Greetings / Project Goals - Minix

This is a discussion on Greetings / Project Goals - Minix ; Hello, I'm new to this list and I just wanted to say hello. I do have a non- technical question: Where do you see Minix 3 in 10 years? Is it your goal that it might become a general audience ...

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  1. Greetings / Project Goals

    Hello,

    I'm new to this list and I just wanted to say hello. I do have a non-
    technical question: Where do you see Minix 3 in 10 years? Is it your
    goal that it might become a general audience operating system that non-
    technical people can use (like Ubuntu or MEPIS)?

    For example, Gentoo, Arch Linux and the BSDs have no intention of ever
    catering to non-technical users. That's just not what they are about.
    If you want an OS for grandma you give her Ubuntu or similar.

    The reason I ask is because I would be very excited if there was a
    general audience highly-reliable and secure OS. I remember that Andrew
    Tanenbaum said somewhere that there is no good reason why a computer
    should be less reliable than a television. A TV doesn't need a reset
    button or security patches, why should a computer? I agree completely
    and so I thought maybe this is his goal for Minix 3.

    Thank you for your time.

    Daniel.

  2. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Daniel Carrera wrote:
    > Hello,


    > I'm new to this list and I just wanted to say hello. I do have a non-
    > technical question: Where do you see Minix 3 in 10 years? Is it your
    > goal that it might become a general audience operating system that non-
    > technical people can use (like Ubuntu or MEPIS)?


    > For example, Gentoo, Arch Linux and the BSDs have no intention of ever
    > catering to non-technical users. That's just not what they are about.
    > If you want an OS for grandma you give her Ubuntu or similar.


    Gentoo, Arch Linux and Ubuntu aren't really separate operating systems,
    they're distributions, i.e. differently configured instances of the same
    product. The reason Ubunut is for your grandma and Gentoo isn't is that
    Ubuntu is chock full of software that tries to detect what your computer
    can do and just get it to work and it comes with a boatload of application
    software for the casual user. Gentoo is aimed at the user with a certain
    level of technical expertise that demands control over his computer.

    MINIX could certainly go a similar path, once its user base expands. The
    modular design is perfectly suited to providing different configurations
    of the system to meet differing demands. It should even be possible to
    replace the networking stack on a running MINIX system, e.g. to switch
    from a silent, auto-configured and firewalled stack (casual user mode) to
    a diagnosis stack that's fully promiscuous and dumps all traffic (expoert
    mode). Whether or not this will happen kind of depends on the amount of
    support from the internet community MINIX can get in the future.

    Regards,

    Jens

    --
    Jens de Smit
    Student Computer Science | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    jfdsmit@few.vu.nl | http://www.few.vu.nl/~jfdsmit
    "[In the end, people] get furious at IT that the goddamn magic isn't working"
    -- Stewart Dean

  3. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    I am not aware of whether anything other than the Minix file system is
    available for a fresh Minix installation. I had three power failures
    here (China) the day I was installing it. Each time, the filesystem
    got nicked. I elected to start over each time. It would be good to
    have a journaling filesystsem for the sake of robustness. I imagine
    it is being worked on by somebody, as robustness is a priority with
    Minix. I am doing my project (a window manager) on top of Linux for
    now, because I don't want to lose everything whenever some yahoo
    decides to turn the power off. But for the long run, I hope to be
    able to take advantage of Minix's microkernel.

  4. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 26, 9:14*am, "J.F. de Smit" wrote:
    > Gentoo, Arch Linux and Ubuntu aren't really separate operating
    > systems, they're distributions,


    I know. But I still think that they are good examples. Woud you have
    been happier if I had asked if Minix is ever going to be like Windows
    or Mac OS X? I think that would have given you the wrong impression
    and you probably would have thought that I am an idiot who just
    dropped in from OS news to complain that Minix is not ready for the
    desktop.


    > The reason Ubunut is for your grandma and Gentoo isn't is that
    > Ubuntu is chock full of software that tries to detect what your
    > computer can do and just get it to work and it comes with a boatload
    > of application software for the casual user. Gentoo is aimed at the
    > user with a certain level of technical expertise


    I know. That's why I thought that they were good examples. In which of
    the two directions do you see your own project going?


    > MINIX could certainly go a similar path, once its user base expands.
    > The modular design is perfectly suited to providing different
    > configurations of the system to meet differing demands.


