There have been several changes in the system that were included in the recent 4.3BSD Tahoe release.
Support has been added for the DEC VAX 8600/8650, VAX 8200/8250, MicroVAXII and MicroVAXIII.
The largest change has been the incorporation of support for the first non-VAX processor, the CCI Power 6/32 and 6/32SX. (This addition also supports the Harris HCX-7 and HCX-9, as well as the Sperry 7000/40 and ICL machines.) The Power 6 version of 4.3BSD is largely based on the compilers and device drivers done for CCI's 4.2BSD UNIX, and is otherwise similar to the VAX release of 4.3BSD. The entire source tree, including all kernel and user-level sources, has been merged using a structure that will easily accommodate the addition of other processor families. A MIPS R2000 has been donated to us, making the MIPS architecture a likely candidate for inclusion into a future BSD release.
The 4.3BSD UNIX kernel used 10 different memory allocation mechanisms, each designed for the particular needs of the utilizing subsystem. These mechanisms have been replaced by a general purpose dynamic memory allocator that can be used by all of the kernel subsystems. The design of this allocator takes advantage of known memory usage patterns in the UNIX kernel and a hybrid strategy that is time-efficient for small allocations and space-efficient for large allocations. This allocator replaces the multiple memory allocation interfaces with a single easy-to-program interface, results in more efficient use of global memory by eliminating partitioned and specialized memory pools, and is quick enough (approximately 15 VAX instructions) that no performance loss is observed relative to the current implementations. [McKusick88].
During the work on the CCI machine, it became obvious that disk geometry and filesystem layout information must be stored on each disk in a pack label. Disk labels were implemented for the CCI disks and for the most common types of disk controllers on the VAX. A utility was written to create and maintain the disk information, and other user-level programs that use such information now obtain it from the disk label. The use of this facility has allowed improvements in the file system's knowledge of irregular disk geometries such as track-to-track skew.
The 4.2 fast file system [McKusick84]
contained several statically sized structures,
imposing limits on the number of cylinders per cylinder group,
inodes per cylinder group,
and number of distinguished rotational positions.
The new ``fat'' filesystem allows these limits to be set at filesystem
Old kernels will treat the new filesystems as read-only,
and new kernels
will accommodate both formats.
The filesystem check facility, fsck, has also been modified to check