The RetroNET Network
Last Updated: 16 January, 2019
The RetroNET Network is an experimental time machine, a look at a network of UNIX computers circa the mid 1980s. The main goal of the network is to demonstrate how UUCP and Usenet communications worked in an era when local-area networking was not as ubiquitous as it is today.
Today, the network runs one host, with the following specs:
- AT&T 3B2/400
- 4MB main system memory
- 160MB hard disk
- 16 dial-up ports
The RetroNET Network provides four main services:
- Shell access via SSH to a System V Release 3 UNIX environment
- UUCP peering
- UUCP email
- Usenet access to local retronet.* news heirarchy
Request an Account
Plese Note: We will never, ever use your email address for any reason other than to send you account information.
UNIX Usernames must be between 3 and 8 characters, must start with a letter, and may contain only letters and numbers.
Further documentation is available on on the Documentation page.
Q: Why offer SSH access if it's a UUCP network?
A: It's the only convenient way to allow modern computers easy access to this retro environment. When you SSH to the RetroNET Network, you're really being connected to a virutal serial port. The machines do not have any form of TCP/IP networking, nor can they reach the Internet except through a UUCP to TCP/IP bridge.
Q: How does UUCP peering work?
A: All UUCP peering to the RetroNET Network at the moment must be over TCP/IP to a UUCP bridge system (lilac.retronet.net). In the future, we hope to offer at least one true dial-up modem line for peering.
Q: I sent myself email and I haven't gotten it yet. Is it broken?
A: Patience! UUCP is polled, not instantaneous. It can take five to ten minutes for an email to be picked up and forwarded to the correct system. Thus it was in the old days.