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posted by martyb on Tuesday March 22 2016, @08:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the we're-gonna-create-our-own-mistakez! dept.

There's a new operating system that wants to do away with the old mistakes and cruft in other operating systems. It's called Redox OS and is available on GitHub. It's aimed at creating an alternative OS that is able to run almost all Linux executables with only minimal modifications. It features a pure ecosystem using the Rust programming language which they hope will improve correctness and security over other OSes. They are not afraid to prioritize correctness over compatibility. The philosophy being that "Redox isn't afraid of dropping the bad parts of POSIX while preserving modest Linux API compatibility."

Redox levels harsh criticisms at other OSes, saying "...we will not replicate the mistakes made by others. This is probably the most important tenet of Redox. In the past, bad design choices were made by Linux, Unix, BSD, HURD, and so on. We all make mistakes, that's no secret, but there is no reason to repeat others' mistakes." Not stopping there, the Redox documentation contains blunt critiques of Plan 9, the GPL, and other mainstays.

Redox OS seems to be supported on the i386 and x86_64 platforms. The aims are microkernel design, implementation in Rust language, optional GUI — Orbital, newlib for C programs, MIT license, drivers in userspace, common Unix commands included, and plans for ZFS.

They want to do away with syscalls that stay around forever and drivers for hardware that, for a long time, simply isn't possible to buy any more. They also provide a codebase that doesn't require you to navigate around 25 million lines of code like Linux.

Perhaps the mathematically proven L4 microkernel is something to consider over the monolithic kernel approach where any single driver can wreck the system? One aspect to look out for is if they map the graphic cards into user space.


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  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by DannyB on Tuesday March 22 2016, @02:08PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 22 2016, @02:08PM (#321609)

    Maybe they sound more adult than you think.

    They merely state, quite correctly, that there ARE design mistakes of the past. (And no past system, no matter how elegant, that I have ever seen since the 1970's is free of design mistakes that couldn't have been done better in hindsight.)

    They do not intend to repeat those mistakes. I read 'repeat' to mean 're-implement' those mistakes.

    While unstated, they probably will also invent some new design mistakes. Hopefully few. And hopefully not serious. Even better if they are easily corrected.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2016, @05:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2016, @05:04PM (#321722)

    Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people's mistakes.
    — David Wheeler

    [...] able to run almost all Linux executables [...]

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nuke on Tuesday March 22 2016, @10:48PM

    by Nuke (3162) on Tuesday March 22 2016, @10:48PM (#321866)
    FTFA :_

    They want to do away with .... drivers for hardware that, for a long time, simply isn't possible to buy any more.

    There's a design mistake for a start.

    Just because some hardware cannot be bought any more does not mean that it is not still in widespread use. My IBM Model M keyboard with its PS/2 connector for example? No thanks, I'll pass on Redox.