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Introduction[edit | edit source]

The FNX6809 combined with the F256 makes a great system for running OS-9/6809. OS-9 is a real-time, embedded operating system created by Microware Systems Corporation. While it was used in many areas of industry, home computer users know it best for its implementation on the Tandy Color Computer sold by Radio Shack

Today, a community effort has led to the creation of NitrOS-9, an open source version of the OS-9 operating system. Throughout this page, I'll refer to NitrOS-9 as OS-9.

A word about platforms[edit | edit source]

This page assumes you're running on Linux or macOS. If you're using Windows, someone will have to step up and write a document for that platform.

Foenix-specific tools[edit | edit source]

To get code into the F256, you need FoenixMgr. Download this package and follow the instructions to install it on your machine.

Note, if you're using a Mac, you won't be able to upload code into the F256 due to the driver manufacturer being so behind on updates. I have a Linux VM and use FoenixMgr tools in bridge mode on there. This allows me to run the commands on my Mac and direct them to the Linux VM.

Cross-hosted software[edit | edit source]

Cross-hosted development is the fastest way to develop code for the F256. For this you need the following:

  • lwtools - an assembler/linker package
  • ToolShed - a set of tools for creating disk images
  • NitrOS-9 - the NitrOS-9 operating system in source form

You can pull these down individually, or better yet, use @strickyak's great CoCo Shelf repository. It has a Makefile which gets all of the above and puts it in a convenient location (note that you'll have to update your shell script of choice to include the locations of the binaries in the PATH environment variable).

Here are the commands to type at the terminal to pull down all the required software:

git clone https://github.com/strickyak/coco-shelf.git
cd coco-shelf
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/coco-shelf/bin
make mirror-stuff done-lwtools done-cmoc done-toolshed done-nitros9

Compiling OS-9 Level 2[edit | edit source]

Note: This assumes you have already built the feu boot loader and flashed it to the F256. Compiling NitrOS-9 requires lwtools and ToolShed.

Set the NITROS9DIR environment variable to the nitros9 directory[edit | edit source]

If you forget to do this, you will see an error when you compile like "*** No rule to make target '/rules.mak'."

cd nitros9

Build lib and Rogue (if you want to play Rogue)[edit | edit source]

From the nitros9 directory:

cd lib
cd ../3rdparty/packages/rogue

Build Level 2 Disk Image for the F256[edit | edit source]

From the nitros9 directory:

cd level2/f256
make dsk
Note: do not type make in the root nitros9 directory. The nitros9 directory contains builds for every version and build of NitrOS-9 (coco, coco3, etc.). Make sure to invoke make from the level2/f256 directory to avoid compiling every possible iteration of the system.

This will produce 2 disk images:


The dw disk image will boot from DriveWire (if you have installed an ESP32 or ESP8266 and have a DriveWire server). The sd disk image will boot from the SD card. Use dd on Linux, etc. to flash the disk to an SD card. On Linux, IF the card is named /dev/sdx:

dd if=NOS9_6809_L2_v030300_f256_sd.dsk of=/dev/sdx

Note: This is just a sample command, your SD card is probably not named /dev/sdx. Check and make sure you are writing to the correct device. On Linux, type lsblk in a terminal to find the correct device. Substitute /dev/sdx in the above command with the correct device name for your SD card on your system. Double check the device name to avoid catastrophic data loss.