Home > OS News > Mezzano: operating system written in Common Lisp Mezzano: operating system written in Common Lisp Thom Holwerda 2015-01-27 OS News 17 Comments Mezzano, an operating system written in Common Lisp. What is says on the tin. Instructions for building this for VirtualBox are also available. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 17 Comments 2015-01-27 11:12 pm krakal Tried to read some code, got lost in parenthesis, found my way out and will never look back again. 2015-01-28 2:03 am jpkx1984 Read that in editor that supports Lisp-like languages: indents properly and provides rainbow parentheses. 2015-01-28 4:25 pm darknexus Clearly you’re not familiar with lisp or you’d have known to expect this. In fact the acronym lisp has been expanded to such things as “lots of irritating stupid parentheses”, though it originally meant “list processing language”. 2015-01-29 2:30 am cb88 The simple syntax is also the source of it’s great expressiveness and power… Eh I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder 2015-01-27 11:27 pm tylerdurden Finally some proper OS content! Wish the site had more documentation/expansion on what they’re doing though. 2015-01-28 9:16 am Kochise Reminds me about House, written in Haskell, another functionnal (vs. imperative) programming language : http://programatica.cs.pdx.edu/House/ https://sites.google.com/site/haskell/house-operating-system 2015-01-27 11:57 pm cb88 I tried booting this in qemu-system-i386… booting the vmdk directly doesn’t work. So I converted it to a qcow2 via. qemu-img convert -O qcow2 Mezzanine.vmdk Mezzanine.qcow2 No luck perhaps I’m doing something wrong does it require 64bit? I tried changing to cirrus graphics as well but that ended up just saying that it couldn’t set the video mode. 2015-01-28 12:44 am tylerdurden It runs w/o problem on virtualbox, they do specify to set a 64bit target though. 2015-01-28 2:57 am cb88 Just rebuilt and enabled qemu-system-x86_64 and used that to run it… works ok I can’t seem to move windows with the mouse but it seems functional otherwise. Definitely helps to enable KVM. 2015-01-28 6:44 pm tylerdurden Similar experience with the inability to move windows around, but under virtualbox. Still, lisp is one of my guilty pleasures so I want to find out more about this project. 2015-01-28 2:04 am jpkx1984 Shortcuts seem to be heavily influenced by Emacs (not surprisingly). 2015-01-28 7:10 am twitterfire Does it run in Emacs? 2015-01-28 1:25 pm theosib This OS could have educational value, except for one problem: The programmer barely commented anything at all. Sure, there are SOME, but click on a random file in, say, the system directory, and if you don’t already understand operating systems, you’ll have no clue what you’re looking at because the developer didn’t see fit to even at least explain what each source file is for! Very disappointing. 2015-01-28 6:04 pm whartung I think this is pretty exciting. I agree is can be better documented, but the code is really pretty clear. Save for the blind Lisp trolls the code is pretty readable and simple, from what I’ve looked at. What I’m mostly curious about right now is how far away it is from being self hosting. Can it compile itself yet? And once it can, how far away is it from hosting multiple copies of it’s own image so that you can do the dev cycle from within the system itself. Then it gets even more interesting. It’s also a testament to the virtual machines being universally available. Having these as “standard” platforms that can be used to boot strap OS development is also exciting. No need off the bat to support a zillion different devices, rather simply support the generic network, keyboard, graphic, and disk interfaces exposed a generic Vanilla 101 PC VM. This greatly expands applicability and hackability since anyone can download the VM to host the OS and work on it rather than having to dig around for the right mother board and other peripheral options. Finally, also exciting that it’s Common Lisp, and not a Scheme. Exciting for Lisp geeks, at least. 2015-01-28 10:08 pm CapEnt So, finally Emacs became a actual OS? 2015-01-29 1:10 pm jido I suppose you tried that? Windows can be moved by holding the Alt key and dragging 2015-01-29 2:46 pm BlueofRainbow This reminds me of Movitz http://common-lisp.net/project/movitz which was developed by Frode V. Fjeld and does not appear to have been touched since 2008! With LISP (and Scheme), the parentheses takes some time to get used to. After a while they simply vanish from active perception – like the frames on eye-glasses. By the way, I wish that Open Genera http://lispm.de/genera-concepts is eventually open-sourced so that it can be further developed. This, unfortunately, may never occur.