Linked by robertson on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:41 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "Plan 9 has been forked to start a development out of the Bell Labs (or whatever they are called these days...). This true community-approach allows further development of Plan 9, even if the shrinking resources at Bell-Labs for Plan 9 are vanishing. The homepage and the code can be both found at Google code. You can boot 9front from the regulary built live cd or build the binaries in your existing Plan 9 installation. Installation instructions and further information can be obtained at the 9front wiki."
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Comment by vivainio
by vivainio on Sat 16th Jul 2011 22:09 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

What's amazing, is that it looks like AT&T actually had been funding plan9 up to now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by vivainio
by tanzam75 on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by vivainio"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

AT&T funded Plan 9 through its initial development. When AT&T split up for the second time, most of Bell Labs went with Lucent -- and that included the operating systems research division.

It's not uncommon for most of the benefits of research to end up with someone other than the sponsor.

Reply Score: 2

Name
by benb320 on Sat 16th Jul 2011 22:28 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

I know they had to change the name but, I liked the original name better, oh well I didn't follow plan 9 closely anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Name
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 05:45 UTC in reply to "Name"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

How about Plan6? Hey, six is clearly not nine... except in shape when inverted vertically. But still, it's different, and anyone who knows how to count to ten knows it. ;)

...but for whatever reason, there are probably still people who would bitch, sue and win. Even if they have no plans on ever taking Plan9 anywhere.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Name
by benb320 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Name"
benb320 Member since:
2010-02-23

hey that's a great idea/name, you are probably right though

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Name
by sorpigal on Wed 20th Jul 2011 12:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Name"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If you really wanted to provide a suitable "successor" name for Plan 9 you would have to name it after another entertaining sci-fi B movie.

Reply Score: 2

Wha tnow
by divide_by_zero on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:16 UTC
divide_by_zero
Member since:
2009-07-11

Yeah, it's great to know that exists and all. I am sure someone is having a great time with plan 9. I loved picking up the CD one and playing with it for a couple of hours, learning how to "ls" and how to use that crazy text editor of theirs. But I'll stick with my Linux+emacs, thanks.

I love all kinds of crazy things, but I have a feeling maybe Plan9 isn't crazy enough. BSD for example could be too similar to Linux and other stuff, but it had a large community for enough time to secure its existence. If you are not crazy, you need a large community. So where are THEY going?

HURD was maybe crazy enough, but had too many crazy developers too. And went anywhere because all the theoretical arguments didn't made its way into actually making development easier, on the contrary.

So where are they going? Is it all justifiable because of just the file system, for instance?...

Inferno does seem to be going somewhere interesting, but I'm still not feeling the heat anyway...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wha tnow
by jptros on Sun 17th Jul 2011 00:52 UTC in reply to "Wha tnow"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

I think you meant Linux could be similar to BSD and has a large community that has worked hard to secure it's existence since BSD and its community predates Linux by a long shot.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wha tnow
by ricegf on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Wha tnow"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

BSD (a variant of Unix) indeed predates Linux (which began development in 1991) by quite a bit. However, FreeBSD didn't begin until 1993, after the AT&T lawsuit was resolved.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wha tnow
by jptros on Mon 18th Jul 2011 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wha tnow"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

Paint it white and call it a chicken. The BSD community and developers were still around nearly 15 years before Linux regardless of the law suit that lead to the serveral deriviatives we see today and the same community and developers went on to the derivatives. I stand by what I said: Linux is like "the other stuff", not the other way around. Linux is not some super original idea that has innovated the computing industry in any other way short of it's unique licensing which is what has really held its community together this long.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wha tnow
by ricegf on Mon 18th Jul 2011 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wha tnow"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

If you re-read my post you'll note that I didn't disagree with anything you said, so you needn't "stand by what you said".

BSD had a huge running start time-wise, but Linux has the lion's share of market penetration today in most market categories. We can discuss why - perhaps the GPL is a factor or Linus Torvolds is a great evangelist or the lawsuit killed BSD's momentum or IBM and HP and Red Hat made critical contributions- but it's rather moot at this point except for those who are sensitive to BSD's place in computing history. *shrugs*

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wha tnow
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jul 2011 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wha tnow"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

BSD (a variant of Unix) indeed predates Linux (which began development in 1991) by quite a bit. However, FreeBSD didn't begin until 1993, after the AT&T lawsuit was resolved.

386BSD (which FreeBSD and NetBSD are based upon) was open source obviously pre-dates FreeBSD (albeit only by a year or two)

However, and as the other commenter said, the BSD code and community existed long before then.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wha tnow
by fran on Sun 17th Jul 2011 10:30 UTC in reply to "Wha tnow"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

what about Inferno OS
It's sort of the successor of plan 9 from Bell Labs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wha tnow
by eekee on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Wha tnow"
eekee Member since:
2007-12-17

It's limited by being a bytecode environment only targeted by one language. This isn't all bad; Inferno is still more portable than Java after all these years, and bytecode is somewhat good for a unix-like environment by eliminating the need for context switches (which are especially slow on some ARM procs, for example), but there are areas where it is just plain slow whatever. Adding C modules to a running Inferno system is also impossible, requiring rebooting, and is kernel code in any case.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wha tnow
by Not2Sure on Wed 20th Jul 2011 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Wha tnow"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

I've never really understood the relationship either. I would love it if someone with knowledge could explain it.

