[TUHS] Charles Forsyth on putting Unix on a diet.

Lyndon Nerenberg lyndon at orthanc.ca
Sat Oct 28 12:34:11 AEST 2017


> I wish there was a way to evolve plan9 into a modern Unix.
> Making an existing modern Unix diet into a lean OS is close to
> impossible.

But if you try to turn Plan9 into a lean UNIX, you lose everything that Plan9 advocates.  In particular, I don't see how you can possibly integrate namespaces into UNIX in any meaningful way.  Without those, it's no longer Plan9, and therefore a pointless endeavour.

> A unix kernel boils down to a few subsystems: device drivers +
> device switch, scheduling, VM, networking and network switch,
> filesystems + filesystem switch, interrupt handling, process
> management. Some graphics support. A bunch of this can be
> pushed out of the kernel without much loss of efficiency.  And
> may be the original design decisions of Unix need to be
> revisited for 21st century hardware.

The release of the 10th Edition UNIX source is much more enlightening.  Here you can see a fully functional UNIX with what, 29?, system calls?  And you can see the genesis of many of the Plan9 concepts (/proc, dial(), mk, mux, etc).

--lyndon



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