Be sure to check future posts because we will be keeping an eye on the development of Harvey OS, Plan 9 derivates and Plan 9 userland tools on other operating systems. What is Harvey OS? Why do you take Plan 9 as an inspiration to achieve that objective?
Plan 9 was created by the creators of Unix, and incorporates many ideas that were not possible when the original Unix was created. Unix was a time sharing operating system for minicomputers, and its basic architecture was created ten years before the Internet. Plan 9 was designed from the start as a distributed system, with networks integral to its architecture.
Plan 9 supports the idea of location transparencyin which resources can be accessed without regard to where they might be.
One can mount resources from 9p servers anywhere into a namespace, and from that point on, they appear to be local. This changes your life; you never need to use scp again, and you never need to think about how to get to your files. The distributed system nature of Plan 9, coupled with the idea that all resources look like files and directories, provides a unique environment. This is one reason Plan 9 systems never needed NAT, for example: Mount is not a privileged operation in Plan 9, so any user may use this command.
You can even import devices; if you wish to grab frames from a remote machine, you import the remote frame grabber device into your namespace and then process the frames locally. Plan 9 things you should know about hookup an architect implements true resource sharing as opposed to remote access.
With the creation of 9pcloud. It is also a very small, simple, and understandable kernel. The kernel builds in under 20 seconds. Today, we thought that a really distributed operating system like Plan 9 and its kind of architecture is really needed in our networked and, now, cloudified world.
Its central concept of everything accessible as a file through distributed file servers, and the articulation of the entire system around it is very useful and simple at the same time.
What has been developed up to now? We have the kernel running and most of Plan 9 classic stuff working with GCC. But, for example, we are already working to have entire system working with clang. We are working to reduce the role of the kernel in some things, for example, the console and mouse drivers, to have major possible part of the system running as a file server out of kernel space.
Plan 9 is perhaps unique in that drivers and servers have basically the same API, and hence can be moved across the kernel boundary easy. Things that for traditional Plan 9 would be very difficult to have.
We want that Harvey can really live with rest of systems out there, doing some things better, learning how to do others, but never isolated. What do you plan to do in the near future? A stable cpu server, with a robust kernel and classic and new file servers in order to provide even more and better services: For workstations concept, a GUI experience that users are familiar with, integrating Harvey in the actual eye candy desktop world, like other systems.
Hardware support is an issue even for pretty established operating systems like FreeBSD. How are you tackling this issue?
We have made a lot of use of Coccinnelle source to source transformat tool to help us with the changes. For that we are looking for programmers who want to help us improve Harvey. Because we can share drivers with the Akaros operating system, we will be able to build on their work, as they can on ours. What do you think about 9frontnode99baseGlendix and plan9port?
Well, plan9port is widely used, not just by Plan 9 users.
One of our core team is a regular contributor to plan9port. I think that 9front is a very innovative Plan 9 distribution, they did many improvements in kernel and native classic toolchain, even a new cached WORM file server. Many new users come to Plan 9 world from it.
It is a good effort to keep classic stuff from Plan 9 and learn how to do many big things with little tools. Merge Plan 9 syscalls and a binary compatibility is something that in Harvey we already have in a different but useful way. You can compile in Linux and run in Harvey and run in Linux as well with a couple of tricks available in our mailing list. Have modern operating systems been in any way influenced by Plan 9?
Do you run Plan 9 or any of its derivatives as a server or in a workstation? But not Amazon EC2. I always have had my private home server to play with it. At this moment my home network is managed by a Plan 9 machine and a Linux machine for a couple of things.
Until Harvey can do all that I want it could do, of course. Go has been developed by many of the creators of Plan 9. What do you think about it? Are you going to use it in Harvey?
I like very much Go. In fact, Harvey fast build tool is written in Go. And our team is working to have Go ported to Harvey at this moment. We almost have Hello, world running. Very useful, very powerful, very simple and easy.
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With Go in Harvey we could do many many things without porting many programs from other systems. The Acme editor was originally developed by Rob Pike for Plan 9. It is an editor which encourages to use the mouse a lot. I am an Emacs and Vim user and it has been interesting for me to find that there are quite a few really experienced developers that use Acme on their daily basis. Are you using it to develop Harvey?
Do you think we should give it a try?
Which editor a person uses is as personal a decision as what kind of car they like, or what their favorite music is.
Well, I think is a matter of taste. And all programmers have their own taste. Personally I used what I like or need at any moment. But yes, I used many times Acme, usually from inside a Plan 9 system or sometimes from plan9port. Sometimes I saw myself trying to edit a menu bar in a GTK window, so definitively Acme can hook up you.
At the same time, we intend to allow users to be able to run whatever the way. Emacs and vi should be working soon.
Apy asked in lobste. Ron Minnich Harvey OS dev: The security is actually very good, quite a long way ahead of Unix.
Authentication and Authorization are separate].
Authentication is managed 9 things you should know about hookup an architect an authentication server. These folks know their stuff. Ceryin asked in reddit: Sounds like a really neat idea, but what a nightmare from a security perspective.
Oh, and a key point: Plan 9 has the concept of a host owner, the person who owns that node. The hostowner is set on boot. The kernel can make those ports accessible to a process if that process has the same userid string, not number as the hostowner, i. Root was one of the first things that Plan 9 authors wanted to remove. In a distributed environment with private namespaces, the concept of a superuser has no sense. The hostowner role is or should be just booting the system and its servers.
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