SkyOS development is currently halted

Submitted by Robert Szeleney on Fri, 2009-01-30 20:41.

The speed at which new hardware and technology gets developed has increased dramatically in the last few years. Trying to catch up with development of frameworks, drivers, applications, test, etc. got way more complicated than years ago. At that time, you developed a standard IDE driver and SkyOS would boot on 99% of all computers. There was only one way interrupts got routed, devices could be accessed, etc. More important, there was just a single CPU, no hyperthreading, mulitcores, multi cpus, etc. (at least not for computers the usual home user owned). A GUI was easy, in contrast to today, where you must have a 3D accelerated GUI. If you don’t have one your OS is said to be old, out of date. You must have WIFI, USB, Bluetooth, etc.

Catching up with the development for all this is just not possible anymore, at least, not for one person or at least, not for me.
Currently, SkyOS development is on halt, and I’m trying to find a way to get out of this unpromising situation. At this moment I only see four resorts:

- Open source SkyOS
- Make SkyOS available for free
- Specialize on a yet to define niche
- Stop SkyOS development

Eventually, I have to admit that I underestimated the speed at which new technolgy develops and establishes. And, a while ago I was able to spend hours a day developing for SkyOS, for years. Recently, as my first baby was born this of course changed which made the entire developing situation even worse. Again I underestimated a few, personal, real life factors and their impact on developing.
I’m sorry if I dissapointed you, but I guess you favor me being honest about the current situation.

Anyway, I will do my best to find the best possible solution for SkyOS and its future.

News update (6th, apr 2009):
For the last weeks and as it looks like quite a few more weeks I'm in contact with a lot of people talking about their
ideas to continue SkyOS development. Unfortunately many people completely underestimate the amount of work required to manage a development team for SkyOS, either an open or closed source version, or completely lack vision and or motivation and or seriousness. Anyway, I'm still reading through my inbox hoping to get in contact with people with real motives and knowledge being able to bring SkyOS to the next level.

Open source it

My advice is to open source it, since it will be a contribution to the world, and I'm almost 100% sure that if you open source it, someone will develop it.

I believe that open sourcing it is almost as viable as creating a development team.

Whatever happens, never give up. Halt the development, but never give up on a great project as yours.

We've paid for SkyOS, so I

We've paid for SkyOS, so I feel like we deserve the continuation of the SkyOS project or a (partial) refund. My personal favorite is open-source SkyOS, but maybe allowing others to join the (until now, one-man) team is also an option.

i can solve your problem

hello my name is Taylor i am a inventor in a categories including software
i recently went to sci in Reno when i was there i met people from apple inc
laser shot inc and a few more so i showed off some of my technology
they were vary impressed with it i am new to the osdev thing and i knew i would have the same problems as you are having now i have some inventions to solve my problem and yours tell me if you interested
email here

Please, Don't open source the kernel or core.

Considering that apple kernel is BSD and it GUI is propitery. Maybe there is lesson there. What is the 1 Area that will make SkyOS amazing. What are your talents and what can you make amazing. At that point what is your talent can become propitery and consider what open source you like to interact with.

Open source SKYOS will not grow code base any faster in the long run. I beat that first year... everyone will be all rage. After that the group will fall apart and we are left in same boat we are today.

Netbook, worth a thought but why zig with everyone when you can zag. Select configuration and build from there. If that netbook, desktop, DIY laptop who cares.

Basically if you having good time you will find time. If it a drag, well we all lose. I like to see you keep going. Leave it closed. Keep building but reduce your compatibility. We are not looking for Microsoft part 2 here.


Dear Robert Szeleney

i understand your situation, and i also think that an operating system like skyos should not be released as open source without beeng permanently controlled by a few specialists.

I can make you an interesting offer,which i would like to explain to you with all details. It would be nice if you could provide me an e-mail adress, or an other possibillity to contact you.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon

Daniel Shafarenko

Understandable, sir. I've

Understandable, sir.

