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OS Mélange


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We are all mostly familiar with just Windows, Linux, Unix (along with all the Unix derives) and Mac OS as the primary Operating Systems available. There is a whole collection of operating systems out there, ranging from the amateur hobbyist's take on conquering the OS world to full blown systems which either found a niche market or got doomed to oblivion. I shall attempt to present a small sample from this varied and interesting set.

From the Un-Distinguished Lecture Series ( The talk was given Feb. 9, 2007

Published in: Business, Technology
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OS Mélange

  1. 1. OS mélange    
  2. 2. What does an OS do ? Resource control/sharing ● Resource Policing ● Lower layer abstraction ● Mechanism Vs Policy ●    
  3. 3. OS Tit-bits Preemptive Multitasking vs Cooperative ● Multitasking OS API vs OS Implementation ● Microkernel Vs Monolithic Kernels ● Hardware based isolation aka Address ● spaces Posix – Portable Operating System ● Interface for Unix    
  4. 4. Microkernel OS Structure Severs Servers File System Drivers Kernel Hardware    
  5. 5. HURD Hurd' stands for `Hird of Unix-Replacing ● Daemons'. And, then, `Hird' stands for `Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth' GNU's dream OS, started dev in 1990 ● Used the MACH microkernel ● Due to MACH's Performance woes,they ● have moved over to L4 very recently Microkernel Approach ●    
  6. 6. HURD HURD development never finished ● Linux became too popular, most of the ● GNU work done came to be used in the Linux Operating System. Purist insist on calling such systems GNU/ ● Linux    
  7. 7. L4 MACH, the pioneer of the Microkernel ● idea had miserable performance Extremely low memory footprint ● FAST ! ● Highly optimised ● Due to its small size, efforts are on to ● prove its correctness formally L4.Sec Project    
  8. 8. BEOS Screen shot    
  9. 9. BEOS Made in 1991 by BE Inc ● Initially ran on ATT hardware ● Ported to Power PC in hope Apple would ● buy them, but Apple instead went for NextStep Failed commercially ● Band of loyal supporters have tried to a ● complete re-implementation of the BEOS API in “Haiku”    
  10. 10. Singularity Microsoft Research project ● Radically different approach ● Software based Isolation ● Entire OS written in C#, which is a safe, ● managed language There is just one Address space, isolation ● is guaranteed by maintaining invariants in terms of “no cross references” etc    
  11. 11. Guess the operating system ??    
  12. 12. React OS – Windows Done Right Clean room re-engineering of windows ● API GPL ● Under heavy development ● Currently undergoing a phase of self audit ● to ensure complete legality    
  13. 13. Syllable Hobbyist OS gone big ● 99% POSIX compliant ● Only for x86 ● Incredibly responsive and fast boot up ● 8 second bootup – 2 second login –    
  14. 14. Future Directions Web Only operating systems ● Google OS ?? – Virtual Machine based approach ● Simulate multiple machines on your machine, – run whatever OS you fancy on each of them (Xen, VMware)    
  15. 15. Other Notables OS2/Warp ● FreeBsd ● Minix ●    
  16. 16. Images Linux Logo: ● GNU Logo: ● FreeBSD logo: ● L4 Pistachio Logo: ● Hurd logo: ● Syllable logo: ● BEOS Snapshot: ● ReactOS Snapshot: ●