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Old 09-17-2009, 01:03 AM   #1
prushik
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Obscure OS's


Windows is terrible, the most common way to avoid that is to switch to Mac (*shudder*) or of course Linux.
There is no denying that Linux is an awesome OS. BSD is excellent too. But unknown to many of us, these aren't the only ones out there.
So, is Linux or BSD or Mac (*shudder*) really the best option?

Here is a list of other *NIX's and OS's that may not be known to you. Tell me your opinions on them, have you used them? Did you like them?

Unix:
Mac (it is a certified unix)
Solaris

Unix-likes:
Linux
BSD
Haiku / BeOS
Plan 9 from Bell Labs
Inferno
Darwin (actually, this may be a Unix)
HURD
Minix
L4

Non-Unix: (sorry, I know its off topic)
ReactOS
Windows
Singularity


I'll give a brief overview of my opinions:
-Mac blows.
-Solaris is not bad, but its applications are limited.
-Linux I love, but it has its flaws.
-BSD is very nice, its mostly the same as linux.
-Haiku looks pretty nice, haven't used it much.
-Plan 9 I love, its fast and small and has its own GUI. It is, however, under-developed, it needs more people writing software for it.
-Darwin is very nice, the kernel is small and fast. Fully boots in under 10 seconds for me, however, its kernel is hard to compile and software its hard to set up. With effort, it could be a great alternative OS.
-HURD is interesting, but memory is limited to 512 and it is very bloated already, but its interesting because of its creators.
-Minix, Linux was developed on a Minix box. Haven't tried it yet.
-L4, I have heard its good, never tried it though. Not obscure enough for me.
-ReactOS is binary compatible with Windows! and its free! I like it. But price isn't the only problem with Windows.
-Windows, I'm sure you all know about that one. Its not obscure.
-Singularity is made my Microsoft and is written in C# (which is a terrible language) its claim to fame is its stability. Never could get it to install or boot from the CD.

So, did I miss any? What does the community think?

Last edited by prushik; 10-08-2009 at 12:50 AM. Reason: One tiny typo. Somebody resurrected this thread, so I'm not bumping
 
Old 09-17-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
Mark7
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If you're talking about OSes that are still being developed then there's always RISC OS which, as far as I know, isn't a Unix or Unixlike.

That's pretty obscure outside Western Europe and the Antipodes.
 
Old 09-17-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
brianL
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I've tried Minix and Haiku briefly (so far), Minix with Qemu, Haiku with VirtualBox.
 
Old 09-18-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
prushik
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I've heard of RISC OS before. I didn't put it on the list because I can't try it out, its not for x86. I do have an ARM box, but it looks like RISC needs some pretty specific hardware.
 
Old 09-18-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
michaelk
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Just a couple... Currently available according to the wiki ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...rating_systems
 
Old 09-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
choogendyk
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Just a quick comment on the OP. You've listed Darwin under Unix-likes and said "actually, this may be a Unix". You've listed Mac under Unix and said "it is certified unix" (And "Mac blows" vs "Darwin is very nice"). In fact, Darwin is the open source underlying the Mac OS. It is the source of the Mac being "certified unix".

There is also the relationship between OpenSolaris and Solaris 10. The open source basis of those feeds into OpenSolaris releases on a more frequent cyle and finds its way into Solaris 10 after more extensive testing. There are some Linux distributions that work in similar fashions.

BeOS? That's still around? Interesting. Like NeXTstep, it was started by an Apple Exec who left Apple. When Apple was determined to remake its OS, those two were competing to be Apple's savior. Apple decided on NeXTstep, and the core of that became Darwin, with the face being ripped off and completely rewritten to be the Mac OS.

If you like the Mach Kernel, MkLinux is also based on it. Interestingly, Tru64 Unix (formerly Digital Unix) is also based on the Mach Kernel. I used to manage some DEC Alpha Servers, but that was a while back.

