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[P]
AtheOS

By jmcneill in Culture
Tue May 23, 2000 at 08:20:13 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

While looking for some documentation on operating system design, I stumbled upon this promising looking operating system named AtheOS. There's already a fairly decent list of software supported (including apache, bind, emacs, wu-ftpd, sshd, a bunch of GNU tools and many others), as well as a hardware compatibility list. The GUI is customizable by writing app_server plugins, and the operating system supports networking (although only NE2000 PCI and EISA drivers are currently available) and SMP. Unfortunately, I don't have any free systems to try it with; no spare hard drives, and I don't have any FAT partitions.


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AtheOS | 40 comments (40 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
hmm... if it's free (as in beer) a... (none / 0) (#3)
by HiRes on Mon May 22, 2000 at 10:17:55 PM EST

HiRes voted 1 on this story.

hmm... if it's free (as in beer) and GPL'ed, then it can't possibly be spam.
--
wcb
wait! before you rate, read.

discussion and diversities are plus... (none / 0) (#5)
by confidential on Mon May 22, 2000 at 10:27:05 PM EST

confidential voted 1 on this story.

discussion and diversities are plusses... we need more of both at all times if you ask me

Hmmm... so now we can all switch to... (none / 0) (#2)
by Ozymandias on Mon May 22, 2000 at 11:02:24 PM EST

Ozymandias voted 1 on this story.

Hmmm... so now we can all switch to this new OS and make fun of the backwards Linux geeks...
- Ozymandias

look, more open source... (none / 0) (#6)
by deimos on Mon May 22, 2000 at 11:05:57 PM EST

deimos voted 0 on this story.

look, more open source
irc.kuro5hin.org: Good Monkeys, Great Typewriters.

This is interesting, although it's ... (none / 0) (#11)
by BSDwolf on Mon May 22, 2000 at 11:17:24 PM EST

BSDwolf voted 1 on this story.

This is interesting, although it's hard for a die-hard UNIXoid such as myself to wrap my mind around a non-UNIX- like system.

Interesting - the design looks a lo... (none / 0) (#7)
by adamsc on Tue May 23, 2000 at 01:04:41 AM EST

adamsc voted 1 on this story.

Interesting - the design looks a lot like BeOS and a pleasant change from the more traditional models.

I'm going to be generous and say +1... (2.80 / 6) (#4)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Tue May 23, 2000 at 02:18:46 AM EST

Pseudonymous Coward voted 1 on this story.

I'm going to be generous and say +1, post it -- the subject matter is interesting. However, I also have to emit the customary "more writeup, please" comment: It seems like the upshot of this article is "I found a web page for an OS, but I only know a handful of facts. Here's some links."

I think a little more journalism would be appropriate here: You got the traditional What part down, but how about telling us Who is responsible, maybe a bit about Where it came from (university project? profiteering capitalists? vapor-spouting 14-year olds?), something about When, if it's new or been brewing a while, and certainly a little Why information wouldn't hurt: is it gratis, or libre or some kind of proprietary scheme?

That kind of information adds value to k5. Some links, along with "I don't know too much about this yet, but I want to check it out" doesn't tell me anything other than that it exists.

(+1) Neat, but (-1) old, sorry.... (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by Strongtium90 on Tue May 23, 2000 at 02:30:58 AM EST

Strongtium90 voted 0 on this story.

(+1) Neat, but (-1) old, sorry.

It's interesting to see what other ... (none / 0) (#9)
by Toojays on Tue May 23, 2000 at 06:29:28 AM EST

Toojays voted 1 on this story.

It's interesting to see what other useable OS's are out there. It seems to have a similar idea to the BeOS, but that's probably just because they are both fairly contemporary designs. Unfortunately, like BeOS, it doesn't have ICQ, a Java-capable browser or an mp3 player (yeah I know BeOS has one but it doesn't support my sound card), and so it doesn't meet my criteral for a desktop replacement. Maybe later, eh?

argh... (none / 0) (#31)
by zephc on Tue May 23, 2000 at 06:50:54 PM EST

there are at least 2 ICQ clones for BeOS

no java browser yet, true, tho there is at least one JVM out there somewhere...

SoundPlay and CL-Amp are both great mp3 players available (and its your sound driver, not the player itself...i suggest a new sound card? :) )

[ Parent ]
Re: It's interesting to see what other ... (none / 0) (#36)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 24, 2000 at 03:44:31 AM EST

Nope, BeOS does in fact have ICQ, 3 different clients even. Go to www.bebits.com and check out ICBM (which is the best and very feature rich), GimICQ (a bit unstable and no longer under development), and mICQ (text-mode only). There was also a project called Gimmick which would have given Be users one client to access ICQ, AIM and Jabber. This project was discontinued due to time constraints on the authors, but is now going to be restarted as an open source project (still not officially announced however).

[ Parent ]
Ooops... forgot my other points (none / 0) (#37)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 24, 2000 at 03:49:30 AM EST

Yes there is no Java yet but it will almost certainly be implemented in the next release (along with hardware OpenGL support and a new networking structure called BONE, BeOs Networking Enviroment, which is based heavily upon BSD's networking). As for MP3 players, they work with all BeOS supported soundcards, so you simply dont have drivers availible. CL-AMP, and SoundPlay are both excellent MP3 players which actually have some advantages over other MP3 players.

[ Parent ]
Interesting. I'm gonna try this out... (none / 0) (#10)
by kahlin on Tue May 23, 2000 at 06:52:29 AM EST

kahlin voted 1 on this story.

Interesting. I'm gonna try this out before I reinstall linux.

Sounds nice, though I'm not such a ... (none / 0) (#1)
by fvw on Tue May 23, 2000 at 08:20:13 AM EST

fvw voted 1 on this story.

Sounds nice, though I'm not such a fan of gui-in-kernelspace

Re: Sounds nice, though I'm not such a ... (none / 0) (#12)
by khs on Tue May 23, 2000 at 08:36:12 AM EST

No parts of the GUI system (not even the gfx-drivers) lives in kernel-space. The appserver (equivalent to the X11 server, but a bit more high-level, and with a few services not directly connected to the GUI) is a normal user-space server process talking with the GUI API classes through a message protocol.

[ Parent ]
Re: Sounds nice, though I'm not such a ... (none / 0) (#17)
by fvw on Tue May 23, 2000 at 10:20:32 AM EST

Hmm, sounds nice. I stand corrected.

[ Parent ]
Amiga THE OS :-) (Yes, I know it isn't) (none / 0) (#13)
by hattig on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:03:32 AM EST

I saw this around a month ago, quite interesting in its own way, and it is nice to see someone manage to write an entire OS on their own, even including GUI elements!

Font smoothing, an Amiga like user-interface (replacable) and more. Looks like it could be a fun thing to play around with. It probably doesn't need more than 50 meg of HD space either, so that is good.

Wonder what the security is like though - an important consideration with an Operating System. I imagine this could make quite a nice machine for a low-end desktop.

Tough competition though: QNX, TaoOS, Linux, BSD, ...

Quick question.. (none / 0) (#21)
by Inoshiro on Tue May 23, 2000 at 12:46:27 PM EST

What is TaoOS? Any links?

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Quick question.. (none / 0) (#23)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 23, 2000 at 01:22:37 PM EST

Tao is a company which produces a RTOS called Elate and a Virtual Machine similar to a Java VM, but which is not tied to any one language (it is a virtual 32-bit risc processor), although it does include fully Sun-Java compliant bindings, too. There is even a gcc/g++ port to the Tao VM. It's quite a cool architecture, but it's difficult to tell if it will catch on.

Tao is a partner of the holders of the Amiga trademark and intellectual property rights, and a new machine and operating system, which is going to be called an Amiga (but not related to the original AmigaOS except in name), has recently been made available in Beta form to a number of developers. For conspiracy theorists, Tao is also a partner of Sony and the Tao/Amiga VM looks ideal for running on a Transmeta crusoe processor...



[ Parent ]
Hardware support ... (none / 0) (#14)
by Will on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:30:16 AM EST

Looks like an interesting project ... one big drawback, though, is that all access to disks is currently going through the BIOS - which will of course yield a big performance hit. Also, the author freely admits that his scheduler sucks. Nevertheless, they do seem to have achieved one hell of a lot! My question is ... what does this OS have to offer that either Linux or BeOS don't?

Re: Hardware support ... (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by Reed on Tue May 23, 2000 at 12:45:23 PM EST

My question is ... what does this OS have to offer that either Linux or BeOS don't?

Well, it's actually fairly simple. The system is really not based off a Unix-like architecture the way linux is, it's much closer to BeOS. The author even admits it was heavily inspired by BeOS's high-level API and GUI, and the file system is almost a direct rip of the one in Giampalo's book (who wrote BeOS's BFS). The main thing it has going for/against it (depending on your point of view) when compared to Be, however, is the licensing. It is, for better or worse depending on your point of view, GPL'd. That gives it a big boost in my mind compared to the closed, but free as in beer, BeOS.



[ Parent ]
Re: Hardware support ... (1.00 / 1) (#24)
by yugami on Tue May 23, 2000 at 02:59:08 PM EST

My question is ... what does this OS have to offer that either Linux or BeOS don't?

the openess of linux w/ the desktop nature of BeOS. sounds kinda cool to me, I'm going to set it up today.

[ Parent ]

Re: Hardware support ... (none / 0) (#27)
by Will on Tue May 23, 2000 at 04:36:39 PM EST

Writing a new desktop for Linux seems (IMHO) to be a better route to take. Something like Berlin. Otherwise you are going to waste your time re-implementing a lot of things that have already been implemented previously (device drivers, scheduler, memory management, filesystems, etc) and under a sufficiently unrestrictive license that you can base your work on these projects without too many problems.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by HiQ on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:35:26 AM EST

It looks excellent, and considering the effort: I take my hat (if I had one:)). But:
  • Why?
    Why isn't it called YAOS (Yet Another OS); there are so few OS's that make it and get a good amount of supporters. I agree that for the learning effect it is great to build your own operating system (I'm building one - although it is a simulator). Building a real OS, including tools, GUI, networking etc. is such a monumental effort: for me it raises the question: "why bother?".
  • GUI design
    Is the Xerox-Apple-Win-KDE UI really the only workable GUI? They all look alike, you really have to look hard to see which OS you are looking at. Why isn't there a new and revolutionairy GUI design? I mean, I'm trying to design one (still in specifiaction/thought phase), and it is really hard to come up with something new, but there *are* other possibilities!
Hope I don't sound too negative, I appreciate the effort and all, but no matter where I look, I see copies and yet more copies of the same OS's and GUI's, and never any really new and exciting stuff.
How to make a sig
without having an idea
just made a HiQ
Re: Yes and no (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by Foogle on Tue May 23, 2000 at 04:07:42 PM EST

Why not have Kai, of Metacreations fame, create a GUI... He'd to a real bang-up job. On second thought, I don't want all my buttons replaced by malleable blobs.

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."
- They Might Be Giants
[ Parent ]

Prepare for Bad Pun (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by rusty on Tue May 23, 2000 at 06:06:15 PM EST

On the other hand, it'd give a whole new meaning to the term "Gooey".

rimshot

Thank you, I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Yes and no (none / 0) (#30)
by FlinkDelDinky on Tue May 23, 2000 at 06:40:12 PM EST

Is the Xerox-Apple-Win-KDE UI really the only workable GUI?

Well, if you promise not to laugh I'll tell you my favorite user interface for multitasking.

DesqView386. Gawd, that thing was so effecient in terms of user interface. Yah, I'm using Enlightenment + gnome now but I keep thinking if I ever really get into Enlightenment I'll create a DV theme. I never used DV/X, how was that?

[ Parent ]

Re: Yes and no (3.50 / 2) (#32)
by Inoshiro on Tue May 23, 2000 at 08:16:15 PM EST

A good discussion of possible "Post-Mac" UIs is available here.. It's the "AntiMac" interface :-)

Of course, I've never see it implemented. Sigh.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Yes and no (none / 0) (#40)
by OscarIommi on Tue May 30, 2000 at 10:41:55 AM EST

What I want to see in a GUI is:

1) Themeable. Looks really DO matter
I'd prefer something like 2colors, PalmOS style :) (for the widgets and stuff..)
2) Everything should be reachable and easily navigated via keyboard. Keyboard naviagation should be so integrated and efficient that a 'power user' don't have to reach for the mouse to often, or so that one can use the mouse/pen for drawing etc. and then execute commands completely with the other hand (keyboard)..

[ Parent ]
AmigaOS (3.70 / 3) (#16)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:53:50 AM EST

Hmm... looks to owe a *lot* to the AmigaOS (A bit like BeOS does), not that that's a bad thing... You may or may not know that there's a project to produce an AmigaOS 3.x clone called aros.

And don't forget, the entire GNU suite, and X windows can run on top of the AmigaOS, in fact they were ported many years ago in a distro called "Geek Gadgets" at ninemoons and on the Aminet - so AROS will have a headstart on many other alternative OSes

BTW, the original AmigaOS is different to the OS that is soon to be released under the Amiga name, which is, in fact, the Tao VM

Between Linux, the BSDs, AROS, Atheos, HURD, EROS, VSTa etc, etc, there's no shortage of alternative Open-Source operating systems. Now if only there was less NIH syndrome among the developers, and if only developers looked at the wealth of open-source code on all these alternative platforms, the best features from each could be taken to make the best OS on earth...



Re: AmigaOS (none / 0) (#25)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 23, 2000 at 03:29:07 PM EST

>Between Linux, the BSDs, AROS, Atheos, HURD, EROS, VSTa etc, etc, there's no shortage of alternative Open-Source operating systems. Now if only there was less NIH syndrome among the developers,

Some of the things you list do not have licences that ALLOW the code to be shared, let alone politics of people.

BSD -> GNU/Linux is a one-way code path. And the BSDers are NOT about to allow GPLed code in, so they HAVE to re-wtire it.

Given all the places you find BSD code, the BSD licences allows for the sharing you'd like to see.

[ Parent ]
'Bout time... (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by costas on Tue May 23, 2000 at 12:26:41 PM EST

I don't get the name ("Atheos" means "atheist" in Greek, altough I don't know if that's on purpose), but other than that, it's a great idea: POSIX-compliant (or at least trying to be) and legacy-free. Isn't about time we threw all the crud of 40 years of Unix out the window?

I know, I know, people will say "that's 40 years of experience and stability". True, but re-implementing an OS from scratch doesn't mean that you get to throw away everything that's been learned. On the contrary, you get to keep the good design parts and get rid of the kruft.

Sometimes I wish someone decided to make a new Linux/BSD distro with the sole design purpose of cleaning things up... moving docs to SGML/HTML/XML, configuration to XML, getting rid of X11 --or as close to that as you can get--, etc, etc...

(BTW: this isn't a troll: I am a long-time Unix user, and I have used and am using more flavors of Unix than I can remember; but there has to be a better way...)

memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
Re: 'Bout time... (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by hattig on Tue May 23, 2000 at 12:40:53 PM EST

Sometimes I wish someone decided to make a new Linux/BSD distro with the sole design purpose of cleaning things up... moving docs to SGML/HTML/XML, configuration to XML, getting rid of X11 --or as close to that as you can get--, etc, etc...
It is called MacOS X. :-)

Still, it inherits a load of crud as well, but at least it has been hived off into a corner, and it is required to make it run old Mac apps.

This AtheOS is a great achievement for the person who wrote it. With some more effort it could become another viable OS - a cross between BeOS, Linux and Windows, hopefully taking the best bits of each.

The fact the guy has ported Apache et al to it is great. The site runs of a computer running the OS, and it has an uptime of 10 days, do its stability is better than Windows! :-) Sure, it doesn't have the drivers that usually kill of computers in the end, but a server would be running decent hardware and only required hardware with solid drivers anyway.

Anyone up for redesigning the user interface? Those chunky 1993 Amiga style windows are getting to me.

[ Parent ]

Re: 'Bout time... (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by costas on Tue May 23, 2000 at 12:53:58 PM EST

Yes, Mac OS X is almost a dream come true for me (I used to be a NeXT fanatic :-) and I don't even like Macs :-)...

Still, OSX has some problems: closed hardware and closed source (for anything above the BSD layer) and most importantly, the fact that Apple is going for a market segment I just don't belong to: I almost never use PhotoShop, I don't care about Quark. I want a machine that can do development real well (i.e. be stable and able to recover from application crashes) with lots of development software (VC++ would be excellent, KDevelop would be adequate, awk, sed, Perl, all the little goodies) and that can talk to everything else really well.

I know, OS X can do most of that and probably pretty decently (well, VC++?). That damn hardware-lock is what bothers me. If Apple ported the beast to x86 (how hard can it be? NeXTStep/OpenStep have been running on IA32 for years) I'd be lined up to pay for a copy the day it comes out...


memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
[ Parent ]
Re: 'Bout time... (none / 0) (#28)
by Commienst on Tue May 23, 2000 at 05:13:33 PM EST

It can be ported to x86. Part of the reason I think apple choose to release parts of the kernel source of Mac OS X is so that it can be ported to other platforms and improved upon by the opensource community.

[ Parent ]
Followers of AtheOS = Atheists (1.00 / 1) (#34)
by mafried on Tue May 23, 2000 at 11:20:28 PM EST

Someone else pointed this out to me, and I wish I thaught of this for my project first.

AtheOS = atheos = greek for atheist
Followers of AtheOS = Atheists

[ Parent ]

unix isn't 40 (none / 0) (#39)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon May 29, 2000 at 04:32:15 PM EST

It's only (almost) thirty.

[ Parent ]
k5 > /. (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by fulltide on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:16:16 PM EST

As someone very new here, I must say that this is exactly what gives kuro5hin such an edge over "those guys" in my book. If you take a quick read through their recent rehash of this story, the comments ...well, they speak for themselves. Congradulations guys, you just gained a convert.

As far as AtheOS, I have to admitt that I have a love/hate realationship with the BeOS that skews my view. I actually use Be for about 20% or so of my home computing (yes, really) and I love almost everything about it, but at the same time I think its being held back by a combination of industry prejudice, and (moreso) a lack of excellet management.
With the whole "managment" thing out of the picture, something like AtheOS certainly has the potential to surpas the BeOS's and Amiga's into psuedo-mainstream, but I think that will depend mostly on the quality of people developing for it. Most of the GNU code I've looked through was so messy, unelegant, or broken, I could rewrite it myself before ever figuring it out. If this has got a good clean foundation, it may have a chance. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on it.

~tide~
"Linux is only free if your time has no value."
- Jamie Zawinski, former Mozilla team leader
Another OS. YAAAAAAWWWN (none / 0) (#35)
by Ars-Fartsica on Wed May 24, 2000 at 01:16:47 AM EST

Linux. FreeBSD. BeOS. OSX. Eros. Enough already!

While everyone is reinventing the wheel, the only OS with half decent device support is the crappiest one out there - Windows!

We have plenty of good candidate OSs whatever your tastes (be they license preferences, platforms, or levels of ease of use).

A link to some discussion with comments by the aut (none / 0) (#38)
by nicktamm on Thu May 25, 2000 at 11:33:52 AM EST

BeGroovy, a BeOS site had some information about this and it includes stuff from the authors of ATheOS. The article is at http://www.begroovy.com/misc/newspro/ktalkdata/959174800,3337,.shtml. Is the name a play on BeOS? After reading what the three people involved had to say, I'm wishing I'd downloaded it when it was first posted here, but now that TOS has mentioned it, I'd say my chances of downloading sometime in the next few weeks is low :).
Nick Tamm nick-k5@echorequest.net http://www.nicktamm.org
AtheOS | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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