MINIX 3 has many improvements over MINIX 2, too many to list. We will just list a few of them here.

New Features

  • Installation (based on a live CD) is much simpler
  • X Window System
  • Memory sizes up to 4 GB are supported
  • Disk blocks can be 1-, 2-, 4-, or 8-KB
  • The select system call has been added
  • Many new programs including gcc, g++, emacs, nvi, vim, bison, python, perl, GNU utilities
  • An information server has been added for debugging and other purposes
  • A reincarnation server automatically kills and replaces faulty device drivers on the fly

Better System structure

  • The kernel has been heavily rewritten, cleaned up, and reduced to under 4000 lines of code
  • Each device driver (except the clock) is now a separate user process
  • Many new reliability features have been added
  • A new nonblocking notification mechanism for IPC has been added
  • Timer management has been improved and simplified
  • Scheduling has been made more general
  • A bit map controls which destinations a process can send to
  • A bit map controls which kernel calls drivers and servers can make
  • Control of 'superuser-like' powers for kernel calls have been modularized
  • Interrupt notification and messages have been integrated