Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jun 2007 21:54 UTC, submitted by ericvh
IBM A team comprised of members from Bell-Labs, IBM Research, Sandia National Labs, and Vita Nuova has completed a port of Plan 9 to the Blue Gene supercomputer. Plan 9 kernels are running on both the compute nodes and the I/O nodes and the Ethernet, Torus, Collective Network, Barrier Network, and Management network are all supported. Screenshots are available on the development blog, and a live-demo will be attempted during the USENIX poster session.
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v Plan9
by twenex on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:26 UTC
RE: Plan9
by lbivens on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "Plan9"
lbivens Member since:
2007-06-18

X-Window? GUI? What flexibility?

We are talking about an operating system not about a geek-chick magnet! Plan 9 comes with a GUI that has all and more capabilities than X-Window, like network transparency (even if it has no networking code on it) and alpha blending (Porter-Duff algebra... The "Duff" guy worked at bell labs at the time rio, the Plan 9 GUI came to life). I am not saying that it is beautiful, though... But I like it and it gets my work done.

Plan 9 and Inferno capabilities for distributed computing are trully amazing... An this is the stuff that matters..

Please, for all those who love giving opinions... Pleas e read a little and get really informed about what is going on.

Congratulations to the Plan 9 on Blue Gene/L team!!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Plan9
by twenex on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Plan9"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

X-Window? GUI? What flexibility?

You know, the flexibility that allows you to choose WindowMaker or blackbox, GNOME or KDE?

We are talking about an operating system not about a geek-chick magnet! Plan 9 comes with a GUI that has all and more capabilities than X-Window, like network transparency (even if it has no networking code on it) and alpha blending (Porter-Duff algebra... The "Duff" guy worked at bell labs at the time rio, the Plan 9 GUI came to life). I am not saying that it is beautiful, though... But I like it and it gets my work done.

It may have "more capabilities than X Window", but it sorely lacks the one I wrote about in my first post. Yes, there will always be people who really don't give a damn about the state of their windowing system as long as it works, but I suspect those among us who can't work with a system which looks like a camel's rear end are in the majority. And of course although we may all agree that X (the variable, not the window system) looks like a camel's arse, we're very unlikely to all agree on whether A, B, C, Y, or Z doesn't.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Plan9
by lbivens on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Plan9"
lbivens Member since:
2007-06-18

It is not about a windowing system... Do you really think that Blue Gene is a desktop computer?

It is about having a OS for concurrent computing.

Plan 9 could be very capable of being the perfect desktop OS, IMHO... jejeje... But yes, people like windows, beryl and those things... I agree...

I am just saying that what matters isn't the gui it runs... Is what it does better than the rest of OOSS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Plan9
by de_wizze on Tue 19th Jun 2007 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Plan9"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

Yeah the flexibility is called drawterm.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Plan9
by sbergman27 on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:47 UTC in reply to "Plan9"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Could you elaborate? I don't quite understand what you mean about too much policy within the mechanism. I always wondered if X could do with a little more policy laid down.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Plan9
by twenex on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Plan9"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Could you elaborate? I don't quite understand what you mean about too much policy within the mechanism. I always wondered if X could do with a little more policy laid down.

I mean this: UNIX and the X Window system (which isn't UNIX specific) both specify that the system should have "a user interface" (respectively, the shell and a window manager and widget toolkit) (= mechanism), but don't specify how it should work or what it should look like (= policy): Thus you get bash and zsh and csh and tcsh and scsh et al., and GNOME and KDE and WindowMaker and FVWM and blackbox, or Motif and Athena et al. Of course both UNIX and the X Window System *do* both implement a *little* policy, but not much: Filesystem workings (10 permissions bits, hierarchical directories and so on) on the one hand, transmission strategies (via TCP/IP or DECNET) on the other, but a lot less than a system like, say, Windows, MacOS or Plan 9. You can get shells for Windows (such as LiteSTEP), and maybe even for MacOS X and Plan 9, but by necessity they mung the inner workings of the environment a lot more than stuff like GNOME or KDE needs to - all else being equal, for example, it would probably have been significantly harder to write a reparenting* window manager for Windows than it was for X11.

*Where the WM takes control of the window positioning from the lower levels of X.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Plan9
by lbivens on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Plan9"
lbivens Member since:
2007-06-18

Come on...

Programming a new Window Manager/Desktop enviroment for X-Window is a terrible experience... And yes, APIs make life easier for those using KDE... But to get KDE working... heh... You have to know *a lot" about the inner workings, workouts and bugs of X-Window.

Plan 9 is quite simple, you don't need to know how a lot of stuff to get things done...

