Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 31st Oct 2008 21:41 UTC, submitted by corey
QNX If there is one operating system that has a special place in my heart, it's QNX. This microkernel operating system served as my main desktop operating system for months and months back in the day, during the short-lived QNX Desktop scene - which died out due to a lack of interest from QNX' parent company, QNX Software Systems. The money is in the embedded and high reliability markets, and that's where QSS - understandably - focused its efforts. QNX was sort-of open sourced in September 2007, and today the company has announced the release of QNX 6.4, the first major release since 6.3 in 2004.
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by fretinator on Fri 31st Oct 2008 21:51 UTC
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My favorite was the floppy demo - an entire graphical OS with web-browser, tcp-ip, file manager, etc. that ran off of just a floppy. It wowed me. Unfortunatley, I didn't have the same experience trying to install it on my laptop - just not enough general hardware support. I really wish someone would run with it as a desktop, but the market is just too crowded for that. I, too, really like the micro-kernal concept. Maybe Minix will rise up and rule them all!! [Halloween laugh ensues]

[EDIT: grammar]

Edited 2008-10-31 21:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by poundsmack
by poundsmack on Fri 31st Oct 2008 21:58 UTC
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I heart QNX

Reply Score: 2

Comment by AmigaRobbo
by AmigaRobbo on Fri 31st Oct 2008 22:58 UTC
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I wonder if you still have to jump through hoops to get this running? I'm finding life to short these days to change the clock on the bios to keep demo versions running to be honest.

Reply Score: 1

by netean on Fri 31st Oct 2008 23:41 UTC
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I can't help but wonder how computers would be different if QNX desktop had taken off.

Insanely fast, insanely small - (looked quite good too I remember)

I look at my pc now. 2gb ram 160hd and my 8gb windows folder and how p1ss poor slow my pc is (running vista) and wonder where it all went wrong!

Reply Score: 5

Comment by BSDfan
by BSDfan on Fri 31st Oct 2008 23:48 UTC
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I swear to pseudo-god, their site is hard to navigate.. I like everyone else, have tested the old floppy release. (And the old Unisys ICON family), but I dislike how fragmented and confusing their website is.

They have so many products that share the same name, they have "hosted" versions of the OS that I would assume install only a SDK or a version of QNX in a virtualization environment.

They also have a native version, which is hard to find.. and when you do find it, you need a serial code... or not.. for non-commercial uses.. if you find yet another image buried somewhere else.

Why is it so confusing? what does one do if they simply want to boot the damned OS on a run-of-the-mill beige box x86 PC?

To conclude, definitely a worthy release day... scary is a perfect way to describe their website.

Thanks QNX, we miss you.

Edited 2008-10-31 23:49 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Would make one heck of a mobile OS
by John.Gustafsson on Sat 1st Nov 2008 00:19 UTC
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The mobile phone (cell phones for you Yanks) sphere really lacks good OSes. There are a few good ones, but really few, and a good graphical user interface layer on top of QNX could have made a really really stable mobileOS. Heck, it could still happen. The vast majority of the devices out there run really crappy stuff.

Now hop to it and develop it ;)

Reply Score: 2

jimaz Member since:

A mobile version called eQip was actually in development around the 2000-2002 timeframe if I remember correctly. Installed test version on my old iPaq and it was probably the most beautiful UI I have ever seen on a mobile platform. Too bad it was cancelled.


Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Here's eQip.

Uses PhotonUI, iirc. Nice stuff.

Reply Score: 2

by Googol on Sat 1st Nov 2008 00:47 UTC
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do they mean the system requirement literal?

"2 GHz or more Intel Pentium 4"

Surely it will boot on AMD?

Reply Score: 2

You Tube Video
by OSGuy on Sat 1st Nov 2008 00:58 UTC
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To prove just how insanely cool QNX actually is, consider the following YouTube video.

What video? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: You Tube Video
by fasteez on Sat 1st Nov 2008 01:20 UTC in reply to "You Tube Video"
fasteez Member since:

not sure he was talking about this one :

ps : i have to admit, it's surprisingly quick..

Edited 2008-11-01 01:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: You Tube Video
by renox on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE: You Tube Video"
renox Member since:

Thanks for the link.

Note that they said that the BIOS was checking the memory and their application didn't: memory check take the majority of BIOS time on my computer so the comparison is biased.

That said, I agree that BIOS shouldn't test memory by default: it should be the job of the OS to check memory continuously (when plugged for laptops) to report potential memory issue.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: You Tube Video
by leech on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You Tube Video"
leech Member since:

I agree. The weird thing is on my new P5Q motherboard, the BIOS seems to take an eternity, whereas the HP I have at work just flies through it.

My BIOS takes a good 15 seconds to boot. I've tried trimming it down, but it doesn't help much.

Linux itself usually boots in about 20-25 seconds. Windows Vista takes forever and a day...

But for all those crackheads that want their computers to boot into their OS fast, shouldn't we have trimmed down Bioses? Hell, Windows half the time doesn't pay attention to Bios settings anyhow.

I knew a guy who originally had an all SCSI system, and so he disabled the IDE devices inside his PC so that they wouldn't sit there and scan for them (the SCSI card took long enough by itself) and when he added a DVD burner to his setup, forgot to re-enable the IDE. So when he burned things it'd take 8 hours to burn! But Windows said nothing. It just saw the device as if it was enabled and went for it.

