in /sbin/init, it isn't

  > I don't really know how to cleanly shut the system down.  I think that
  > the kernel is mounted read-only (I don't know how to run commands on
  > the system other than in /sbin/init), just powering off while in XDM
  > seems OK.

There isn't really any way to run commands other than from /sbin/init.
Of course, it is just netbsd, so you can keep adding stuff back in to
your hearts content, but it rather defeats the idea of a lean
Xkernel. The only thing I thing I would like to run locally is an
xlock. X does now have some remote execution capability, but I don't
understand it. It would be nice to be able to start a client through
the X server rather than having another daemon (inetd) running all the

As for shutting down, L1 A is as good as any. The configuration only
ever mounts stuff read only, so there is nothing to shutdown really.