Dec 082012

There’s not much I can say about this except that it’s tremendously impressive – if you’re a bit of a geek (like me). If you think computers are all about fancy-pants graphics and visual effects, this one might not be for you. ;)

Richard Miller demonstrated his recently finished Raspberry Pi port of the Plan 9 operating system at the Oxford Raspberry Jam in November 2012. I caught most of it on film.

Plan 9 is a very lightweight and powerful operating system that is written for software developers. I find it very impressive indeed. Hope you like it. At the end Richard recompiles the kernel in a little over a minute.

One of the things Richard said while I was not filming was that the hardest part was writing the USB driver.

Update 11/12/12

I had a go with Plan 9 on my Pi last night. It made me feel like a complete beginner again, which was kind of fun, but also kind of scary. I had to ask how to shut it down. :) fshalt

If you want to have a play with Plan 9 on your Pi, there’s a thread on the Pi forums about it here…

And a direct download link here…

Main Plan 9 page here…

  7 Responses to “Plan 9 operating system for the Raspberry Pi – demonstration by Richard Miller”

  1. i cant see me use this since i struggle big time in learning how to program.
    I can do simple tasks as following tutorials in python but i don’t understand how i can write a program while not having a tutorial to follow. Plan 9 seems like the perfect workbench or toolkit for a software developer like you say, not for an electrician like me. 8-)

    • If you hark back to the days of the BBC micro, I used to type in programs from magazines on a bare command line screen. They never worked first time (often not at all) because my juvenile mind couldn’t see the difference between zero and O and other such subtleties.

      Plan 9 is more advanced than that. Once you’ve learned a programming language, the fancy graphical interface gets in between you and your code.
      As Richard said, Plan 9 is “used by a bunch of eccentric software engineers”. He also said it’s been used on some supercomputers because it is so lean it doesn’t get in the way of the raw processing.

      I haven’t tried it out yet, but I plan to have a go at some point (pun intended). ;)

      Will need to get a three button mouse though (unless clicking the scroll wheel would do it?)

  2. A Haiku port on the Pi would be interesting !!!

  3. Hello.. Good day, Is it possible to run Proxy server (IPCOP) on Raspi, using PLAN9 OS…hmmm… this wasnt explained to us entirely. it was given a self study task. help please. thanks

  4. The link is dead for the plan9 image can anyone send it to me or I can provide a place to drop it and run my own mirror for a complete copy of the plan9 wiki if anyone has it. Really just want the arm image for the pi though atm.
    joeschuttrcg at gmail dot com

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