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Introduction to 9front (9front.org)
86 points by xj9 on Oct 1, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

To those not in the know:

1. Plan 9 was led by Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, Dave Presotto and Phil Winterbottom, with support from Dennis Ritchie and released (closed source) by Bell Labs ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Labs ) in 1992. In 1996, AT&T decided to deprioritize it. Lucent open sourced it in 2000 and free sourced it in 2002. It was a process-based OS where each process had its own filesystem (called a namespace) where each process could share virtual files (via 9P, later 9P2000, protocol) in the other processes' file systems. Like Unix (and Linux), files could represent devices. UTF-8 was used everywhere (since Ken Thompson invented it). rc was the default shell, rio was the windows system, plumber allowed system-wide hyperlinking, and sam and acme were the text editors.

2. 9front is a fork of Plan 9.

3. If you refresh the linked page (the main page for 9front), it has a new picture. There are a lot. Some are really bizarre, like the man in the wheelchair in front of the elevator. Others like the shot from Jurassic Park are funny and wrong- "it was a Silicon Graphics workstation (using IRIX, the SGI System V based Unix) running a three dimensional file system browser." (not Plan 9 which was not Unix) http://movies.stackexchange.com/a/9746

I think you missed the most important contribution of 9front: theo(1). it's like fortune(1), but with quotes from deraadt :)

from their FAQ (named FQA, frequently questioned answers? not sure):

1.1 - What is 9front? Plan9front (or 9front) is a fork of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system. The project was started to remedy a perceived lack of devoted development resources inside Bell Labs,[citation needed] and has accumulated various fixes and improvements. This FQA specifically covers only the most recent release of 9front.

The code appears to be at https://code.9front.org/hg/plan9front/file/tip and can be cloned with

  hg clone https://code.9front.org/hg/plan9front/
There are about 30 contributors, the first commit is from 2011 and the last is from last week.

I know what Plan 9 is, but I have no idea what this website is about, what they're trying to say, who they are, etc.

The very first sentence on the page states:

"Plan9front (or 9front) is a fork of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system. The project was started to remedy a perceived lack of devoted development resources inside Bell Labs,[citation needed] and has accumulated various fixes and improvements."

What's so confusing about that?

They've changed it now, it's much better.

And clicking the link under About: just give you the source code. Perfect!

"the code is the documentation" /s

I don't know who does the manuals or the propaganda but they are always spot on. The Think About The Future release is using images from late 60s/early 70s Northern Ireland.

I really must put this on an old thinkpad just for the lutz.

Presumably if the front has fallen off, they've removed it from the environment.

Let's hope no cardboard was used in constructing this OS.

In all seriousness, I've been meaning to play around with 9front so maybe this weekend is the time I'll finally get around to it

We develop according to the highest of maritime standards.

I'd guess their web server is running plan9. Pretty clean headers, lovely.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Server: rc-httpd

Yes, it's running Plan 9, and the web server, rc-httpd, is written in rc, the Plan 9 shell.

TLDR: 9front is a fork of Plan 9.

Plan 9 was probably the finest operating system in the world.

Some say it was BeOS. Others say it was MS-DOS. Yet others, Oberon. Operating systems differ widely, and so do opinions. In my opinion, each and every one of them was a product of love, each served the purpose it was designed for, and each deserves to live forever - if only in our hearts (and VMs).

Still the finest.

A fork in the finest operating system in the world? Is there discord in paradise?

Maybe you could find out from the website, but I gave up.

You could, like in the first paragraph of the link.

Now we can.

AKA Plan 9 for sociopaths.

The site seems to portray it like TempleOS meets 4chan.

If only I could get it to drive one of my three NICs...

Then the only remaining concern would be running JavaScript. mothra is nice but god-browsers are teh standard now.

I have always seen playing with boot.ini and aux/vga easier than messing with xorg.conf. Switching from something keyboard-driven like i3 or dwm, rio would cause some upset but it does not take much time getting used to- come on, you just click and drag. I also find acme a lot more convenient than vim or emacs and regularly use it on Linux via plan9port.

Yeah driver support is lacking. We have support for some Intel NICs and some Intel wifi. Basically we only have drivers for stuff we use. If you have the time it would be great if you could write a driver for your hardware. :) On the javascriptlessness: we're not big fans and have better things to do so we don't support it. And honestly you get used to being without it.

Thanks for the link but I still don't understand the significance of this post. It seems to be a complaint about somebody else's complaint. Isn't that fairly common in open source software?

This needs a NSFW because on the first try I was welcomed by a picture of a Asian child apparently sleeping in a small room full of random objects while using several Anime porn books as his blanket. I had no idea what this website was about until I saw the Plan9 logo at the bottom and decided to reload the page to find a different picture, this time of a nuclear explosion. In fact, after every reload the image changes to something usually more cryptic than the last one. Here [1] you can see all the pictures used in the front page.

[1] http://9front.org/img/

Looks like that's just someone's 4chan folder.

It is

Thx for the link. The political incorrectness of some of the images is hilarious.

So I looked at the /img directory and found this: http://9front.org/img/9cat.gif


"Osteopathic Plan 9 development" http://9front.org/img/1334596476.png

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