We suggest using VMWare Player (Windows/Linux) or VMWare Fusion (MacOS) to run the Live CD or install the beta. Install SkyOS to your harddisk or run the Live CD natively on your own risk!
To run SkyOS in VMWare just:
- create a new virtual machine and point it to the ISO image you downloaded
- give it at least 2GB of RAM
- use a virtual IDE harddisk (we don’t suggest using a physical partition in order to prevent possible data loss)
- optionally Install SkyOS from the running Live CD to get all available applications and utilities
SkyOS was quite prominent on OSNews between 2003-2008 – it was coded virtually entirely by Austrian Robert Szeleney in his free time. It achieved a relatively usable state on the desktop – especially considering it was a one man project – but it did suffer from what I call the ‘ooh shiney!’-syndrome – it was a hobby project for Szeleney, and as such, focus tended to shift around quite often, depending on whatever he wanted to work on at that time.
SkyOS originally started out as a mere bootloader, but eventually expanded into becoming an entire operating system. In the early days – up until version 4.x – SkyOS was freely available, but it wasn’t open source (I believe the 1.x versions may have been, though, I can’t recall). After that, Szeleney started charging a small fee for access to the SkyOS 5 beta, which some considered controversial. The SkyOS 5.0 release cycle started with its first alpha release in December 2003, and ended with the release of beta build 6947 in August 2008 – a final release never materialised.
The project seemed to fizzle out, but Szeleney did experiment with using third party kernels, like a BSD kernel or a Linux kernel. That was the last we heard of it – and earlier this year, the website went dark.
So, it’s quite a surprise to see that over the weekend, Szeleney has made the last beta release of SkyOS 5.0 – build 6947 – available for free. I somehow doubt we’ll see development pick up again, but it’s nice to have the latest release out in the open for everyone to play with.