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Developer Digital Research, Inc. / Tom Rolander
OS family CP/M
Working state Discontinued
Source model Closed source
Initial release 1979; 37 years ago (1979)[1]
Latest release II / After 1982
Platforms 8080 compatible (such as Zilog Z80).
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
Default user interface Command line interface
License Proprietary
Official website

MP/M (Multi-Programming Monitor Control Program) is a discontinued multi-user version of the CP/M operating system, created by Digital Research developer Tom Rolander in 1979.[2][1] It allowed multiple users to connect to a single computer, each using a separate terminal.

MP/M was a fairly advanced operating system for its era, at least on microcomputers. It included a priority-scheduled multitasking kernel (before such a name was used, the kernel was referred to as the nucleus) with memory protection, concurrent input/output (XIOS) and support for spooling and queueing. It also allowed for each user to run multiple programs, and switch between them.

MP/M platforms[edit]


The system required a minimum of 32 kB of RAM to run, but this left little memory for user applications. In order to support reasonable setups, MP/M allowed for memory to be switched in and out of the machine's "real memory" area. So for instance a program might be loaded into a "bank" of RAM that was not addressable by the CPU, and when it was time for the program to run that bank of RAM would be "switched" to appear in low memory (typically the lower 32 or 48 kB) and thus become visible to the OS. This technique, known as bank switching was subsequently added to the single user version of CP/M with version 3.0.

One of the primary uses of MP/M, perhaps to the surprise of DRI, was as a "power user" version of CP/M for a single user. The ability to run several programs at the same time and address large amounts of memory made the system worth the extra price.


Like CP/M before it, MP/M was eventually ported to the Intel 8086, and appeared as MP/M-86.[3]

MP/M-86 (BDOS 2.x) absorbed some of the technology of CP/M-86 to become Concurrent CP/M-86 (BDOS 3.0). In December 1983,[4] a DOS emulator named PC-MODE became available as an optional module for Concurrent CP/M-86 3.1 (BDOS 3.1), shipping on 21 February 1984,[5] and the system was further developed into the MS-DOS compatible Concurrent DOS (BDOS 3.1 and higher).[6] This in turn continued to evolve into FlexOS and Multiuser DOS and as such is still in use in some industrial applications.

MP/M 8-16[edit]


CP/NET and CP/NOS[edit]

  • NIOS - Network Input/Output System[7]
  • SNIOS - Slave Network Input/Output System[7]
  • NDOS - Network Disk Operating System[7]


  1. ^ a b Multi-Programming Monitor Control Program User's Guide. 1979.
  2. ^ Information Technology Corporate Histories Collection
  3. ^ Digital Research (1981): MP/M-86 Operating System - System Guide. Digital Research, Pacific Groove, September 1981 with October 1981 corrections ([1]).
  4. ^ Digital Research (1984): PC-Mode bridges CP/M and PC DOS. Digital Dialogue - Employee Newsletter of Digital Research Inc., Volume 3, Number 1, p. 3 ([2]).
  5. ^ Digital Research (1984): Concurrent CP/M ships early in response to team effort. Digital Dialogue - Employee Newsletter of Digital Research Inc., Volume 3, Number 1, p. 1 ([3]).
  6. ^ Digital Research. Concurrent™ DOS bridges PC DOS, CP/M. Digital Research News - For Digital Research Users Everywhere, Volume 4, No. 2, p. 3, May 1984: '"Concurrent DOS Release 3.1 is rapidly gaining momentum and support from a wide range of microcomputer manufacturers," Wandryk said. "Some 60 hardware companies have licensed the product since it was released in early March."'
  7. ^ a b c CP/NET - Network Operating System - Reference Manual (5 ed.). Digital Research. November 1982 [1980]. Archived from the original on 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-11-25. 

External links[edit]