I mean I know that Inferno was a stable, marketable release of plan9 that was commerical failure and the rights sold to VitaNova. And I think it may even include a jvm? VitaNova eventually released the source for Inferno under GPL. Is VitaNova still actively developing it or is it just maintenance?

So now plan9 development has diverged from Inferno? Who is continuing it, what are the main development goals, and is there a mailing list or something?

Thanks for any info.

Reply Score: 1

They ditched Glenda
by KermitTheFragger on Sun 17th Jul 2011 00:10 UTC
KermitTheFragger
Member since:
2008-06-12

Aww crap, they ditched Glenda: https://code.google.com/p/plan9front/wiki/Mascot

But in all seriousness; why would they choose a copyrighted character as there new mascot ? Isn't that just begging for legal trouble ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: They ditched Glenda
by ronaldst on Sun 17th Jul 2011 00:52 UTC in reply to "They ditched Glenda"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

I am asking myself the same question. I thought Glenda was pretty epic and lovable mascot. Instead of this generic anime stuff.

Reply Score: 4

RE: They ditched Glenda
by Soulbender on Sun 17th Jul 2011 03:56 UTC in reply to "They ditched Glenda"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe Glenda as getting old but at least it had some connection to, you know, Plan 9 and also wasn't some lame-ass Anime character.

Reply Score: 9

Does it work in VirtualBox?
by tingo on Sun 17th Jul 2011 03:20 UTC
tingo
Member since:
2007-10-13

So, has anyone tested it in VirtualBox yet?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Does it work in VirtualBox?
by robertson on Sun 17th Jul 2011 07:03 UTC in reply to "Does it work in VirtualBox?"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

Yes, I just installed it onto a VirtualBox virtual hard disk.

During the install process, I had to skip the "confignet" step. I'm too much of a VirtualBox n00b to know how to make that work. I tried the DHCP option in the installer but it just sat there thinking. I have the network interface "Attached to: NAT" in the virtual machine.

I'm running all this on a MacBook, so I can't do anything useful now that it's installed since rio, the graphical/text environment, requires a 3-button mouse (or at least a 2-button one, and the third can be emulated with Control-Button 2, I believe). I guess I could invest in a USB mouse.

9front did crash leaving some nice core dumps a few times before and after I got it installed. Not sure what's up with that. I just "powered off" and restarted the VM and everything seemed to work fine.

Reply Score: 2

a good thing?
by bnolsen on Sun 17th Jul 2011 04:22 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I certainly hope it is. Of the systems out there, plan9 seems to currently be the theoretically best one, fixing the mistakes unix made. Sadly I've never played with it, perhaps the 9front guys will try to push for more exposure.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cb88
by cb88 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 06:54 UTC
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

what the crap is this... I thought the current plan9 development was heading for the upcoming release of osprey?

Looks to me like its not a fork to follow... plan9 is an engineered opereating system that was designed methodically I don't see how this fork will maintain that mindeset if it does great but it doesn't look like it will.

Edited 2011-07-17 06:59 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by cb88
by robertson on Sun 17th Jul 2011 07:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by cb88"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

what the crap is this... I thought the current plan9 development was heading for the upcoming release of osprey?


Is there a link (or even a mailing list archive or newsgroup) where one can read about this?

Edited 2011-07-17 07:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by cb88
by ronaldst on Sun 17th Jul 2011 08:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cb88"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

You can read about it using Noah “Sape” Evans' Osprey slides:

http://5e.iwp9.org/slides/osprey.pdf

New protocol too:

http://proness.kix.in/misc/%CF%80p-v2.pdf

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by cb88
by eekee on Sun 17th Jul 2011 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by cb88"
eekee Member since:
2007-12-17

"Cat went to Berkley and came back waving flags" is a well-known complaint amongst Plan 9 users who generally appreciate small tools which do one job and do it well. Plan 9's tools are not only minimal, they extremely adaptable because of their minimalism. Pouring on features such as was done in the development of πp destroys that flexibility. πp is one of the worst examples of breaking Plan 9, so much so that some members of the community say they are still trying to bleach it from their brains.

Cat went to Berkley and came back waving flags, but 9p went to Amsterdam and came back with multiple personality disorder.

Reply Score: 3

New license - interesting
by obsidian on Mon 18th Jul 2011 00:15 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

I see that the fork is using a different license (MIT). I wasn't aware that the Plan 9 code was able to be relicensed, so that's interesting.

One thing that I've been wondering about for ages is - there have been a number of Plan 9 papers produced, describing the workings of the system, and a number of those papers have source-code. There have also been about a dozen implementations of the 9p protocol done (presumably using the source in the papers as a "base"). Those implementations also use different licenses. Does all of that mean that the code appearing in those academic papers is "public domain"? I can't see how else all of those implementations could have been done.

Reply Score: 2