Re: The history of the Linux OS

Stephen Harris (
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 00:55:03 GMT

Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH ( wrote:

: I think C++ experimentation came later --- g++ was well known to be unusable
: in the 0.99 days. IIRC it was somewhere in the 1.1 series (my memory

A boring historical delve into early C++ kernels...

Looking back over my old CD collection, the Yggdrasil Linux Internet
Archive, May 1995, Disk 2 (Sunsite mirror) has a 0.99.11 kernel which
has in the Makefile....

# standard CFLAGS

CFLAGS = -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -O6 -fomit-frame-pointer -x c++

The 0.99.12 kernel README file reads...

NOTABLE changes since patchlevel 10 or earlier:
- The kernel is now compiled with C++ instead of plain C. Very few
actual C++ features are used, but even so C++ allows for more
type-checking and type-safe linkage.

A quick grep of the 0.99.11 tree doesn't actually show any comments on

The 0.99.13 kernel Makefile has the c++ bit commented out...
CFLAGS = -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -O6 -fomit-frame-pointer # -x c++
but this doesn't appear to be documented...

Annoyingly the CD misses the 0.99.14 kernel totally.... The Walnut Creek
"Toolkit for Linux" August 1994 jumps into the gap :-)

The 0.99.14 kernel has a CHANGES file and this reads (editted)

CHANGES since 0.99 patchlevel 12 and earlier:
- compiled with plain C by default instead of C++

<wavey lines>
When I put a production environment (running 0.99.12.small-patch) into
effect, I ignored the C++ option as too unstable :-) Heh, those ships
have over 100days uptimes (according to an ex-cow-orker who just visited
one of them!)
</wavey lines>

Hope this answers any questions :-)

                                 Stephen Harris
      The truth is the truth, and opinion just opinion.  But what is what?
       My employer pays to ignore my opinions; you get to do it for free.      
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