And there are several choices for those running Plan 9. We can run rio or acme if we like it... we can rio on rio, acme on rio... no gui at all... or we can implement a new one (Actually there are some new ideas about it)...

Anyway... The GUI isn't the priority. Plan 9 is not a geek-chick magnet... It is a computer science enviroment that can be a great os for those who enjoy it, like me and some hundreds of persons...

Once you get it, Plan 9 isn't complex... Au contraire....

Of course, it doesn't mean its pretty ;)
(But I happen to like it and, in general, plan 9 users like it)(I also like KDE, good stuff it is)(Gnome is nice too! Not for me... But good stuff too)

But, the post is about having plan 9 running on a supercomputer. That is great. Does somebody know if they got Inferno running over that Plan 9 installation?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Plan9
by ericvh on Tue 19th Jun 2007 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Plan9"
ericvh Member since:
2006-07-19

yes. Inferno is running over Plan 9 along with the rest of the standard Plan 9 apps. We also have Inferno kernels that work natively on BG/l, but we don't have device support in them (yet).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Plan9
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 19th Jun 2007 02:05 UTC in reply to "Plan9"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm no fan of car analogies, but - considering the tasks/users that Plan9 is aimed at - isn't that a little bit like criticizing the sound system in a bulldozer?

Reply Score: 5

v ...?
by poundsmack on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:30 UTC
RE: ...?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:38 UTC in reply to "...?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

A better question is... Why did you post that comment?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...?
by poundsmack on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE: ...?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

because I am genuinly corious as to what purpose IBM/Bell-Labs has for this port. I am not critisising its efforts, just want to know what will become of them

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...?
by ericvh on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ...?"
ericvh Member since:
2006-07-19

It's actually the U.S. Department of Energy who is interested in the project (and funding it under their FastOS program). There will be more information in the months to come as we evaluate applications on the platform -- but the general idea is to broaden the application base which can efficiently run on Blue Gene as well as to enhance Plan 9 as a foundation for systems with hundreds of thousands of cores.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: ...?
by estrabd on Tue 19th Jun 2007 02:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ...?"
estrabd Member since:
2006-01-18

The purpose is to find an OS that is more appropriate for massively parallel systems like BG/L than Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...?
by butters on Tue 19th Jun 2007 00:37 UTC in reply to "...?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Because Plan9 is a clustering OS and Blue Gene/L is a clustering supercomputer. UNIX runs on clusters by means of MOSIX and other technologies, but the bottom line is that UNIX was designed to let lots of tasks share a single computer, whereas Plan9 was designed to (among other things) let lots of computers share one or many tasks.

Edited 2007-06-19 00:39

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...?
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 19th Jun 2007 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE: ...?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

How does Plan9 compare to VMS and its clustering abilities?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...?
by monodeldiablo on Tue 19th Jun 2007 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ...?"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd like to echo this question. Are there any VMS and Plan9 gurus that might be able to compare/contrast the two systems? I'd love to see some comparative analysis of operating systems with similar abilities, especially these two.

Reply Score: 2

A little more info...
by lbivens on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:54 UTC
lbivens
Member since:
2007-06-18

Well... rio isn't the graphics provider in plan 9... It is just a "window manager"...

It works like a filesystem. "Exporting" a window is as easy as mounting a remote filesystem. Window operations can be done sending text messages to each window file that is indeed a completely independent namespace.

But... It is irrelevant to this thread...

Please, take a little time and visit 9fans.net to learn a little more about this operating system from yesterday for tomorrow ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: A little more info...
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 19th Jun 2007 03:20 UTC in reply to "A little more info..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Please, take a little time and visit 9fans.net to learn a little more about this operating system from yesterday for tomorrow ;)


Mod++ for the clever turn-of-phrase.

Reply Score: 3

Interesting. But -1 for Back Button Hijacking
by Simba on Mon 18th Jun 2007 22:54 UTC
Simba
Member since:
2005-10-08

It's interesting...

But -1 for the fact that screen shots hijack the back button on your browser.

Yes, you can mod this comment down. It's just one of my peeves. I can't stand Web sites that hijack the back button.

Reply Score: 5

hilarious blog
by hobgoblin on Mon 18th Jun 2007 23:52 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

looking at some of the other entries in the blog, im cracking up. like the one about having two cpus thats so synced that they didnt notice that both where operating when one should be on standby ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: hilarious blog
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 19th Jun 2007 03:24 UTC in reply to "hilarious blog"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for pointing that out! There's some true comedy gold there:

"Its amazing how really, terminally, completely broken shit can run for a damn long time..."

If that isn't already a technology axiom/truism, it should be.

