LispOS directly on hardware or on Unix kernel?

Alaric B. Williams
Fri, 2 May 1997 18:13:09 +0000

> Most of the "Unix" utilities are pretty useless, IMHO. I'd like
> to get rid of Unix as much as possible. It is basically
> a model of how one should not do it. 

> >the apps I want. LispOS will be in a worse situation. Let's keep the
> >ability to run UNIX and X programs.
> I don't need that. If I want to run Unix, I can use one
> of our Slowlaris machines.

There are two subcamps here; those who want UNIX as well, and those
who want to take their UNIX disks outside and burn them once we
get LispOS/SilkOS (nice name!)/whatever up.

Ok, here's how I'd please both camps... a good microkernel
can support many OS "servers" underneath it, at least in
theory, right? As in, we might have UNIX address spaces, LispOS
address spaces, etc. each managed by different monitors.

So why not start with the Flux toolkit, keeping our system modular
enough for this. The rest of Linux can be rearranged a bit to fit
in as another monitor - which is OPTIONAL! Or I remember hearing
that Linux now supports Java bytecodes "natively". How about extending
it to support SilkVM bytecodes "natively" with an in-or-near-kernel
native code compiler? This isn't so nice IMHO since you're
then still surrounded by UNIXy filers, UNIXy paradigms...

I'd prefer LispOS to have a Linux kernel emulator, basically
snarfed Linux kernel sources with modifications to make them
cooperate with other users of GDT entries and the linear
address space. The Linux file system could be made visible
in the LispOS environment thanks to a virtual-object-proxy
scheme like I ranted about in some other email about file

> I would like a machine without
> the baggage of technology that was outdated ten or even
> twenty years ago. I mean, put a SmallTalk or a Lisp Machine
> side by side with a Unix-system. This is real tragic. Something
> most have been going wrong in a big way.

> Rainer Joswig, Lavielle EDV Systemberatung GmbH & Co, Lotharstrasse 2b, D22041

Alaric B. Williams (

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