VAXstation 100 emulator + older X versions found?

The VAXstation 100 is notable for kicking off the X Window System in 1984. MIT’s CLU/Argus group had acquired some VS100 units and needed a windowing system. They found Stanford’s W window system and updated it to become X. Project Athena quickly adopted X, followed by DEC and workstation vendors, and the rest is Unix history. (Side note: xterm was started at Project Athena before X, and was initially used to manage several VS100. It was updated to be a regular X application later.)

I wrote a VS100 emulator. By itself it’s not a lot of fun, but once it can talk to a VAX host things will be more interesting. Here’s a demo: Updated VAXstation 100 emulator demo. - YouTube

But the more intriguing news is that Jim Gettys (of Project Athena fame) noted my earlier video and commented that he has files from old backup tapes with historical versions of X. Previously, the oldest version online has been X10R3. Jim expressed interest in seeing the older versions run on my emulator connected to the SIMH VAX emulator.


Solid work! Congratulations on getting this working that fluently!

That would be really cool to get earlier copies of the X source code!

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I agree! I will keep you posted if there are any interesting developments.