Personally, I'm less into tinkering for tinkering's sake and am generally focused on getting work done. So, I tend to use those OS's that serve that purpose for me. My departmental servers are Solaris 10 (some 9 still around), with consistent use of features like ZFS and it's snapshots, Live Update, SMF and much more. My desktops, both at home and at work, are Mac OS X. No muss. No fuss. Just works. Historically, we had used OpenBSD for our firewalls and filtering bridges. Secure and to the point. At the time we adopted that strategy, Linux was regularly and commonly getting hacked. You couldn't get as far as getting the updates online before getting hacked. Since then, Linux has improved a lot. We are now adopting Ubuntu and iptables for our firewalls and filtering bridges. Part of that is just because we have more sysadmins now who are familiar and adept with Linux. I won't touch Windows. We have one mercenary who takes care of faculty who choose to run Windows. He has more work and pain from fewer systems compared to what the rest of us experience. They are also the only place where we have trouble with compromised systems, even though there are fewer and they are on a private network.
 
Old 09-19-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
Just a quick comment on the OP. You've listed Darwin under Unix-likes and said "actually, this may be a Unix". You've listed Mac under Unix and said "it is certified unix" (And "Mac blows" vs "Darwin is very nice"). In fact, Darwin is the open source underlying the Mac OS. It is the source of the Mac being "certified unix".
The OS X Kernel (xnu) is a very good kernel. The problem with Mac OS X is that its all about looking pretty and not performance. I know that Darwin is a stripped down open-source version of OS X, its just the kernel and the absolute minimal user space. Thats why I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
There is also the relationship between OpenSolaris and Solaris 10. The open source basis of those feeds into OpenSolaris releases on a more frequent cyle and finds its way into Solaris 10 after more extensive testing. There are some Linux distributions that work in similar fashions.
Right. OpenSolaris and Solaris are so similar I didn't feel it was necessary to mention both of them.
Mac OS X and Darwin are vastly different, although Darwin is the base for Mac OS X, there is no denying the differences. OS X is all about graphics, Darwin doesn't even have a GUI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
BeOS? That's still around? Interesting. Like NeXTstep, it was started by an Apple Exec who left Apple. When Apple was determined to remake its OS, those two were competing to be Apple's savior. Apple decided on NeXTstep, and the core of that became Darwin, with the face being ripped off and completely rewritten to be the Mac OS.
BeOS is pretty much gone. However, there is still a relatively large group of people still using it. Also, Haiku is an open source recreation of BeOS, and Haiku is still being updated, so in a way, BeOS is still around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
If you like the Mach Kernel, MkLinux is also based on it. Interestingly, Tru64 Unix (formerly Digital Unix) is also based on the Mach Kernel. I used to manage some DEC Alpha Servers, but that was a while back.
Mach, by itself is pretty bad actually. GNU HURD runs on pure Mach, and its pretty bad. Although xnu is based on Mach, it works quite differently. Mach is a microkernel, and xnu is a hybrid-kernel (some people consider it to be monolithic).

Tru64 Unix and MkLinux both sound interesting, however it doesn't appear that they are available on x86 platforms. and if MkLinux is based on Mach, how is it linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
Personally, I'm less into tinkering for tinkering's sake and am generally focused on getting work done. So, I tend to use those OS's that serve that purpose for me. My departmental servers are Solaris 10 (some 9 still around), with consistent use of features like ZFS and it's snapshots, Live Update, SMF and much more. My desktops, both at home and at work, are Mac OS X. No muss. No fuss. Just works. Historically, we had used OpenBSD for our firewalls and filtering bridges. Secure and to the point. At the time we adopted that strategy, Linux was regularly and commonly getting hacked. You couldn't get as far as getting the updates online before getting hacked. Since then, Linux has improved a lot. We are now adopting Ubuntu and iptables for our firewalls and filtering bridges. Part of that is just because we have more sysadmins now who are familiar and adept with Linux. I won't touch Windows. We have one mercenary who takes care of faculty who choose to run Windows. He has more work and pain from fewer systems compared to what the rest of us experience. They are also the only place where we have trouble with compromised systems, even though there are fewer and they are on a private network.
I'm more into getting work done too, which is why I use linux mainly and windows 7 for my software development (because the people who will use it don't understand linux). but I love to mess around with other OS's I would love to be able to get Darwin or Plan 9 to the point where it is as usable as linux, then I will switch.
Until then, I will stick with linux for the most part. I'll never touch a Mac again.
 
Old 09-19-2009, 06:33 PM   #8
choogendyk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prushik View Post
Tru64 Unix and MkLinux both sound interesting, however it doesn't appear that they are available on x86 platforms. and if MkLinux is based on Mach, how is it linux?
http://www.mklinux.org/getting_started/ -- "Versions of MkLinux run on the Intel, PA-RISC, and PowerPC architectures", click on their FAQ-O-Matic to see what they say about the Mach Kernel and GNU/Linux.
 