I laughed really hard at him because he hadn't thought about going into the BIOS to fix it. In essence it was one of those "When are you going to come over and fix it for me?" and months later, I finally got around to it and fixed it in less than 5 minutes.

Reply Score: 2

Fast boot time
by Gregory Isaacs on Sat 1st Nov 2008 08:51 UTC
Gregory Isaacs
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I had in once installed some time ago and loved the fast boot time - I mean really fast. Unfortunately they didn't have working USB-2 and proper video drivers at that time or perhaps I didn't find them.

Reply Score: 2

by gfx1 on Sat 1st Nov 2008 15:35 UTC
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Bios boot time is interesting, considering the basic pc is now at least 250 times faster in clock speed than the original AT, I don't think that boot times actually improved since the old days?

Reply Score: 1

RE: bios
by silix on Sat 1st Nov 2008 19:09 UTC in reply to "bios"
silix Member since:

problem is, the BIOS does not spend as much time on pure cpu based computations as on device (PCI cards, storage devices) scan, and initialization loops (that are executed serially)
moreover, delays and timeouts are introduced in routines that detect devices that may not be available or may need some time to become so - think of a HDD taking some fractions of a second to spin up

Reply Score: 1

Time to dual-boot it
by fithisux on Sat 1st Nov 2008 19:52 UTC
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on Psystar's computers instead of MacOSX with Opensolaris/November Release or Linux. They said that they would support one of Dell's laptops but it is too expensive. I think Psystar's computers are cheaper. It would be a good move.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Rohan
by Rohan on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 07:00 UTC
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eQip is perfect!!! I want back it to live!!!

Reply Score: 3

Either Open Source or Not
by chekr on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 10:51 UTC
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Thom...they can't have "kind of" open sourced it - they either have or they haven't. The fact is that the license is not open source, therefore not open source.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Either Open Source or Not
by twm_bucket on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 17:37 UTC in reply to "Either Open Source or Not"
twm_bucket Member since:

It is "open source". You can see the source and check it out of their svn.

But it's neither free as in beer or speech.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Either Open Source or Not
by samad on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Either Open Source or Not"
samad Member since:

Where can one find the SVN repository?

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Is there any way to bring it back? I used it to install openssh, vim, etc... why is it gone?!

Reply Score: 1

A few thoughts from a QNX non-user
by samad on Sun 2nd Nov 2008 23:25 UTC
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I have spent this morning reading the technical documents describing the architecture of QNX.

I am really impressed with QNX! The messaging system that is the basis for the entire operating system is well developed. They have been successful with creating a POSIX OS with an effective microkernel design whose performance is comparable to monolithic kernels. I don't think MINIX could compete with QNX when it comes to performance. QNX is far more elegant than the Linux kernel.

Reply Score: 2

Not enough resources.
by frank on Mon 3rd Nov 2008 03:25 UTC
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I can't get behind QNX any more. I got burned for choosing them for an old project years ago. The kernel was good, but the problem is like every other closed source OS where you become completely reliant on few developers to extend the platform. Think of all of the resources that MSFT can throw behind Windows Mobile, that Nokia can throw into Symbian. QNX probably has less than a quarter of the developer resources. Try to get an embedded browser with an up-to-date Flash plugin, Skype, Divx or other apps and extensions. That's the bottleneck, and will always be 2 generations behind the most useful stuff.

Linux boots fast too - easily under 5 seconds straight into Mozilla, when it's configured correctly. That guy was also booting off of a flash drive, which takes considerably less power and time to boot. Yes, I can back this up.

Reply Score: 1

by rawsausage on Mon 3rd Nov 2008 18:38 UTC in reply to "Not enough resources."
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You can not boot any operating system in less than 3 seconds. I have tried three times telling it to the Developers, once on /. and twice on planet Ubuntu and planet Gnome. I got put down very fast and crudely. They are just happy to be perfect with their shitty optimization to be able to boot in less than 30 seconds on common hardware. I call that 1 second startup from the video a hoax!

Also, I call 5 seconds on Linux a hoax. I was told by so magnificent, omnipotent, and Developerish developers that I can not question what they told me!

Ok, enough of irony. No operating system really should boot for 5 seconds to a complete desktop environment. Or 3 seconds. 2 seconds sounds more like it. a) There simply are no good reasons for it b) It doesn't produce any extra value to be slow c) It is well possible and not even hard to boot really fast d) It WOULD benefit the users. The sad thing is, I don't seriously believe it would be even hard to do with the common desktop.

It's just lack of integration, silly decisions like starting 1-5 different VMs for 1-5 times in the process for nothing, and lack of doing things in proper order and in proper time. Piece of cake tbh.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not enough resources.
by Silent_Seer on Tue 4th Nov 2008 12:27 UTC in reply to "Not enough resources."
Silent_Seer Member since:

Linux boots fast too - easily under 5 seconds straight into Mozilla, when it's configured correctly. That guy was also booting off of a flash drive, which takes considerably less power and time to boot. Yes, I can back this up.

It boots under 5 seconds to Mozilla with a modified bios, like the one shown in the vid? Or is the Bios itself replaced with LinuxBios?

Reply Score: 2