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Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-07 23:24
by GarryRicketson
From: http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=59034&start=1035&p=630856&view=show#p630853
Postby pylkko » 2016-12-07 15:42
Apparently Garry has recently studied OpenBSD and Minix. By coincidence I've also recently installed FreeBSD and Minix. Maybe we could have a separate thread about experience about non-linux. (like other stuff than what your desktop looks like - mine always looks like I haven't tuned it at all... mostly because I rarely do)

One thing about Minix, it is older then Linux, and if what I read is true, Linus Torvalds
was using it to learn,...
From: http://www.osnews.com/story/15960/Introduction-to-MINIX-3
MINIX 3 has a bright future but somewhat checkered past. The first version, MINIX 1, was released in 1987 and was the first UNIX clone with all the source code available. It developed rapidly and soon had its own USENET newsgroup (comp.os.minix), with 40,000 subscribers within 3 months, a large number at a time when the Internet was only available to university researchers and students. One of the early MINIX adopters was a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds, who went out and bought a PC just to run MINIX, studied it very carefully, and then decided to write his own operating system, inspired by MINIX. Although Linus knew MINIX very well, he didn't steal any code from it, as some people have alleged. Linus system grew into the modern Linux system. MINIX' author, Andrew Tanenbaum and Torvalds have had some fairly public discussions on operating system design, originally in 1992 and most recently in 2006.

I have some chores to do, --to be continued later---
In relation to the comment,
From : http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=59034&start=1035&p=630838&view=show#p630838
by Linadian »---snipped---Are you like, some kind of IT guy (master of *nixes)

No, not at all , but guys like ,Andrew Tanenbaum, Torvalds , and the the Debian
founder, Ian Murdock, and there are many more, all have written a lot
of documentation, in a nut shell, Minix3 is not really that "obscure":
http://wiki.minix3.org/
Some people will say it is a "toy", I do not think that is the correct term at
all, it is a serious "learning tool", and can be used to develop a reliable and
"serious" OS, it has been used for educational purposes, as well as other
serious uses, for many years, it is a traditional starting point for learning,
which is what I am trying to do, before I retired, due to work, etc,...I never
had the free time to really do much, now I do.
They are using the "netbsd" repos, and many of the packages work quite
well, others need some work to get working,...
I have not tried "freebsd", nor netbsd, other then some of the packages I am
using come from Netbsd,..
OpenBsd I do have running, and fully "operational" appears to be very stable,
and has a wide range of packages available that "just work", I am logged in
and posting using my OpenBsd, on VirtualBox, VM,...one reason, on my Debian 7
wheezy, for some reason the "spell checker" does not work, via Firefox, but
also offline, as well using a editor, ...not sure what the deal is,on that.
But also Firefox, is working much better on the OpenBsd VM, then it does
on the Debian 7 drive,...that would be even another topic,...
Since I am not really a *NIX Master, by a long shot, it is easier for me
to use what just works, then get caught up in trying to fix the one that
is not working as well,........
I have been working with not only the Minix3, and OpenBsd, but also
Debian 1.00, 1.1,and 2.0,......these are very good "bases" to learn from
and get some idea about how Debian progresses, but ok, well that is
another topic, more related to Debian,...in a nut shell, due to some
major changes in both Debian development, and Linux,
Major Changes in Linux
...well, sad to say, but I do feel the need to explore other options,
There are some Debian developers doing some work with BSD's
as well,....
https://wiki.debian.org/Debian_GNU/kFreeBSD
I suppose, for now that is about it, I do have some things to do
(chores), etc,...
----- note: -----
@Linadian, and anyone else interested
Postby Linadian »
You'll have to excuse my imagination, I'm a wannabe fiction writer that sees a story in everything. :mrgreen:

If you like to write and read, like I do,...you might
actually enjoy, or be interested, also you will probably see
why I decided to not even post it on this forum, I still plan to
and need to work on it,... Another offtopic topic-needs work

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-08 21:23
by pylkko
While Linux works for the largest variety of purposes, I like to know about other operating systems and kernels, and follow developments in them. Especially now that Microsoft is a Linux foundation member, Microsoft is publishing Office on Linux and Ubuntu and bash can be run on Windows etc. I really don't have a problem with Microsoft/Google investing in Linux but if too much power is given to these large companies, I think I personally will loose interest.

