[Coco] CoCo OS-9, a short simple explanation

Randall Kindig randall.kindig at gmail.com
Mon May 16 20:46:06 EDT 2016

I haven’t ventured into OS9 land yet, either, so intros like this are very helpful.  thanks!


> On May 16, 2016, at 8:40 PM, Steve Strowbridge <ogsteviestrow at gmail.com> wrote:
> That was very helpful, thanks, have not cracked open OS9 yet, but I feel
> more educated now.
> On May 16, 2016 7:02 PM, "Barry Nelson" <barry.nelson at amobiledevice.com>
> wrote:
>> In response to anyone who is totally new to and doesn't "get" OS-9, I
>> would lie to offer these simple insights. OS-9 and NitrOS9 are disk
>> operating systems, not a programming language, and is very similar to the
>> following other disk operating systems in many respects…
>> Linux
>> Windows (when using the command line prompt)
>> Many programming languages are available to write programs under OS-9 and
>> NitrOS9, including:
>> BASIC09
>> 6809 assembly
>> C
>> Pascal
>> Like Linux, Windows and MS DOS OS-9 manages files and folders, has a
>> current directory and an execution path. Like Linux, OS-9 uses the /
>> character to separate parts of a path as opposed to the \ used by Windows
>> and MS DOS. OS-9 uses the chd command to change the currently active
>> folder, in NitrOS9 you can use either chd, or cd exactly like Linux, MS DOS
>> and Windows. The execution folder is set by the command chx in OS-9 and
>> NitrOS9. These are called "built in" commands. Most other commands you
>> might type are searched for in the current execution folder including the
>> command dir which displays the contents of a folder. The command pwd
>> displays the path to the current working folder, pxd displays the current
>> execution folder path. The list command lists the contents of a text file.
>> Unlike windows, OS-9 and NitrOS9 do not have "drive letters", instead they
>> have device names. Typical device names are listed below…
>> /d0     Floppy drive 0, the first floppy drive
>> /d1     Floppy drive 1
>> /sd0    CoCo SDC drive 0
>> /sd1    CoCo SDC drive 1
>> /x0     DriveWire drive 0
>> /x1     DriveWire drive 1
>> A folder path might look like /d0/cmds, where /d0 indicates the floppy
>> drive 0 and /cmds indicates the cmds folder on that drive. Like Windows and
>> Linux, OS-9 and NitrOS9 have device drivers that must be installed to use
>> different types of devices. To use the floppy drives, the floppy disk
>> driver must be installed on the OS-9 or NitrOS9 disk that you booted with.
>> Unlike Linux and Windows, however, both commands and device drivers can be
>> loaded into memory and installed while the system is running using the load
>> command.
>> --
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