Reply Score: 4

Wow.
by google_ninja on Tue 19th Jun 2007 01:36 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Plan9 is one of the coolest and most innovative operating systems in the world, and you get jokers who say that it sucks because its not linux.

I think this is a new low for the osnews readership

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wow.
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 19th Jun 2007 04:14 UTC in reply to "Wow."
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

To be fair I think they said it sucks because it can't run X-Windows and a windows manager like Gnome, KDE, etc, which is funnier since that is totally from left field. It's like saying a toaster sucks because it doesn't come with bananas. ;)

[I got lit up once, on here, for saying that I liked to have a GUI on *ix sometimes. I just think it's easier to multitask like that.]

Edited 2007-06-19 04:16

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow.
by renox on Tue 19th Jun 2007 12:55 UTC in reply to "Wow."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

You didn't read correctly the posts, they said that plan9 sucks for desktops not because it's not linux.

And it's true that plan9 sucks for desktop, so it'll probably stay in its niche until a more general-purpose OS will come and kill it (I'm thinking about DragonFly).

This won't be the first innovative OS dead because it failed to become widespread..

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow.
by abraxas on Tue 19th Jun 2007 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

You didn't read correctly the posts, they said that plan9 sucks for desktops not because it's not linux.

And it's true that plan9 sucks for desktop, so it'll probably stay in its niche until a more general-purpose OS will come and kill it (I'm thinking about DragonFly).

This won't be the first innovative OS dead because it failed to become widespread.


Plan9 isn't supposed to be a commercial OS. It is a research OS. A lot of ideas are being used elsewhere, like Linux. Considering Plan9 is a cluster operating system and it wouldn't have any advantages as a standalone desktop system. If it was developed commercially or opensource it would be nice a nice OS for a laptop that could use all the power of the network when connected and effortlessly detach from the network when needed. I don't think that is really the design goal although Plan9 does make it easy to add and subtract machines in the cluster without much issue.

Reply Score: 3

plan9 it's not just another os
by alexis on Tue 19th Jun 2007 02:06 UTC
alexis
Member since:
2007-05-21

Please, before post crap, take a minute and read the documentation, then come back and share your opinion.

Plan9 it's designed from the bottom up to work in a multiple computer environment, given a uniform interface to the cluster, in other words, when you use plan9 the cluster it's the computer. And it's not just that. It's an enlighten experience to read the visions of Robert Pike.

Reply Score: 3

ibm and chess
by PipoDeClown on Tue 19th Jun 2007 04:47 UTC
PipoDeClown
Member since:
2005-07-19

so whats the elo rating of blue gene?

Reply Score: 1

fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious..."

Raise your hand if you know what that is!

Reply Score: 2

Plan 9 - very different
by AndrewZ on Tue 19th Jun 2007 14:15 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

Here's something that's really important to know about Plan 9 - It's actually very different from UNIX/Linux. Plan 9 does not natively run X, or many UNIX/Linux utils most people take for granted. Why is this? It's because the Plan 9 kernel and is highly distributed. Plan 9 was written from the inception as a distributed OS and as such many basic utils simply will not easily port.

That being said, Plan 9 is probably the absolute best OS for an experimental distributed platform like Blue Gene. Keep in mind that most applications for Plan 9 would need to be written from scratch using Plan 9 development tools, so porting existing code would not be a simple task.

Reply Score: 1

Plan 9 info
by AndrewZ on Tue 19th Jun 2007 14:21 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15
Plan9 vs Inferno
by wannabe geek on Tue 19th Jun 2007 20:34 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

Some questions for plan9 gurus ;)

IIRC, Inferno is like Plan9 written in the Limbo programming language instead of C. Is that correct? If so, what are the relative advantages/desadvantages of each system. I think Inferno can run on bare metal or ontop of another OS (even as a plugin). What are the advantages of running inferno ontop of plan9 instead of on bare metal, and what does plan9 have that Inferno lacks?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Plan9 vs Inferno
by ericvh on Wed 20th Jun 2007 00:34 UTC in reply to "Plan9 vs Inferno"
ericvh Member since:
2006-07-19

Plan 9 and Inferno share the same basic core kernel, networking stack, file system protocols, and drivers -- the main difference between the two from a kernel perspective is that Plan 9 has a virtual memory system and Inferno just uses a flat address space.

User space tends to be completely different as Inferno's user space is entirely within the virtual machine. Plan 9 can run C code and other generic binaries, it can also run Inferno applications by using the Inferno VM. If all you were running were things which ran under the Inferno VM, you'd probably be better off with Inferno -- however, since they are running under a VM, there is a performance penalty rather than running straight native code.

Reply Score: 1