    So you also see MINIX getting a multitude of very different
    distributions - like Linux and unlike FreeBSD for instance. Ok. I have
    both good and bad feelings about that. Choice is great, but I don't
    like the incompatibilities of Linux distributions. Package managers,
    filesystem layout, library versions, etc. It makes it hard for 3rd
    party vendors to target Linux. Somehow this doesn't seem to happen
    much with the BSDs.

    Daniel.

  5. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Daniel Carrera wrote:
    >> The reason Ubunut is for your grandma and Gentoo isn't is that
    >> Ubuntu is chock full of software that tries to detect what your
    >> computer can do and just get it to work and it comes with a boatload
    >> of application software for the casual user. Gentoo is aimed at the
    >> user with a certain level of technical expertise


    > I know. That's why I thought that they were good examples. In which of
    > the two directions do you see your own project going?


    It's not "my" project, I'm just an enthusiast who visits the newsgroup. At
    the moment, the direction for Minix (the way _I_ see it) is still rather
    simple: extend its functionality without breaking the core concept. At the
    moment, Minix is still suffering from a lack of features to be usable
    beyond some very specific application. We need stuff like more drivers,
    more file system support, better memory management and more applications.

    >> MINIX could certainly go a similar path, once its user base expands.
    >> The modular design is perfectly suited to providing different
    >> configurations of the system to meet differing demands.


    > So you also see MINIX getting a multitude of very different
    > distributions - like Linux and unlike FreeBSD for instance. Ok. I have
    > both good and bad feelings about that. Choice is great, but I don't
    > like the incompatibilities of Linux distributions. Package managers,
    > filesystem layout, library versions, etc. It makes it hard for 3rd
    > party vendors to target Linux. Somehow this doesn't seem to happen
    > much with the BSDs.


    I was more trying to say that it's a possibility rather than seeing it
    happen. As I said, MINIX is very customisable. Whether or not this will
    result in a multitude of distributions (or perhaps just one that you can
    tweak to your heart's desire) depends entirely on the amount of people
    involved. I don't know why FreeBSD does not have multiple distributions,
    but the root cause for why Linux has so many is (in my view) because
    there's so many people using it and having an opinion. This difference of
    opinion leads to people doing their own thing, this resulting in more and
    more distributions. Also, keep in mind, "because I can" is a very valid
    answer for most computer nerds if you ask them "why did you do that?".
    This attitude has also undoubtedly inspired at least a few distributions.

    Regards,

    Jens

    --
    Jens de Smit
    Student Computer Science | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    jfdsmit@few.vu.nl | http://www.few.vu.nl/~jfdsmit
    "[In the end, people] get furious at IT that the goddamn magic isn't working"
    -- Stewart Dean

  6. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 26, 11:48*am, "J.F. de Smit" wrote:
    > At the moment, Minix is still suffering from a lack of features to be usable
    > beyond some very specific application. We need stuff like more drivers,
    > more file system support, better memory management and more applications.


    And virtual memory... Without virtual memory it might be hard to get
    many GUI applications. I imagine that just runing XFCE and Firefox
    would be an issue.

    > I was more trying to say that it's a possibility rather than seeing it
    > happen. As I said, MINIX is very customisable. Whether or not this will
    > result in a multitude of distributions (or perhaps just one that you can
    > tweak to your heart's desire) depends entirely on the amount of people
    > involved.


    Ok. Thank you for your thoughts.

    Daniel.

  7. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 26, 11:12*pm, Jo鉶 Jer髇imo
    wrote:
    > I don't share your opinion. I think GNU/Linux has so many distributions
    > because the OS development is not centralized. IMHO Linux's model favours
    > appearance of multiple distributions.



    I was thinking something along those lines. For example, I understand
    that most of FreeBSD (kernel, init programs, libraries, user programs)
    all lie in the same source source repository. It's all produced by the
    same team, in the same server. With Linux you grab the kernel from one
    place, GNU from another, etc.

    I don't know enough about the BSDs to formulate a strong opinion. This
    is just a very general impression.

    Daniel.

  8. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    J.F. de Smit escreveu:

    > involved. I don't know why FreeBSD does not have multiple distributions,
    > but the root cause for why Linux has so many is (in my view) because
    > there's so many people using it and having an opinion.


    I don't share your opinion. I think GNU/Linux has so many distributions
    because the OS development is not centralized. IMHO Linux's model favours
    appearance of multiple distributions.

    > Also, keep in mind, "because I can" is a very valid
    > answer for most computer nerds if you ask them "why did you do that?".
    > This attitude has also undoubtedly inspired at least a few distributions.