Old 09-19-2009, 08:27 PM   #9
smeezekitty
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ReactOS is awesome but needs some work
it actually runs some windows programs
without all the windows s-it
 
Old 09-19-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
choogendyk
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I was doing a bit of reading around looking for some things and came upon this - http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html - which is an interesting read, written by Richard Stallman. It probably clarifies some of the things that have been talked about in this thread.

Taking off from there, http://www.nexenta.org/os -- this project has taken the ubuntu distribution and replaced the linux kernel with the Solaris kernel. So, now, it appears you can get the GNU operating system on the Linux kernel (GNU/Linux), on the BSD kernel (GNU/kFreeBSD or GNU/kOpenBSD or MkLinux), or on the Solaris Kernel. Or you can take the Solaris OS on the Solaris Kernel (OpenSolaris). Or you can take the BSD OS on the BSD Kernel . . . and so on.
 
Old 09-20-2009, 01:27 AM   #11
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
I was doing a bit of reading around looking for some things and came upon this - http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html - which is an interesting read, written by Richard Stallman. It probably clarifies some of the things that have been talked about in this thread.

Taking off from there, http://www.nexenta.org/os -- this project has taken the ubuntu distribution and replaced the linux kernel with the Solaris kernel. So, now, it appears you can get the GNU operating system on the Linux kernel (GNU/Linux), on the BSD kernel (GNU/kFreeBSD or GNU/kOpenBSD or MkLinux), or on the Solaris Kernel. Or you can take the Solaris OS on the Solaris Kernel (OpenSolaris). Or you can take the BSD OS on the BSD Kernel . . . and so on.
Now that is very interesting. Mixing userspace and kernels is always interesting. I'm downloading the StormOS iso and the Nexenta iso now. As well as the MkLinux iso, although I'm still wondering if its a just a linux distro or whether it uses another kernel like you said.
I'm not an expert on the Solaris kernel and its differences from the linux kernel, but its interesting enough to play around with. There are a few other projects out there that are interesting:

- The GNU/Darwin project combines the Xnu kernel with GNU userspace. I haven't used it yet for two reasons: 1. I like to start out with things in the purest form, so I downloaded Darwin from Apple's website instead. and 2. because the GNU/Darwin project's website is so incredibly poor that I can't find a place to download the iso. Although the website claims that it is available, the download page says "Coming soon". If anyone can find it, send me a link.
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

- The Glendix project is an attempt to modify the Linux kernel to run Plan 9 executables, and remove the GNU userspace and replace it with the Plan 9 userspace. They claim it has been partially successful, however, I compiled and booted the Glendix kernel (this was awhile ago), and installed the Plan 9 executable, and it tried to run them, but crashed every time I tried. If they have made any progress I will try again.
http://www.glendix.org/

Now what would really be interesting to see, a GNU system on top of the windows kernel, although, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to distribute.
 
Old 09-20-2009, 01:33 AM   #12
prushik
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I did manage to find a place to download GNU/Darwin on SourceForge. Here's the link: http://gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net/downloads/cd.php
 
Old 10-07-2009, 02:14 AM   #13
synss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prushik View Post
Mac OS X and Darwin are vastly different, although Darwin is the base for Mac OS X, there is no denying the differences. OS X is all about graphics, Darwin doesn't even have a GUI.
You apparently have something against OS X, which you may want to develop. But I disagree here with you that OS X is not about performance, especially when Apple just released an OS upgrade which is just about performance.

Let me just add that
  • Apple has developed the open source Webkit, based on KDE's Khtml, which is the fastest HTML renderer I know, even though Gecko is improving (but it is improving thanks to the competition Webkit created).
  • dtrace adapted from Solaris, free as well, which is a tool linux still needed the last time I checked. A tool that can be used by developers for better and easier debugging. It can help to find bottlenecks and thus largely improve performance. And it works as well with interpreted languages.
  • Snow Leopard includes tools allowing developers to use multithreading with ease, as incredible as it sounds.
  • Apple can also be credited for supporting GCC and LLVM, also performance-related, LLVM with its non-static compilation can, in theory, do better code optimization than the standard GCC.
  • Grand Central, to use the GPU for non graphic operations.
  • etc.