With respect to microkernel operating systems I believe Torvalds himself said once that he considers micro kernel design to be better in theory, but that developers of these kernels much underestimated their complexity. Many microkernel projects have been ongoing for decades and are nevertheless “not ready” as we know (GNU kernel came out with 0.8 this year...). They often lack significant things like audio entirely or USB, which, of course, may not matter for some use purposes. They also often suffer some “overhead” and their performance has not been optimized either. (see https://lwn.net/Articles/220255/) However, the advantages are important and should not be underestimated. There is now a Minix ARM port and apparently you can run Beagleboard machines on them; a 2-3 watt consuming machine that you never need to shut down or reboot. Minix also supports NetBSD userland but does not, however, support threads. Another microkernel OS that I have installed and run is Redox OS. And while they have to be given the due respect for trying to come up with an OS from scratch, it is currently only a “proof-of-concept”, you can’t really use it for things. Helen OS sounds interesting, but again, apparently few familiar userland software.

But to me it seems that the BSD kernel (I have a FreeBSD box) is for the most part a real alternative to Linux. Every now and then there are some comparisons on performance BSD vs. Linux on Phoronix and for the most there is no differences or the differences are so small that they will not have any practical significance. On networking things BSD's seem to have some advantages over Linux. (See http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a ... inux&num=1)

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-08 23:26
by GarryRicketson
by pylkko »They often lack significant things like audio entirely or USB, which, of course, may not matter for some use purposes.


Since I can not hardly hear anything audio is not very important,
but to many others it is.
On the USB, support, yes I noticed that in the minx documentation,
I remember when "FreeDos" still did not support USB, they do have
it now, though , and actually have had it for some time.
That was a big issue for me, since the laptop I had did not
have a Optical Drive,.. I needed the USB , similar with Minix3,
I will need USB, if I want to use it on a stand alone computer
and be able to use my USB broadband device,...also I have
several portable USB drives, as well as many usb sticks, I am
not positive, but I suspect USB support is just around the corner,
for Minix3 , now,....
Not trying to "brag", especially since I had nothing to do with
actually developing the USB drivers needed for FreeDos, but I was
one if the first people to actually make a boo-table USB stick, with
FreeDos on it, and I could run it from the USB stick,..
It all happened pretty fast, at home I had no internet,...but after work
I would stop by at a internet cafe, and use their connection, and I had
done searches, every thing I found said it was not possible, especially
since there was no usb support.
How ever I did find someone (off hand I can not remember the name, later
I will post it, they deserve the credit )
But any way, they had some code available and "packages", stiil very
"buggy" and experimental,..so I downloaded those, along with all the
documentation I could find, I had the guy at the internet cafe print copies
of the documentation on paper,...and went home,
Over the weekend, and then the next couple of weeks, I was busy,....
Finally I did have a successful, "FreeDos" boot stick, and also I had the
driver working, I could read / write to a usb stick, from the FreeDos on
my laptop, I was so excited,... I made a text file, using the Dos editor,
explaining the steps, etc,....
Rushed off to work , on my bicycle, and was late, but in the after noon ,
after work, I stopped in at the internet cafe, when I got on line, to my surprise
there were several others, that had also accomplished the same task, and published "tutorials", all within a 2 week period, ... it was interesting though
also to see the different ways that were used to accomplish the same goal,...
It took more time, though before the search engines, got it all, for several
months, if one did a search, there was still a good chance the hits would be
results saying it was not possible,...Any way,...so as far as I know, there is
no USB support for Minix3, but this could change any day,..it may take a while
to find it, after who ever figures it out posts about it,...but I do not think it
is impossible at all,
---------------------------- edited -----------------------------
Well it turns out that "no usb support" is a myth.
http://wiki.minix3.org/doku.php?id=ddekitusb&s
It looks like there has been for a couple of years,
http://wiki.minix3.org/doku.php?id=usersguide:osdataexchange&s
Also some audio drivers are supported, the minix wiki, has quite a few
"stale" out of date pages, and at a glance can give the impression these
things are not supported.
I do not know, and have not looked at any other "micro kernels"
so don't know on them ,
--snip- They often lack significant things like audio --snip--

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-09 07:46
by pylkko
Yeah, well I think that the GNU kernel (mach/hurd) for example does not support audio or usb and runs only on i386 arch...