    But of course! For most of the programs I have written/tried to write that
    is indeed the answer...

    --
    Jo茫o Jer贸nimo

    "Computer are composed of software, hardware, and other stuff terminated
    in "ware", like firmware, tupperware, (...)" - by JJ.

  9. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Daniel Carrera escreveu:

    > I was thinking something along those lines. For example, I understand
    > that most of FreeBSD (kernel, init programs, libraries, user programs)
    > all lie in the same source source repository. It's all produced by the
    > same team, in the same server. With Linux you grab the kernel from one
    > place, GNU from another, etc.
    >
    > I don't know enough about the BSDs to formulate a strong opinion. This
    > is just a very general impression.


    Nor me. I've used FreeBSD for some time, mostly as a learning experience,
    but not enough to become an expert.

    There's a text that summarizes some of the differences between FreeBSD and
    GNU/Linux.

    http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd...bsd4linux1.php

    FreeBSD is much more a Unixish classical group of nerds. They like to
    compile stuff in their own boxes and costumize the systems in their own
    way.
    I also liked the way they conciliate the performance benefits of local
    compilation with the rapidness of pre-build packages. That is something I
    would like to see in Linux. Unfortunately, stuff is being taken to extremes
    (Gentoo is great as a meta-distro for compiling the system locally, while
    Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora are great for using pre-compiled packages). I often
    like to compile the packages myself, but sometimes I'm in a hurry to get
    software installed. :-P

    --
    Jo茫o Jer贸nimo

    "Computer are composed of software, hardware, and other stuff terminated
    in "ware", like firmware, tupperware, (...)" - by JJ.

  10. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 02:41:09 +0100, Jo茫o Jer贸nimo wrote:



    > I also liked the way they conciliate the performance benefits of local
    > compilation with the rapidness of pre-build packages. That is something
    > I would like to see in Linux. Unfortunately, stuff is being taken to
    > extremes (Gentoo is great as a meta-distro for compiling the system
    > locally, while Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora are great for using pre-compiled
    > packages).


    Have you tried apt-build? It seems to be the middle ground you are
    looking for.


    Rui Maciel

  11. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 00:33:43 +0100, Jo茫o Jer贸nimo wrote:

    > Does it integrate locally built and pre-built packages in the same
    > database, and allows you to latter build a package that you installed in
    > binary form?


    If I'm not mistaken apt-build downloads the source package from the apt
    repositories, builds the source package, builds a .deb package and
    installs it as if it was a regular .deb package.

    Nonetheless, the process is a pain in the neck when compared with the
    regular sudo apt-get install.


    Rui Maciel

  12. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Rui Maciel escreveu:

    >> I also liked the way they conciliate the performance benefits of local
    >> compilation with the rapidness of pre-build packages. That is something
    >> I would like to see in Linux. Unfortunately, stuff is being taken to
    >> extremes (Gentoo is great as a meta-distro for compiling the system
    >> locally, while Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora are great for using pre-compiled
    >> packages).

    >
    > Have you tried apt-build? It seems to be the middle ground you are
    > looking for.


    Does it integrate locally built and pre-built packages in the same database,
    and allows you to latter build a package that you installed in binary form?

    --
    Jo茫o Jer贸nimo

    "Computer are composed of software, hardware, and other stuff terminated
    in "ware", like firmware, tupperware, (...)" - by JJ.

  13. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Rui Maciel escreveu:

    > If I'm not mistaken apt-build downloads the source package from the apt
    > repositories, builds the source package, builds a .deb package and
    > installs it as if it was a regular .deb package.
    >
    > Nonetheless, the process is a pain in the neck when compared with the
    > regular sudo apt-get install.


    :-)
    And does it have a Portage's USE equivalent?
    Debian-like and RPM-based distros are binary-centric, although they (also)
    support building from source.
    What I want is something this is very primarily designed for building from
    source, but also is fairly good when using pre-built packages.

    FreeBSD is very close to that, but it still has some problems. For example,
    sometimes updates are not handled so well as they are in Portage.

    On the other hand, Portage doesn't support binary packages very well...
    Gentoo's support for binary packages is limited to providing -bin ebuilds
    of heavy packages, like firefox or openoffice.

    --
    Jo茫o Jer贸nimo

    "Computer are composed of software, hardware, and other stuff terminated
    in "ware", like firmware, tupperware, (...)" - by JJ.

