Wednesday, February 21, 2007

X11R7.2 Released community released the latest version of X window system supporting right from Linux, BSD, Solaris, GNU Hurd and Microsoft Windows on last February 15, 2007 with a view of stability and bugfixes.
By the release of this third modular version, X window system i.e. X11R7.2 is now equipped with several improved features such as autoconfiguration heuristiecs, increased support for the openGL based desktop managers such as Beryl ( and Compiz ( with enhanced XACE security policy framework.

This opensource graphical server can be downloaded freely from

Monday, February 19, 2007

Plan 9, Back to the Seventies!

Back to Seventies?! well, as the title suggests, Plan 9's evolution should be considered to be back in the era of early seventies when geeky research and development associates were engaged in implementing The UNIX and C at the Bell Labs. Yes, Plan 9 has initially been developed by Ken Thompson, Rob Pike, Dave Presotto, and Phil Winterbottom at the Bell Labs in 1980s, and later on by the many other associates.

Plan 9, is currently in 4th release since 1992 must not be considered as a yet another UNIX or Linux clone. It's a completely different operating system written right from the scratch for the purpose of research and development.

However, it should not be considered to be limited to academic and research purposes only. Vita Nuova present exclusively distributes and provides training and support for the Plan 9.

To directly boot from the hard disk, Plan 9 should be installed on a primary partition, otherwise for a floppy boot it can be accommodated in a secondary one.

So, Plan 9 is must for every OS lover who really wants something else than the routines!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Introduction to MINIX 3

MINIX 3 is the youngest member i.e. a latest release of MINIX -- the operating system family written right from scratch initially by Prof.Andrew Tannenbaum (ast) and now maintained by the associates of Vrije University ( at the Netherlands.

Initial versions i.e. MINIX 1 and 2 were more specific for academic purposes. But this latest release can seriously be considered as an alternative operating system for adoption where there are scarce financial as well as system resources.

The most important feature that makes this operating system to be more effective for older/slower/embeded machines over other operating systems is the Microkernel, that consist of only about 4000 lines of code in contrast to the other operating systems' kernels (Windows, Linux and Solaris) being packed with tonnes of lines of code. Furthermore, the device drivers in this operating system runs as an independent user level modules hence, whenever any device dirver fails to respond the reincarnation server restarts the process automatically which prevents the computer from hanging. Other advantages offering the high reliability to the MINIX 3 are such as but not limited to: prohibited device drivers' memory access, buffer overrun protection, protected I/O port access to drivers etc. It can even be installed on a 386/486/Pentium and above machines with as low as 16 MB of RAM and 70-80 MB of free diskspace. Hence, it also projected the operating system for MIT's 100$ laptop - one laptop per child project (

Being small in size and compatible for a smaller/older hardware doesn't mean that the system is not feature rich! The POSIX standard compliant operating system comes with about 400 programs with which all the UNIX/Linux geeks are familier.

Last but not the least the OS is open source, freely distributed under BSD style license and community developed, hence it is a smarter choice for anyone who wants something else than Windows "and" Linux.
This OS can be downloaded from

-- Xitij Shukla
SRK College of Management and Computer Education, Bhuj, INDIA
Special thanks to

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