The European Research Council put a lot of money into the development of Minix3, but that ended in 2014 and after that they have been running on donations. On their funding site they say that all companies that fund their project with more than 1000 USD get their logo on that page. There are zero logos there right now...

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-10 13:26
by Funkygoby
pylkko wrote:But to me it seems that the BSD kernel (I have a FreeBSD box) is for the most part a real alternative to Linux.

There is no "BSD Kernel" as in "Linux Kernel". FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD & friends all have a different kernel, focus, politics, priorities etc... They share the same bloodline and are forks of each other basically but their path has diverged enough so that they should be considered different OSes not only "derivatives".

The mainstream projects (debian, firefox) don't suit me anymore. Doing a lot of thing but not doing what I consider basic functionnality. Instead of going to war, I assumed that I was wrong about those project from the start (10 years ago) and should start looking for alternatives.
I am planning to switch to OBSD after Debian 7. So much simplicity in here (doas, sndiod, rc.conf.local) I can understand the doc and the manpages (wich are praised btw). No need for google most of the time. It is a stable platform with sane focus (for now?).

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-10 19:05
by pylkko
Yes, different Linux distros use the same source kernel whereas the BSD distribution develop the entire OS, including the kernels. But my point was that if you want to replace linux, then the only kernel that can be used on home computers in a full and functional way is probably some BSD. Minix et alii just aren't complete enough.

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 01:40
by GarryRicketson
pylkko wrote:---snip--- then the only kernel that can be used on home computers in a full and functional way----snip--Minix et alii just aren't complete enough.

I don't know, I suppose what many people call "fully functional", is
what they get when they buy a PC with MS windows, pre-installed,...but
if they do not keep all the needed anti-virus software needed up to date
it won't stay "fully functional" very long,......
And if some one needs a complete "home entertainment center",..
well, a Desktop PC or Laptop, really are not intended for that,
That is not what I use a PC for, any way.
Minx3 seems to be fully funtional to me, I can login to this forum,
and others, and post, I can access my server using ssh, and do anthing
I need to do, including checking my e-mail, with sftp, I can upload or down load new pages, also make and download my backups,...I can view,edit,resize, and do what ever I might need to with images.
I can play music, also record,..even though I can not hear it, my kid
says it sounds ok.
I can also write any shell scripts I might need, it has a complete set of "perl" packages, and if I knew enough about it I could write and compile C,C+, programs, as well as python, and other programming languages, it also has a whole lot of various packages/programs that
are for various things done with html documents.
I don't know, but to me, it seems like a complete Operating system,
but if I did not like it, it has the tools to write another kernel,and
start building a entirely different OS,...not that I am that skilled, I wish I was,...but the point is, if I was, I could create my own original
kernel, and OS, from this base,....to me that is a very complete OS.
For those that didn't know it, FreeDos, also is very complete, the limitation is not in the OS, but the person running it.
Keep in mind, before MS Windows, was made,....what did the developer use
to start writeing, and compileing the code used to create the program,..?
FreeDos, is considerably more a"complete OS "then the older early MSDos versions,.....
But I do understand, to most "users" , a "complete OS", for their PC , desktop, or Laptop, needs to include a full "home entertainment" center,
video games, adobe flash, bluetooth,skype, browser that is very graphical so they can view their favorite porn sites, and get their brain and PC infected, etc, etc.....To me al that "junk" and gimmicks are not necessary. So a basic , stable OS, with a good editor,and the means to connect to a remote machine, and a text browser, basic graphic capabilities are nice, Minix3.4 does have all of that.
-----edited-----
Using Minix3 to edit post

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 07:54
by Head_on_a_Stick
GarryRicketson wrote:Using Minix3 to edit post

But you are running Minix from a VM, right?

Can Minix run on the bare metal on your hardware?

Which operating system is providing the hardware drivers that are actually allowing you to post?

EDIT:
Code: Select all
Puffy: ~ $ uname -a
OpenBSD Puffy.lan 6.0 GENERIC.MP#26 amd64

:mrgreen:

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 09:18
by yeti
pylkko wrote:While Linux works for the largest variety of purposes, I like to know about other operating systems and kernels, and follow developments in them.

Have a look at http://www.minocacorp.com.

