PA-RISC Operating Systems
A broad range of operating systems has been available over the years for PA-RISC workstations and servers. Most of them are either commercial Unix or Unix-like derivates and open source projects, with different designs having both been ported to and developed specifically for PA-RISC. A separate article is dedicated to the history of PA-RISC operating systems.
- HP-UX: is HP’s main commercial Unix operating system for its PA-RISC workstations and servers. The popular HP-UX 10.20 from 1996 has the widest support for HP 9000 700 workstations and HP 9000 800 servers, HP-UX 11i from the 2000s runs on most PA-RISC 1.1, 2.0 and Itanium 2 computers from HP.
- NeXTSTEP: NeXTSTEP on PA-RISC was a commercial Mach-based operating system from the 1990s with an Unix userland and a then extremely modern GUI, ported to PA-RISC in 1994. Support for some 32-bit PA-RISC machines was available in Version 3.3, with limited hardware support.
- MPE/iX, a business real-time operating system for HP 3000 mainframes running PA-RISC. For more information read the 3000-MPE (Software) article from hpmuseum.net and The History of the HP 3000 from Bob Green.
- HP-RT , a real-time operating system for HP 9000 740 VME workstations that apparently was based on LynxOS.
- Convex SPP/UX, a heavily modified Mach-based operating system for the Convex/HP Exemplar SPP1000, 1200 and 1600 mainframes.
- Stratus FTX, System V Unix, and Stratos VOS, a transaction-processing oriented system, for the fault-tolerant Continuum servers from Stratus
- Linux: PA-RISC support was included in the mainstream Linux kernels during the 2000s and shipped with Debian and Gentoo distributions as official ports. During the 2010s support declined and development was scaled back.
- OpenBSD/hppa is an open source BSD Unix-like operating system ported to HP PA-RISC computers focused on 32-bit workstations and some 64-bit models running in 32-bit mode.
- NetBSD/hppa is a free, open source Unix-like operating system, and supports PA-RISC computers since around 2005, called NetBSD/hp700 until the 7.0 release.
- MkLinux: a research project from the mid-1990s by the Open Group/OSF to port a Linux kernel onto a Mach microkernel, based on the MK-PA OSF/1 port to PA-RISC.
- HPBSD from the University of Utah which was a late-1980s port of 4.3BSD and later 4.4BSD to early 800s servers and 700s workstations.
- Mach: Several ports of the Mach microkernel were done during the early 1990s, with HP Tut porting Mach 2.0 and the University of Utah both Mach 3 and Mach 4.
- OSF/1: Porting efforts for OSF/1, the proposed Unix operating system by an alliance of DEC, IBM, HP and others to compete with AT&T’s and Sun’s System V Unix, started around 1990 by HP with HP OSF/1 and in the mid-1990s by the OSF RI Open Group Research Institute with several releases of MK-PA.
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