  14. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 28, 1:10*am, Rui Maciel wrote:
    > If I'm not mistaken apt-build downloads the source package from the apt
    > repositories, builds the source package, builds a .deb package and
    > installs it as if it was a regular .deb package.
    >
    > Nonetheless, the process is a pain in the neck when compared with the
    > regular sudo apt-get install.


    Are we having a discussion about possible package managers for Minix
    3?

    We could always make a wrapper around APT. For example, Fink from Mac
    OS X is based on APT, but most packages are compiled locally. You run
    "fink install foo" and the package is compiled. In the case of Minix,
    one could make the next incarnation of packman be a wrapper around apt-
    get and apt-build. For example:

    packman install foo # Installs foo as a binary.
    packman install foo --source # Uses apt-build to compile sources.

    Then we can probably find a way to get an equivalent to Getoo's "USE"
    if that's what people want.

    What do you think?

  15. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 28, 3:16*am, Jo鉶 Jer髇imo
    wrote:
    > Debian-like and RPM-based distros are binary-centric, although they (also)
    > support building from source.


    This is debatable. I use fink on Mac OS X and I think it is fairly
    source-centric even though it is based on APT. Debian may be binary-
    centric, but I think that's a choice of the distribution and may not
    be a limitation of APT. At least not if we allow ourselves to make a
    wrapper around it, just like fink is a wrapper around APT.

    Daniel.

  16. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 28, 1:10*am, Rui Maciel wrote:
    > Nonetheless, the process is a pain in the neck when compared with the
    > regular sudo apt-get install.


    Sorry to reply again to the same post. Are you sure apt-build is a
    pain? I've never used it, so I looked it up and it looks simple
    enough:

    http://polishlinux.org/linux/debian/...timize-debian/

    * apt-build update updates repo list,
    * apt-build upgrade updates operating system,
    * apt-build install program installs an application,
    * apt-build world recompiles whole system!

    On the topic of USE flags, one of the posters suggests editing /etc/
    make.conf instead.

    Daniel.

  17. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 28, 11:35*am, Daniel Carrera wrote:
    > packman install foo *# Installs foo as a binary.
    > packman install foo --source # Uses apt-build to compile sources.


    Here is a better idea: Replace "packamn install --sources" by "packman
    build". So the new packman would look like this:

    packman install foo # Same as "apt-get install"
    packman remove foo # Same as "apt-get remove"
    packman build foo # Wrapper around apt-build
    packman search foo # Wrapper around apt-cache

    For those who'd miss the current packman, we can make it so if you
    type "packman" you can find a list of packages to install, just like
    you can with the current packman. That list would be a wrapper around
    apt-cache.


    Just some ideas.

  18. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    Daniel Carrera wrote:
    > Are we having a discussion about possible package managers for Minix
    > 3?


    If so, how about porting pkgsrc from NetBSD?

    --
    Saludos,
    Angel

    O< ascii ribbon campaign - stop html mail and posts - www.asciiribbon.org

  19. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 28, 8:32*pm, Angel wrote:
    > If so, how about porting pkgsrc from NetBSD?


    Tell me if I'm wrong, but pkgsrc doesn't seem to do much to help you
    install sources. I can see it works fine for binaries:

    pkg_add openoffice2
    pkg_add kde-3.5.7
    pkg_delete -r jpeg
    pkg_info abiword


    But the way I read the documentation for source install, it essetially
    says to download the tar ball yoruself and then run make && make
    install. I don't see pkgsrc doing a lot here to help. Apt-build will
    download the sources, do dependency checks and then compile for you.

    Daniel.

  20. Re: Greetings / Project Goals

    On Aug 29, 10:36*pm, Jo鉶 Jer髇imo
    wrote:
    > > On the topic of USE flags, one of the posters suggests editing /etc/
    > > make.conf instead.

    >
    > This is not even half flexible than USE flags, that are applied by
    > the .ebuild and may include anything (like ./configure options, extra
    > patches, make arguments, extra dependencies, etc).


    That's quite a lot of power packed inside USE flags. I just scanned
    the Gentoo doc so I have an idea of what we're talking about. I think
    we can emulate some but not all of the features you say. For example,
    we could have a config file with the options:

    PM_OPT_CONFIGURE='--prefix=/usr/foo'
    PM_OPT_MAKE=''
    CFLAGS=''

    Then, when you run "packman build" it would run:

    ../configure $PM_OPT_CONFIGURE
    make $PM_OPT_MAKE

    You get the idea.

    But I don't see how we can add extra dependencies or patches or "use
    kde" without extending the .deb format. And I don't want to be
    extending any format, even if the format allows extension.

    Daniel.

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