Writing A full-blown OS - Minix

This is a discussion on Writing A full-blown OS - Minix ; I was actually thinking of creating a full-powered OS using Minix, mostly because I kind of know its ins and outs better than Linux, and it is simpler. However, every person I've asked has said that: ~ Minix isn't secure ...

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  1. Writing A full-blown OS

    I was actually thinking of creating a full-powered OS using Minix,
    mostly because I kind of know its ins and outs better than Linux, and it
    is simpler.

    However, every person I've asked has said that:

    ~ Minix isn't secure
    ~ It's not mature
    ~ and a lot of other stuff

    So, my question is, is this true?
    And if so, how come?

    Thanks, Andrew

    P.S. When I say i know it's ins and outs, I know how to use it and
    program for it. Not much beyond that.

  2. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    Schweet wrote:
    > I was actually thinking of creating a full-powered OS using Minix,
    > mostly because I kind of know its ins and outs better than Linux, and it
    > is simpler.
    >
    > However, every person I've asked has said that:
    >
    > ~ Minix isn't secure
    > ~ It's not mature
    > ~ and a lot of other stuff
    >
    > So, my question is, is this true?
    > And if so, how come?
    >
    > Thanks, Andrew
    >
    > P.S. When I say i know it's ins and outs, I know how to use it and
    > program for it. Not much beyond that.


    Although Minix has existed since the late 1980's, it's not mature for
    several reasons:

    In the early years, modifications had to be emailed about as megabyte
    diff's due to license restrictions. Most people, if they were really
    rich, have 500MB hard drives. Nothing bigger (cause they didn't exist so
    long ago). Intrest in Minix mostly died out in 1994.

    In 2000, the license was changed to the BSD license, and was
    retroactively applied to all versions, even thogh they still contained
    the old license within, which was then invalidated. People could now
    send fully modified distributions, not megabyte (or gigabyte) diffs.

    Problem was, no one was even left for Minix to write code for it...
    .... Until October 26, last year, then Minix 3 was released. We still
    don't have all the maturity we want (hell, we still use the original
    Unix binary file format, not ELF, nor do we have shared objects.), but
    it is stable, at least cause of it's microkernel design.

    It is probably not very secure due to the very limited amount of testing
    it has recieved. No one organization or person has done through security
    testing.

    I haven't used Minix 3 in a while, because it doesn't support the 3C905
    in my Dell. Maybe when it gets support for some ethernet cards and
    possibly virtual memory....

  3. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    >I was actually thinking of creating a full-powered OS using Minix,
    >mostly because I kind of know its ins and outs better than Linux, and it
    >is simpler.


    What do you mean by "full-powered OS".
    1) a viable desktop alternative: You have to port all X-Windows, Audio,
    Videosoftware and all device drivers. Not easy and unpossible for one
    person alone. Also, the memory management has to be redone. As far as I
    can see, Minix3 MM tries to load all active processes into segments
    that fit into the 4 GB space (is this true?) although it protects
    processes from each other.
    2) a server alternative: You have to do implement multiprocessor
    (symmetric multiprocessing) support and show that the performance is
    comparable.

    > ~ Minix isn't secure
    > ~ It's not mature
    > ~ and a lot of other stuff


    Minix is not a good starting point to create a new viable
    desktop/server OS. OpenBSD is most certainly better in already proven
    security, Linux and FreeBSD support many devices driver and the
    performance achieved minix will probably never reach unless many people
    jump into the bandwaggon and port software and drivers, implement a
    better memory management a.s.o. This effort ist better spent on
    improving already existing systems like *BSD or Linux.

    Minix may be good on creating reliable systems and is already very good
    at teaching OS theory and algorithms.

    Hubble.


  4. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    Hubble wrote:
    {snip}
    > Minix ... is already very good
    > at teaching OS theory and algorithms.


    And that's what it's for.

    --
    -- Marten Kemp
    (Fix name and ISP to reply)
    -=-=-
    .... Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only
    one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor
    -- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)
    * TagZilla 0.059 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org

  5. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    Hubble wrote:
    > What do you mean by "full-powered OS".
    > 1) a viable desktop alternative: You have to port all X-Windows, Audio,
    > Videosoftware and all device drivers. Not easy and unpossible for one
    > person alone. Also, the memory management has to be redone. As far as I
    > can see, Minix3 MM tries to load all active processes into segments
    > that fit into the 4 GB space (is this true?) although it protects
    > processes from each other.


    Yeah, thats what I figured on.
    I was going to wait till the framework for the Linux drivers came out,
    as well as X11..maybe get some people to help after showing I had the
    grits and ideas.

    Thanks, Schweet

  6. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    >I was going to wait till the framework for the Linux drivers came out,
    >as well as X11


    Minix including minix3 does not have paging, nor to date shared
    libraries. Linux and *BSD supply a private 3G address room for each
    process, whereas all running minix processes share the 4G address space
    of x86 processors.

    Without shared libraries and paging, when porting X11 you must first
    solve problems like big statically linked binaries competing for the
    address space and large load times. Statically linked X programs are
    biiiiig.

    Hubble.


  7. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    >> Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only
    one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor ...

    aww man -blushes-


  8. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    hussainak@gmail.com wrote:

    >>>Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only

    >
    > one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor ...
    >
    > aww man -blushes-


    Of course, the manufacturing reject rate is pretty high
    due to poor workmanship....

    --
    -- Marten Kemp
    (Fix name and ISP to reply)
    -=-=-
    .... Flight to Peru - 1000
    Camping gear - 200
    Native guide to take you into the mountains - 50
    Radiation detector to find mysteriously radioactive old tomb - 150
    Sledgehammer to break down stone door - 12.99
    Awakening one of the Great Old Ones - priceless.

    There are some things man was not meant to know.
    For everything else, there's Mastercard.
    --Chris Suslowicz on alt.sysadmin.recovery
    * TagZilla 0.059 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org

  9. Re: Writing A full-blown OS

    Marten Kemp wrote:
    >
    > hussainak@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    > >>>Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only

    > >
    > > one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor ...
    > >
    > > aww man -blushes-

    >
    > Of course, the manufacturing reject rate is pretty high
    > due to poor workmanship....


    Read http://www.is.svitonline.com/quas/index.html#decommun

    >
    > --
    > -- Marten Kemp
    > (Fix name and ISP to reply)
    > -=-=-
    > ... Flight to Peru - 1000
    > Camping gear - 200
    > Native guide to take you into the mountains - 50
    > Radiation detector to find mysteriously radioactive old tomb - 150
    > Sledgehammer to break down stone door - 12.99
    > Awakening one of the Great Old Ones - priceless.
    >
    > There are some things man was not meant to know.
    > For everything else, there's Mastercard.
    > --Chris Suslowicz on alt.sysadmin.recovery
    > * TagZilla 0.059 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org



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