Unicos CD-ROM’s found!

Okay, so it’s old news. But it was news to me!

So over on Modular Circuits, Andras had posted a promising ‘UNICOS Update‘ which had detailed that 2 CD-ROM’s of Unicos had surfaced on archive.org cray-cd1 & cray-cd2. Along with posting the updated source to github, so I had no choice to replicate the experiment!

First the install is INSANELY slow. It requires you to setup a Linux (or unix) machine with rsh. Surprisingly there is a rsh-server package for Ubuntu 22.04. Basically it boils down to following the instructions. Although with WSLv2 I ended up making the bridge manually with:

brctl addbr craybr
ip tuntap add mode tap tap1
ifconfig tap1 up
brctl addif craybr tap1
ifconfig craybr 172.16.0.1 netmask 255.255.255.0

It’s coded in the example configs to use tap1, but there you go. It’s a pretty straightfoward install but the decompression on the cray side takes the installation hours. As an experiment I changed the commands from rcp to remsh to gzip -dc the files locally on my PC, which had the benefit of of being much faster, and not taking up space.

I went ahead and uploaded both of my installs for anyone wanting to play OS tourist enough to check out UNICOS but not wanting to sit through the install.

The C compiler is.. ancient. and very touchy. You’ll need to add /usr/gen/bin to the path, and explicitly add the path for the linker like this:

/usr/gen/bin/cc zap.c -L/usr/gen/lib

Although the breakage is.. pretty epic. I had pretty much no luck bringing over any of my favorites. There should be a much better / modernish C compiler and Fortran compiler, although I’m not sure if it’s on these CD-ROM’s or I’m just massively ignorant of UNICOS, because I never got a chance to be anywhere near a legit supercomputer.

So yeah, pretty exciting stuff!

1 thought on “Unicos CD-ROM’s found!

  1. I recall reading the Cray Files from Modular Circuits Blog ages ago when I got curious about supercomputer emulation, and their biggest issue was getting real Software to actually test the emulator. Glad to see some progress.

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