Go Back   DaemonForums > Other Operating Systems > Other OS

Other OS Any other OS such as Microsoft Windows, BeOS, Plan9, Syllable, and whatnot.

Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   (View Single Post)  
Old 19th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DaemonLand
Posts: 834
Default OpenBSDist to try Plan9 .. motives ? incentrives ?

Hi !

Just a question that came into my mind while reading this last post from a hacker :

Why would an OpenBSD hacker want to try Plan9 ?
What's behind the charm? design ? philosophy? ... is it the same reason why a slackware hacker would want to try OpenBSD ?

Reply With Quote
  #2   (View Single Post)  
Old 20th February 2012
comet--berkeley comet--berkeley is offline
Real Name: Richard
Package Pilot
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: California
Posts: 152
Default re:OpenBSDist to try Plan9 .. motives ? incentrives ? Reply to Thread

Historical interest?

It has to be something like why I picked up a "free" CB4008 pet computer one day when someone in Berkeley was giving it away ...


By the way does anyone want a "free" CB4008 pet computer?

Last edited by comet--berkeley; 20th February 2012 at 03:14 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling
Reply With Quote
  #3   (View Single Post)  
Old 20th February 2012
thirdm thirdm is offline
Spam Deminer
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 242

Originally Posted by daemonfowl View Post
Hi !
Why would an OpenBSD hacker want to try Plan9 ?
What's behind the charm? design ? philosophy? ... is it the same reason why a slackware hacker would want to try OpenBSD ?

I've never actually gotten plan9 running on any of my hardware, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt (I did use acme under inferno for text editing for awhile).

I'd say a Unix fan in general ought to be interested in trying plan 9 because it's what Unix's creators made after reflecting on Unix's deficiencies. The good ideas they had for Unix are further refined in plan 9, as I understand it. More things look like a file for instance. Another example, graphics programming can be done in a way that hides a lot of complexity, so maybe it's not so much more complicated to write graphics programs under plan 9 than terminal programs under Unix. This is very unlike the situation with X on Unix now, where it sounds to me (never done X programming, honestly) like X fails to hide much complexity and throws in some extra of its own devising. Also, some of the random inconsistencies springing up from different people writing different Unix utilities and some of the places where a specialized utility (e.g. head) was made that does something a more general utility (sed) could do almost as simply, things that were alluded to in The Unix Programming Environment by Kernighan and Pike, seem to be corrected (or done differently, depending on your perspective).

Your suggestion that people who like Slackware and find OpenBSD a further improvement along the simple, clean design axis probably has some truth. In my opinion (and yours it seems), of the free Unixes, OpenBSD does as well or better than others at delivering a Unix that's small, simple and intuitive (in as much as that is possible given today's expectations for what must be available). Plan 9 seems yet simpler and cleaner. On the other hand, from what I understand of Unix history, Berkeley always offered, as a benefit over SysV, better usability by adding features and programs that were more fun to use or did things better. So I don't know that all OpenBSD users and developers would necessarily like Plan 9. Maybe instead what they would need is a third party playing the role of Berkeley in the 70s and 80s and adopting Plan 9 to add neat stuff to it to make it fit better into the current computing landscape and to throw in some cool features that the more staid Plan 9 designers might reject for not being worth the extra complexity in the implementation.

For myself (not a hacker just a user), at times I start to convince myself that I want to make Plan 9 my system of choice. This is putting the cart before the horse, of course, since I would need to use it awhile to really judge, and I've never succeeded at installing it on any machine I own, as I mentioned. But aside from that there are some sacrifices I'd be making that dampen my enthusiasm:
1. no C++ compiler
2. no Common Lisp compiler
3. I think not even a Scheme compiler (maybe a small one doing only R4RS?)
4. no emacs -- this may be an interesting switch, actually -- going plan 9 for me would mean acme (but then I'd need a good mouse for the frigging chording -- what do laptop users do?) plan 9 people seem to think emacs an atrocity in a similar way to roughly 7/8 of OpenBSD users. Maybe they know something I don't.
5. web browsing would be a pain. It seems like they have some incomplete browsers with the rough functionality of a dillo or w3m, but nothing like firefox or chrome, or even an xxxterm, netsurf or midori.
6. The perl that's available lags quite a bit I think. I see a page mentioning 5.8.0. I'm out of Perl right now, but when you're in Perl it's better to be all in and keeping up with the latest idioms, the sort of things people like chromatic advocate, in my opinion. That requires an up to date interpreter.

