Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Apr 2013 22:44 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote about why OSNews was no longer OSNews: the alternative operating system scene had died, and OSNews, too, had to go with the times and move towards reporting on a new wave of operating systems - mobile, and all the repercussions that the explosion of smartphones and tablets have caused. Still, I was wondering something today: why aren't we seeing alternative operating systems on mobile?
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RE: Comment by TempleOS
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 16th Apr 2013 12:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by TempleOS"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

small side note:

Linux, the first version of the operating system kernel was originally written by one person.

Gnu/Linux the fully functional operating system, was not written by one person, even the first version.

But really, its not because Linux is complicated that people don't create other operating systems. Rather, its because Linux is so nicely written and flexible.

In order to create a completely new operating system, you have to have some goal that you are trying to accomplish.

Q:Need a better scheduler?

A:Linux can use multiple different schedulers. Just focus on the scheduler and continue on.

Q: Need a better filesystem?

A:Linux can use multiple different filesystems. Just focus on the file system and continue on.

Q: Need a lower footprint?
A:Linux can scale down to low powered hardware to a certain extent. If you can live with its foot print of a couple megs or so, your ok. ( Note this is where there actually is competition with operating systems still).

Q: Need a different gui interface?
A: Ok... Not really a part of an operating system, per se, but Linux has X, Wayland,Surface flinger and Mir. go ahead and add your own.

Q: Need a new hardware driver?
A: Just write the driver, and you're done.

Q: Need something listed above, but don't want to release the source code?
A: Use a *BSD.


There is very little need to create a completely new operating system, unless one is a purist of some kind and cares more about the architecture of his choosing than any real need of the operating system itself.

Edited 2013-04-16 12:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by TempleOS
by Alfman on Tue 16th Apr 2013 14:38 in reply to "RE: Comment by TempleOS"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,


"There is very little need to create a completely new operating system, unless one is a purist of some kind and cares more about the architecture of his choosing than any real need of the operating system itself."

I agree that the Linux kernel is extremely useful because all the driver work is already done. I would strongly reconsider basing any business on an indy kernel, as much as it might appeal to me, simply because I know linux has critical mass and staying power and the indy kernel does not. We often say "if it works, don't fix it".

However this philosophy, even with alot of truth behind it, can result in us becoming tethered to subpar architectural and interface choices which become increasingly difficult to re-factor as more drivers become dependant on them. The state of async IO in linux is not good for this reason. Posix AIO API on linux has to emulate AIO in userspace using blocking threads and marshal everything back into the AIO thread. Indy OS developers could obviously design better kernel AIO models, but as long as linux is good enough, then indy kernels will always have trouble reaching critical mass regardless of merit.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Good Point. There maybe other use cases where a new design would be better as well. I should have left that post a little more open ended.

The real point was that Linux is fairly open and flexible, which means that for a lot of new use cases they can be grafted into Linux instead of requiring a new OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2