I am not saying that OS X is flawless, their ever messier patching of their poor filesystem is not nice, especially when Apple has been working on zfs for a long time. And it is sure that if, for some reason, you get tired of the look of the interface, you are out of luck. Etc.

But you cannot seriously say that Apple does not care about performance. And all of the technologies they develop are free.
 
Old 10-08-2009, 12:47 AM   #14
prushik
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First off, this is not a OS X debate thread. It seems all my threads turn into this... Funny how I can bash windows and nobody even tries to defend it, but if I even mention Mac, even though its been such a long time since this thread was active, somebody has to argue that OS X isn't as bad as I say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
You apparently have something against OS X, which you may want to develop. But I disagree here with you that OS X is not about performance, especially when Apple just released an OS upgrade which is just about performance.
Yes, I do. I wouldn't if people weren't so obsessive. Don't say they aren't, that post is just further proof. Don't call me obsessive, because I admit it, I am, but its a counter-obsession.
Ok, they released a performance upgrade. Big deal. Doesn't mean their OS is good, it just means they upgraded it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
Let me just add that[*]Apple has developed the open source Webkit, based on KDE's Khtml, which is the fastest HTML renderer I know, even though Gecko is improving (but it is improving thanks to the competition Webkit created).
Alright, well thats good. Nothing bad to say about that, but it doesn't have much to do with OS X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
[*]dtrace adapted from Solaris, free as well, which is a tool linux still needed the last time I checked. A tool that can be used by developers for better and easier debugging. It can help to find bottlenecks and thus largely improve performance.
Alright. Sun makes Solaris. I have never been a fan of Sun software, besides OpenOffice, but its ok (except for java). Sun hardware was very good though, I'm glad they will be working on that more in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
And it works as well with interpreted languages.
Interpreted means poor performance. That's like the definition. Parsing takes a lot of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
[*]Snow Leopard includes tools allowing developers to use multithreading with ease, as incredible as it sounds.
I've never been challenged by linux threads or windows threads. Both took about 5 minutes of research to get working. So, no, sorry... I don't mean to be a *****, but I'm not impressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
[*]Apple can also be credited for supporting GCC and LLVM, also performance-related, LLVM with its non-static compilation can, in theory, do better code optimization than the standard GCC.
Well, GCC has never been the most efficient, but considering its other advantages, but it blows away commercial compilers, and it can do pretty much anything. But I wouldn't call supporting GCC "performance related". I'll look into LLVM. You have my word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synss View Post
[*]Grand Central, to use the GPU for non graphic operations.[*]etc.

I am not saying that OS X is flawless, their ever messier patching of their poor filesystem is not nice, especially when Apple has been working on zfs for a long time. And it is sure that if, for some reason, you get tired of the look of the interface, you are out of luck. Etc.

But you cannot seriously say that Apple does not care about performance. And all of the technologies they develop are free.
I don't say that they don't care. They just don't care very much. Pretty graphics are much higher on their priority list.
And by the way. Many of the things they develop are free. That's why its such a horrible sin to charge so much for the OS. OS X is expensive, but the majority of the software is free anyway.
I'm not saying that Apple is incapable of developing good software, as I said, I like Darwin. Just that OS X really is not good, and on top of that the price is appalling.

I don't like Mac. Get over it.







Now lets get back to discussing Obscure OS's. That's why I started this thread.

Has anyone tried any new OS's as a result of this thread?

There's another interesting project (although not too obscure), anyone here like Gentoo? If you do, look up the Gentoo/Alt project. They are working to port Gentoo and Portage to other OS's like FreeBSD, NetBSD, and yes, even OS X (although I think they are having legal trouble with that).
 
Old 10-08-2009, 06:52 AM   #15
choogendyk
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Quote:
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And by the way. Many of the things they develop are free. That's why its such a horrible sin to charge so much for the OS. OS X is expensive, but the majority of the software is free anyway.
You said that before. I gave you a link to the Apple site where Snow Leopard is offered for $29. Expensive? I really don't get your logic, unless it's just that you have ideas stuck in your head and can't be deterred by facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prushik View Post
I don't like Mac. Get over it.
Each to his own. Shrug. No big deal.

Cool. You're posting from ubuntu now.
 
  


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