Home > OS News > Inferno Fourth Edition Download (Preliminary Public Release) Inferno Fourth Edition Download (Preliminary Public Release) Submitted by anonymous 2004-05-16 OS News 19 Comments A preliminary public release of Inferno (Fourth Edition) is now available for downloading from Vita Nuova which contains these. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 19 Comments 2004-05-17 12:38 am I tried out Plan9 many months ago but with only 10Mb support for a 100Mb ethernet card it was a little disappointing. AFAIK, inferno was forked from plan9 ages ago. This looks pretty cool, a way to try it out without having to install it as an OS (which it also supports). It can even run the GUI in an IE browser window. 2004-05-17 12:51 am I followed the link but I couldn’t figure out what this software package does? Any hints! 2004-05-17 1:13 am It’s an OS, the link should probably point to the homepage: http://www.vitanuova.com/index.html 2004-05-17 1:28 am i couldn’t figure that out either so i went to the main site http://www.vitanuova.com And clicked on “What if Inferno”. Direct link hereunder http://www.vitanuova.com/inferno/index.html 2004-05-17 1:49 am I remember I tried Plan 9 or Inferno many time ago when I still runned Windows NT 4. It installed on the NT file system and runned in an emulation window. (It was a pain in the back to configure the path to make it start for the first time on the Win NT 4 back then) No applications to run on it 2004-05-17 1:49 am a class act: they have the psychiatrist Eliza working for them 🙂 🙂 🙂 the Limbo language looks interesting, too 2004-05-17 2:36 am I was afraid the inferno or plan9 was no longer updating. I never really understood why plan9 would better than unix.. so i stuck with unix. I am a bit more educated on the issue now and I’m very pleased to see what development continues and that this company isn’t just going to throw it away in favor of another major open source OS…..cough..cough. 2004-05-17 3:15 am This is cool! Platform and architecture independence (based on an open standard) is what computing really needs. I hope this will help get us there. 2004-05-17 4:09 am Yes 🙂 Plan 9 is about aliens who bring earthly corpses back to life. Plan 9 also has no root and everything is a file.. Inferno brings a limbo Limbo and an accompanying virtual machine to everything 2004-05-17 5:26 am I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but I don’t like the “everything is a file” concept. To me it seems that executable programs, for example, should not be files. Files should be containers for storing data. In the real world, files are for storage, not for “doing” stuff. In the computer, it ought to be the same. Executables or libraries or devices should not be accessible through the filesytem, they should be separate entities accessed through separate systems. Just an (undeveloped) idea. 2004-05-17 6:15 am You are right. You don’t know what you are talking about. Real world analogies collapse in the world of bits and bytes. 2004-05-17 6:28 am “I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but I don’t like the “everything is a file” concept. To me it seems that executable programs, for example, should not be files. Files should be containers for storing data. In the real world, files are for storage, not for “doing” stuff. In the computer, it ought to be the same. Executables or libraries or devices should not be accessible through the filesytem, they should be separate entities accessed through separate systems. Just an (undeveloped) idea.” But as a user one often still needs access to the files for libraries, executables, etc. Particularly as a developer, this sort of access is necessary. I like the Plan 9 design – having everything as a “file” provides a single unified interface to doing anything on the system. Plan 9 does have its problems though – firstly, this Inferno system forces its users to use its own language, Limbo. I haven’t had much of a look at it, but forcing users to use a specific programming language for a system is a mistake. 2004-05-17 6:50 am But as a user one often still needs access to the files for libraries, executables, etc. Particularly as a developer, this sort of access is necessary. I like the Plan 9 design – having everything as a “file” provides a single unified interface to doing anything on the system. Plan 9 does have its problems though – firstly, this Inferno system forces its users to use its own language, Limbo. I haven’t had much of a look at it, but forcing users to use a specific programming language for a system is a mistake. True, but then again, if the language is close enough to other languages but different enough in that it fixes the problems that are inheriently wrong and has a few net tricks, people will pick it up. C# and Winform for example is being picked up by many VB programmers, its close enough to VB to be easy to learn but far enough from VB to avoid the pitfuls of VB. 2004-05-17 7:01 am If they didn’t make everyone use Limbo then there would be no point of the VM and it wouldn’t be that cross-platform 2004-05-17 10:08 am I burned the ISO then ran CD:/Install/setup.exe “Vita Nuova Inferno” (emu.exe) now in start menu 2004-05-17 3:24 pm The idea is not that everything is a file, it’s that everything is named the same way as files. It’s all about namespaces and syntax. Having one way to refer to resources is extremely useful, even when the resources are of different types. A six-pack of beer and a package of light bulbs are quite different in how they are used, but both have barcodes using the same syntax. There’s only one place to look up the prices in my grocery store; all objects reside in the same namespace. Older operating systems used multiple namespaces. VMS used different rules for the names of hosts, drives, directories, files, extensions, and versions. That’s six different sets of rules, and six different parsers required. Too complicated, and with little benefit. Look here for this, look somewhere else for that, it’s a nuisance. Unix started out using a single namespace for everything. The user doesn’t care what drive his file is on and which blocks it uses, he just wants to refer to it with a logical name. The programmer doesn’t need to remember multitudes of different calls to open different types of objects, he just uses fopen(). But Unix didn’t get it all right. Special ioctl calls were added instead of using filename based access. Linux and newer versions of Unix have been fighting to replace ioctl access with file based access, such as /proc. In addition, when Berkeley added networking, they added new calls and new namespaces. Same for Sun and NFS. Cruft always accumulates. Plan9 and Inferno are attempts to get back to the concept of a single namespace. It’s a powerful concept. Look at how the Unix filename based access leads directly to redirection and pipes. Now think about how useful redirection could be with networking. As a historical note, Unix was not the only spin-off from the MULTICS project, where so many of these ideas come from. Apollo was started by ex-MULTICS people, and the Aegis O/S showed many of the same concepts as Unix, but perhaps more consistently. For example, networked filenames were //host/dir/file, as opposed to the NFS host:/dir/file. But Aegis was closed source, and Unix source was available. Access is more important than elegance, it seems. Once again, the concept is about having a single way to name things, and a single way to find them. 2004-05-18 4:53 pm Is anyone able to get emu to run on MacOSX? I got a sucessful install run by using the emu.new in the install package, but it won’t boot, and so I can’t build a new emu (as suggested in the readme) or test any apps. I get: panic: loading “/dis/emuinit.dis”: ‘/dis’ file does not exist but of course it does in /Users/inferno .. Help, please? 2004-05-19 9:29 am try emu -r/Users/inferno (no space after the -r) this option might speed it up: -c1 also, screen size is set using -g, like -g1024x768 read the install docs! it’s all in there. 2004-05-21 2:57 pm I installed inferno over XP and quite frankly it’s appealing. It might be a niche OS, but could see a monitoring application doing good on it. The thing that itch is that a search on the web for inferno rturns mostly 2-4 years old hits. Anybody knows a more independant site than Vita nuova to get more clues of the following?