Now not simplest are various editions of Model 6 UNIX, often identified as V6 for short, peaceful being maintained – nevertheless new ones continue to appear.
Model 6 UNIX arrived in 1975, and it was the first model of the brand new OS to gaze great widespread exercise outdoor of AT&T and a handful of research establishments. Or no longer it’s the OS documented within the famous “Lions guide” [PDF], more formally identified as A Commentary on the Sixth Edition Unix Operating Machine, and the starting place of perhaps the most famous source code remark of all time:
/* * You are not expected to understand this. */
(For those who accomplish no longer know the Lions guide, and want to gaze the source code subsequent to the commentary, there is a more interactive web-textual scream material model on GitHub.)
Perhaps surprisingly for such a stale system from the mid-Seventies, several various fashionable OSes derived from V6 are peaceful around and maintained today, mainly for students learning about operating system invent. So accomplish no longer win too inflamed suitable yet, OctoX is no longer some radical new OS. Or no longer it’s perhaps fairer to say it be a radical new implementation of a very old OS.
It springs from Xv6, which is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s project to modernize V6 for its Operating Machine Engineering course. The snag is that V6 itself was carried out for the DEC PDP-11, and in a pre-standardized model of C as well. After a few years, the boffins at MIT determined to rewrite V6 in ANSI C for fashionable x86 hardware, and the consequence was Xv6. Its source code is peaceful available, nevertheless the x86 model has been superseded by a more moderen model for RISC-V.
These days, despite its legions of fans, C is often deprecated as a methods programming language, at least for new methods – a behold described concisely by former Google researcher Cliff Biffle’s 2019 essay Favor Rust to C/C++ for new code.
A signal of its increasing maturity is that folks are finishing significant initiatives in it. A new example that impressed us is Andrea Bargi’s rjvm, which as the author’s detailed blog post explains, is a minute, toy OpenJDK 7 Java virtual machine, written totally in Rust.
Impressive as that is, operating methods are easier to understand and demonstrate. Another example Rust’s increasing suitability for ambitious initiatives is reimplementing Xv6 in Rust. One instance is rxv64, whose title is, in lawful Unix trend, a very terse self-description: it be xv6, reimplemented in Rust (thus the “r” on the foundation), targeting x86-64 (the “64” on the cease).
Nonetheless, as its GitHub statistics illustrate,
rxv64 isn’t a pure Rust project:
Enter OctoX, whose stats illustrate a degree of purity that excites a certain variety of geek:
We also grinned wryly at this pithy description from Hacker Information:
o8vm targets RISC-V, whereas rxv64 targets a legacy ISA.
As its author Hayato Ohhashi says: “This is a learning project for me, and I am going to no longer be accepting pull requests till I take inform of the implementation complete.” As a demonstration and a proof of idea, although, it seems to be to be very impressive, if no longer terribly practical – nevertheless practicality is no longer the goal here.
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Unix didn’t cease with V6, of course, it suitable appears to characterize a sweet status in dimension and complexity of OS invent for many folks, especially students. In 1979, V6 was adopted by V7, the first model of Unix that was designed to be portable to various machine architectures. V7 was the exclaim ancestor of Microsoft Xenix, and it also resulted in two various ports for DEC minicomputers: its PDP-11 model, V7M, later resulted in DEC Ultrix, and the VAX model, UNIX/32V, resulted in the BSD family.
When Caldera acquired the Unix source code, it opened the source of variations up to and in conjunction with V7. A modernized x86-32 model is Robert Nordier’s
For some, V7 was the classic model of Unix, and after that is when it became bloated and commercial. In academia, its descendants, which borrowed extensively from BSD, had been collectively identified as “Research Unix” and became start source relatively impartial lately.
The last model of Research Unix was V10. After that, the project moved on to Plan 9 from Bell Labs. That continues today within the form of 9front. Since we wrote about late 2022’s “the Golden Age of Ballooning”, the 9front builders have released a new model, “Don’t Contact the Artwork”. The Reg FOSS desk peaceful feels that 9front’s Plan 9 has a lot to teach the contemporary Linux and BSD world, and we recommend überhacker Drew DeVault’s essay In praise of Plan 9, which came a week after our gain article, for an perception into why. ®