New, young, hot, still has some rough edges and full diapers from time to time but definitely is fun to play with... like Linux in it's 0.11...0.95 days. ;-)

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 10:58
by pylkko
GarryRicketson wrote:I don't know, I suppose what many people call "fully functional", is
what they get when they buy a PC with MS windows
No. I didn't mean that.
yeti wrote:New, young, hot, still has some rough edges and full diapers from time to time but definitely is fun to play with... like Linux in it's 0.11...0.95 days. ;-)
At quick glance does not appear to meet the criteria, although the page is extremely uninformative.


Linux alternative challenge: Name an operating system/kernel that meets the following criteria:
  • Is not Linux
  • Is FOSS
  • Has hardware support so that it can be run bare metal on some device that can be realistially acquired from somewhere right now
  • Can be used for normal home-use things like surfing internet, editing documents, listening to music etc.

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 13:17
by GarryRicketson
Head_on_a_Stick » But you are running Minix from a VM, right?

Can Minix run on the bare metal on your hardware?


You have a good point, and to be honest, I have not tried yet,
According to this: http://wiki.minix3.org/doku.php?id=usersguide:hardwarerequirements

On "my hardware" I am not sure, but yes on some hardware it will
run as "bare metal"

It probably would run just fine, but it will take some work,
(their wiki is some what "stale" or "out of date) and I am not sure
about this :
Currently there is no support for USB or FireWire.

Because here: http://wiki.minix3.org/doku.php?id=ddekitusb&s they also seem to have a way to get USB working.
For me that would be necessary if I want to be able to get online,
the only way I have is using a USB broad band device, so the USB support
could be a problem,... But like I said, I have not really tried yet.
========== edit ===============
--- snip-------although the page is extremely uninformative.

That is just the "front" or home page,....a closer look , finds more information.
http://www.minocacorp.com/support/faq/
Goes into more details, and also here:
http://www.minocacorp.com/product/
====================================
http://www.minocacorp.com/support/faq/
=======================================
Looks to me like it is :
Minoca OS is an open source, general purpose operating system written from scratch

Licensing
Minoca OS is licensed to the public under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 3. Alternate licensing options are available. Contact info@minocacorp.com if your company is interested in licensing Minoca OS.

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 15:43
by pylkko
But I think that is just the point. Many alternative development OS's that are not ready for real use will work perfectly virtualized because the virtual machine/emulation will make the hardware appear to be basic (like i386 single core and Intel ICH9 motherboard) to the guest OS when in reality it is not. So it is not that helpful if you want to "really" run it on a machine.

Such OS's (minix et al) would of course work on real hardware that is identical (or similar enough) to the hardware that is being emulated. Only thing is that the commonly emulated hardware is no longer manufactured.

I checked the git of the Minoca and it appears to be GPL licensed even though they have that odd statement about contacting them for a commercial version. But nowhere can I find information on a software repo. I wonder if you are supposed to compile software?

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2016-12-12 21:51
by Head_on_a_Stick
pylkko wrote:Linux alternative challenge: Name an operating system/kernel that meets the following criteria:
  • Is not Linux
  • Is FOSS
  • Has hardware support so that it can be run bare metal on some device that can be realistially acquired from somewhere right now
  • Can be used for normal home-use things like surfing internet, editing documents, listening to music etc.

9front, the Plan 9 fork by ex-Bell Labs employees:

http://9front.org/

Everything works on my ThinkPad X201, even the wireless card (they use OpenBSD firmware), and my Haswell laptop will boot it in UEFI mode :)

It supports Linux emulation and can thus run lots of useful stuff:

http://fqa.9front.org/fqa8.html#8.7.1

Scrot or it didn't happen:

viewtopic.php?p=629781#p629781

:)

EDIT: Best. Command. Ever:

Warning: offensive command name

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2017-01-07 22:19
by pylkko
the FAQ has a chapter "plan 9 is not fot you" and it says that very much stuff that professional computer experts would consider essential for today's computer use was either not implemented when the OS was "abandoned" or deliberately left out. LIke web browsers, javascript etc. :D

Re: Another Off topic, Non Debian, non Linux

PostPosted: 2017-01-07 23:03
by Head_on_a_Stick
pylkko wrote:LIke web browsers

Ah yes but 9front includes the best browser ever written :)

Have you ever tried mothra(1)?

It mounts webpages as part of the filesystem and displays pictures and everything :cool: