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I've looked around and not found very much on this subject on a google search. So here's what I think a network OS is. It's actually a distributed OS, so that your /usr files could be on a server in Sydney, using that server's idle process cycles to process commands, and your /home branch is on a server in Stockholm, using that server's processors. You connect to it using some kind of broadband line and it looks to you, like a normal OS only it's using many different processors located around the world.
I have 2 questions.
1. Is this a correct summary of what a network OS is? Do you have another definition?
2. Is Linux a network OS in it's present form? (I think it is.
That's about right, you can have a file server at Norht Pole, and you can seat somewhere near South Pole chilling with penguins, and up in the space you can have a dedicated satellite with your friend on board, two of you are using the North Pole fileserver with no problem, some conditions though must be met: all three of you have to run linux/UNIX/*BSD; the satellite service must be configured to run correctly, in addition to it you can run a webserver on your machine, and your friend up in the space could run firewall/router, just throw some more machines connected by ethernet/fiber/wireless/etc. and you can dominate the world with linux with one network and one OS - and here would be ultra Internet.
I've got different definition of network OS (maybe more modern one). "Network OS" is for me an OS that makes switching from local resources to remote ones transparent. Linux is evolving this direction, but it isn't there yet. I'm dreaming of having a possibility to have a symlink in my filesystem to webpages, for example. Impossible. ;(
I thought that being a network OS had more to do with origins than the future. Linux is a somewhat estranged offspring from Unix (in any of its various guises). Unix was used in large institutes and academia, where having files on one machine only accessable by that machine was wasteful - so you could access the files on a remote machine as if they were present locally (of course username permitting).
As for the future of Networked OSs...who can say?
Symlinking a webpage onto your local filesystem? I'm not sure about this (yet) but there has been work on ftpfs, so you could reasonably symlink to files held on a ftp server, so long as that server had been mounted already. Perhaps there is work on httpfs, but somehow I can't see this being an easy task.
Originally posted by Bert Of course, you can have desktop links to webpages, no problem.
I think your definition's the same Mara, as symlinks to remote files is the same as having remote directories.
I can have links on desktop. But I work usually on console. What I'd like to have are symlinks to different programming resources. Now I use aliases (lynx www.....), but it's not the best method I can think about. I'd like to have /home/mara/progs/sourceforge directory, for example - a symlink to sourceforge website (well, not only website...).
My definition is more on feelings, not the technical part. I mean, it's tachnicaly possible to do it, but I don't know such a solution.