Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Plan 9 from Bell Labs

Plan 9 began in the late 1980’s as an attempt to have it both ways: to build a system that was centrally administered and cost-effective using cheap modern microcomputers as its computing elements. The idea was to build a time-sharing system out of workstations, but in a novel way. Different computers would handle different tasks: small, cheap machines in people’s offices would serve as terminals providing access to large, central, shared resources such as computing servers and file servers. For the central machines, the coming wave of shared-memory multiprocessors seemed obvious candidates. The philosophy is much like that of the Cambridge Distributed System [NeHe82]. The early catch phrase was to build a UNIX out of a lot of little systems, not a system out of a lot of little UNIXes.

Full info and download here.

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