So I imagine myself doing this and making my application language ML (fun change for me in a way, but there goes all this time I've been spending learning Lisp and a huge part of my life I've committed to C++), using awk and rc instead of Perl, and doing any lower level stuff in C (and a non-ISO version of it at that) instead of C++. I dunno, I like the idea of exposing myself to good design -- the simplicity and all that. But it sounds like a bit of a hairshirt. Similar, but not quite as drastic, to running Oberon as my system (something I've also felt a slight pull towards from reading about Niklaus Wirth but will probably never do).

This is too long already (sorry, it's a subject I keep coming back to), but one more thing. If you watch the ports mailing list, you'll see there are certain porters who seem to have an enthusiasm for plan 9 or plan 9 influenced software. Some of these ports come from this site and you may want to try them out: http://suckless.org/ IMO, it's interesting (and healthy?) to contrast these kinds of design esthetics with those from other groups, e.g. Lisp programmers: http://www.jwz.org/doc/worse-is-better.html
Reply With Quote
  #4   (View Single Post)  
Old 20th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DaemonLand
Posts: 834

Hi Comet--Berkeley ! thanks for sharing .. I would blindly agree especially if historical interest entails historical intimacy with this or that machine .. answer to your question : yes as long as it can run NetBSD .. :-)

Hi Thirdm ! thank you for sharing with us ..
I've already tried plan9 on hackintosh kaliway (Osx5.2) on this very Acer Laptop .. I was using vmware fusion .. it run successfully as run Haiku ..
Usually .. in the world of alternative OS .. we notice the following main but not exhaustive trends :
* Oses with shiny GUI .. ususally windows users become infatuated with such like fedora/mandriva/ubuntu ..
*Oses which are source-based : namely gentoo/slackware/arch/... this is where most bsd users come from .. and feel more at home with when using ..
* Oses which are exotic but would add up to the UNIX lore and help experience something new : Plan9 , Haiku , Minix , dead Opendarwin? ..
* Oses which allow special guarranteed advantage be gained , for instance Debian with its big community & thousands of packages ..

*Oses which freezes history at some 'glorious moment' , one can't forget .. think Amiga , think MacOS9 ..

saying this while being totally convinced that OpenBSD offers the likes of me literally everything needed (or would-be needed) .. but again , humans like paradigm-shifts and like to experience the para-OS , the Pseudo-OS , the special-feature-OS .. sometimes for the sake of learning .. or from a pragmatic stance .. or just for the sole purpose of departing oneself from the common .. the standard .. at times ..

Thanks thirdm ! you push me to
Reply With Quote
  #5   (View Single Post)  
Old 24th February 2012
backrow backrow is offline
Real Name: Anthony J. Bentley
Shell Scout
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 136

I have a mild (but as yet unfulfilled) interest in Plan 9. Since I’m no expert on the subject, there are only a few things that come to mind:
  • It was made by the same crowd that made Unix.
  • “Everything is a file” probably makes certain things easier for manipulating windows or other things you don't typically do via pipes on Unix
  • I find SSH really useful. Plan 9 folks don’t, because apparently their ability to mount remote filesystems is even more convenient. I find this intriguing.
  • The userland tools are lightweight, with few flags.
I’ve tried to install Plan 9 twice. The first time (several years ago), it didn’t work on my cheap office Dell. The second time (last year), I couldn’t understand the installation instructions. Maybe sometime I’ll try to install it again sometime, but in the meantime I’ll stick with p9p.
Many thanks to the forum regulars who put time and effort into helping others solve their problems.
Reply With Quote
  #6   (View Single Post)  
Old 24th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DaemonLand
Posts: 834

Hi @Backrow ! thanks !
concerning the 3rd point , is this what you mean my friend ?

U9fs is a program that serves Unix files to Plan 9 machines using the 9P
protocol. Its standard input and output are connected to a network
connection, typically TCP on an Ethernet. It assumes Plan 9 uids match
Unix login names, and changes to the corresponding Unix effective uid
when processing requests. Characters in file and directory names
unacceptable to Plan 9 are translated into a three-character sequence:
followed by two hexadecimal digits. U9fs serves both 9P1 (the 9P
protocol as used by the second and third editions of Plan 9) and 9P2000.
U9fs DESCR ..
Reply With Quote
  #7   (View Single Post)  
Old 3rd June 2013
punk0x29a punk0x29a is offline
Port Guard
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 22

I've found a perfect reason:


//Sorry, I had to! Taking cover!...

//And now, seriously... I don't know if it is good enough for "hacker" kind'a guy, but I, personally, just love to search for easter eggs in "exotic" OS'es
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content copyright © 2007-2010, the authors
Daemon image copyright ©1988, Marshall Kirk McKusick