Saturday November 8, I received an email from someone, inquiring if I would be interested in “doing a first interview/introduction into a new operating system”. We get these emails and news submissions all the time, and most of the time, “new operating system” means Ubuntu-with-a-black-theme, so we don’t bother. I figured this time things wouldn’t be different, but after a bit of digging around, there’s a little more to it this time.
We all know AROS, the Free software re-implentation of the Amiga operating system. While AROS is mostly feature complete, it’s not yet ready for prime time, and it of course lacks in applications. The whole vibe around AROS is one of, excuse my wording, flipping the finger to the legal bickering and tangled web of intrigue surrounding Amiga. No schedule and rocking, is AROS’ motto. While that might still be the case, a few AROS developers have defected from the motherland, and have started an operating system project of their own, called Anubis.
The two main forces behind Anubis are Michal Schulz and Hogne ‘m0ns00n’ Titlestad, and Paul J. Beel, who hosts the AROS Show, is also involved. Rumour has it that more than just these three are involved. So, what exactly is this Anubis, which has a big “coming soon” sign on its website? As the new project was announced at The AROS Show’s website, let me just quote them:
This will not be a fork of AROS. Anubis will not be aimed at an Amiga 3.1 compatible operating system. However this will be an Amiga inspired OS. Dr. Schulz will kick this off by stripping the Linux kernel. As for the API, it will be something that can be programmed by using C or C++. This gives developers a choice.
That’s all we know. Reading various forum threads and comments within the Amiga communit, it becomes rather clear that most believe this defection is caused by two reasons: one, AROS is moving too slow, and two, it was already outdated the day they begun, and we’re 13 years down the road now. Memory protection is really something an OS should have these days.
This is not the first time someone believes that taking the Linux kernel as a base is a good idea for re-implementing a dead (or near-dead) operating system. Sadly, all those that came before Anubis failed quite miserably. There was BlueEyedOS, an effort to implement BeOS APIs on top of Linux. Failed. Cosmoe, same story. Dead. Zebuntu. Gone. I’m sure there are many others that I’m leaving out. Even though in theory it appears as if using the Linux kernel is a nice leg-up, practice is much different.
I’m reserving judgement until Anubis shows its first code.