MINIX 3 Tips and Tricks

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MINIX 3 with X installed

MINIX 3 is a POSIX-compliant operating system created by Andrew Tanenbaum, first released in 1987. It is a microkernel and has an interesting and robust fault-tolerance system that detects and repairs its own faults on the fly, without any user intervention.

A fun fact about MINIX, although it's somewhat obscure and most people haven't heard about it, it's actually the most used and widely installed OS in the world - beating Linux, Mac OS, and even Microsoft Windows, because it is built into Intel ME. The main target for this OS are embedded systems, and education environments.


  • Insert the CD into the drive, or if you're installing in a VM, insert the ISO.
  • When asked to login, type "root"
  • Type "setup"
  • Press enter to continue
  • Enter your keyboard layout.
  • Follow the setup instructions
  • Install!

It's that easy.

Updating pkgin packages[edit]

Upon any first installation you absolutely will want to update the pkgin packages like this:

pkgin update

C Utilities[edit]

Installing binutils, clang, nano is done like this:

pkgin install binutils clang nano

Or if you prefer vim run this instead:

pkgin install binutils clang vim

To compile C source code you use clang, like this:

clang hello_world.c -o hello_world

Creating a new user[edit]

Here's how to create a new user and set a password for it in MINIX:

useradd -m your_user_here passwd your_user_here

Installing OpenSSH[edit]

Install OpenSSH and run it like this:

pkgin install openssh

printf 'sshd=YES\n' >> /etc/rc.conf # This will enable SSH daemon.

/usr/pkg/etc/rc.d/sshd start # Starts SSH.

Allowing root login (probably don't do this unless its closed off from the internet):

printf 'PermitRootLogin yes' >> /usr/pkg/etc/ssh/sshd_config

Set the root password like this if you plan on logging into it through SSH:

passwd root