From: Adam J. Richter (
Date: 11/24/92

From: (Adam J. Richter)
Subject: ANNOUNCEMENT: Alpha release Linux/GNU/X unix clone on CDROM for PC's
Date: 25 Nov 1992 04:46:44 GMT

        I am now taking orders for the alpha release of my company's
Linux/GNU/X distribution on CDROM. Linux is an AT&T-free unix clone
for 386/486-class PC compatibles. The CDROM is an ISO-9660 filesystem,
so you can look at it from DOS, other unix boxes, and even Macintoshes.
The distribution includes:

                o Linux 0.98.1 kernel,
                o X windows (v11r5) for VGA displays with support
                  for higher resolutions such as 1024x768 256 colors using
                  the ET4000, ET3000, Paradise, or Genoa chip sets,
                  and the standard Xlib/Xt development environment,
                o GNU utilities, including GNU C and C++, the GNU
                  debugger, bison, flex, GNU make,
                o TeX and groff typesetting packages,
                o Ghostscript: a postscript interpreter that can drive
                  a variety of printers and also display in an X
                o elvis and GNU emacs text editors,
                o kermit 5A telecommunications program, and
                o an installation script that uses the extended
                  filesystem, which supports long filenames and
                  symbolic links just like the BSD file system,
                o iso9660 filesystem with support for the Rock Ridge
                  extensions for reading CDROM's (used by this
                  CDROM distribution),
                o lots of other useful programs too numerous to mention.

        The alpha distribution consists the CDROM, and 3.5" and 5.25"
high density bootable filesystem floppies, and installation notes.
This should be sufficient to install the system directly on a new
computer or on an unused partition on your hard disk.

        You need a 386/486-class CPU, 8MB RAM, high density floppy,
100MB of IDE, SCSI or ESDI disk (200MB w/sources), SCSI CDROM drive
with an Adaptec 1542B, Ultrastor 14F, Future Domain TMC-1660/1680,
Seagate ST01/02, or Western Digital 7000fasst SCSI controller. I
don't think that Microchannel machines (e.g., PS/2's) will work, but
I'd be interested in hearing from anybody who tries installing on one.

        If you can't make the CDROM distribution work, then you may
return it within 30 days for a refund of the purchase price and any
sales tax, provided that you delete any files copied from the CDROM.
In such cases, please call in advance for return authorization. If
you are experiencing a problem which is supposed to be solved in a
subsequent release, you will be allowed to wait for that release
before having to decide whether or not you want to exercise your
refund option.

        Bear in mind that this is an alpha release. If you experience
problems, be prepared to do a certain amount of detective work to try
to narrow the problem down to certain hardware or software components.
If you can debug and fix the problem, that's even better. I have only
tested the distribution on a couple of machines, all of which had
ET4000-based VGA cards, various IDE hard disks, and an Adaptec 1542B
SCSI controller. However, I am not aware of anyone being unable to
get Linux working on any other supported hardware.

        The price of the CDROM distribution does not include support.
If you or your company are interested in providing support for this
CDROM distribution, give me a call at (510) 526-7531, 9am-5pm pacific
time. I want to make the availability of third party support an
important selling point of the production releases.

        If you or your company wants to resell the these releases,
that can be arranged. In order for these distributions to be
perceived as a viable alternative to Destiny and Solaris, I want there
to be a single standard for these CD's, which means making sure that
reselling is a more attractive alternative than developing a competing
CD. To that end, deep wholesale discounts will be available for very
high quantity resellers who don't need return privileges. In the
interest of having knowledgeable resellers, Linux developers will be
able to qualify for these deals at somewhat lower quantities.

        Of course, I'm also interested in improving the software on
the CDROM. I intend to reinvest heavily in continuing free software
development. In the mean time, if you are currently the principal
maintainer of a program, device driver or other module of the CDROM
distribution, I'll send you a complimentary copy.

        I have attached an order form for people in the United States
and Canada who want to order the CDROM now. Once the advance orders
have been shipped, I will make another posting that will hopefully
include information on foreign shipping and other payment methods such
as credit cards and purchase orders. The CD is being replicated now
and shipping of advance orders should be completed by Tuesday,
December 8th.

        The $99 price includes free copies of the beta and production
releases. The beta release should ship in January and the production
release should ship in February under a catchier trademarked name.
Subsequent releases will be issued quarterly at $99 each. You'll also
be able to get the CD's as a subscription at $60 per quarter with
automatic billing available (minimum subscription: 2 quarters). If
you buy the alpha or beta release, you will be able to convert to the
subscription service and have your $99 and your copy of the production
release counted as part of the subscription, so you will not be
penalized for buying before the availability of subscriptions.


                1. Any offers or prices are subject to change at any
                   time without notice.

                   (not the alpha distribution, not the beta
                   distribution, and not even the production
                   distributions). THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS"
                   FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

        This will be the first free operating system CDROM ever. It is
remotely conceivable that I may be flooded with email and telephone calls
tomorrow. If you send me questions by email, I may not be able to
respond immediately. Instead, I may post a list of common questions
and answers to the newsgroups to which this announcement is posted.

Adam J. Richter
Yggdrasil Computing, Incorporated

Received: xxq

                            ADVANCE ORDER FORM
                  Linux/GNU/X CDROM alpha distribution

SHIP TO: ______________________________ DAYTIME PHONE: ________________

         ______________________________ EMAIL: ________________________


              (USA and Canada only)

                                             Unit price
        Item Quantity (US dollars)

Linux+GNU+X alpha release _____ X $99 = $________
(beta and production release
will be sent to you free)

                    California residents add 8.25% sales tax $________

                Shipping (flat fee, independent of quantity) $ 5.00

                                                        Total $________

        Enclose money order or check payable in US dollars to
"Yggdrasil Computing, Incorporated" and mail to:

                        Yggdrasil Computing, Incorporated
                        CDROM sales
                        PO Box 8418
                        Berkeley, CA 94707-8418

        If this order form is received after the beta release has
begun, you will only receive the beta release and the production
release. If this order form is received after the production release
has been made, you will receive only the most current production
release. This order form expires after March 1, 1993.

        Call (510)526-7531 for a new order form after that date. You
may also call that number after December 8th for information on
orders outside of the United States and Canada.