I've been tracking the progress of your operating system for a while now (since I read a blurb about it on many moons ago) saddens me to think the project could disappear entirely.

Of the options given, I would nix the niche approach and, obviously, stopping development completely. Going after a niche is going to be very difficult in this day and age, and stopping development entirely would amount to a huge waste of talent and effort.

Making your operating system available for free would allow for a greater number of users, and better publicity all around, but would initially do precious little to help out with development. It would take some time for word to get around, testers to get on board, more bug reports to come in, and possible corporate sponsorships to materialize. The up-side is that you will of course maintain full control of your baby (which is your prerogative and I respect you for that).

On the other hand, open-sourcing the project would allow a vast number of developers access to the code and thereby allow a much larger number of people to continue development should you opt out. Granted, they could very well muck up your work, but if you stay on in a leadership role, it could go a long way toward curbing some of that (as would careful choices regarding licensing).

SHOULD you open-source the project, I would echo the sentiments that the GPL and its derivatives would be a less-than-ideal choice. Go with an MIT or BSD license and keep yourself at the helm. There isn't much you can do if someone decides to spin off into a different project, but you can at least help to keep the original OS as close to your vision as possible.

Either of these could work out in the long run (and charging for support and additional software could still allow you to profit from it).

Just don't let it die, sir. You've spent far too much in currencies both legal tender and intangible to just put it on a shelf and go on down the road.


Open source is good for the world.


I think optimising SkyOS for the "netbook" market could be a viable way to go; they all have almost the same specs (Celeron or Atom CPUs, Intel GMA graphics), and SkyOS is (probably) lean enough to work quite well on them.

Why don't you approach Asus and MSI about it?


same hardware at this point due to lack of alternatives.

However that is already changing with via C7 netbooks, nvidia ion platform taking shape and even ARM based netbooks. So while that may look interesting at this point, it will be the same issue as with desktop hardware all over again.

If you didn't notice, this is one of the reasons development is halted at the moment.



Free & Open Source Sky OS for desktop computers (ONLY)!ONLY.
& reserved by author international law copyright for mobile computer market. Dual licensing (all versions of Sky OS on notebook & netbook computers must be licensed. Not for free).

Open Source only is no good choice.

Limited Hardware Architecture Support

Sorry for my English - I am from East Europe.
You may sell computers with single type of its hardware architecture, with your operating system preinstalled on it. And support only some sort of hardware devices. For example - video games consoles, notebooks, Macintosh computers, Pegasos computers and old home computers, like Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Commodore64, Amiga, SAM Coupe, Timex, Oric, MSX have limited list of supported devices.

You may supply computers with two preinstalled OS's - your OS and some sort of Linux distributive, or you may migrate to PPC computer market. No matter that your OS will not work on another computer by another manufacturer.

I may be able to help

Robert in 1982 I was were you are now. I feel your pain. needless to say that building a multilateral OS with the current bells and whistles is a daunting task without help. I am working on something right now and if it works I may be in a position to help.
Open sourcing the technology will not ensure any new growth of your vision will happen, and as one of the originators of the linux revolution. "1992" I found that most of the linux development went sideways on the OS development side in liu of application driven processes.
My Name is Brent H. Dyke and I would like to help if I can, but I have my own agenda for such a powerful OS and the education of K-12 kids on a safe network. If you want you can email me.

Fully agree with Brent. Robert I CAN feel your pain.

Dear Robert

I can feel your pain, I just came across your website in the search of a steady, growing operating system which really can be an alternate to the Windows OS.

I too have found that Linux is really a great. But I fully agree with what Brent has said.

Unfortunately there are toooo many Linux based OS now. But....

I have been with computers since 1993(just 24years after my birth). But unfortunately here in India earning bread n butter is more (much much more) important than any new innovation. So I could only concentrate on foxbase and clipper programming and have become outdated. I have learned .NET but really could not do it well. Anyway. Sorry for getting distracted.

Don't lose hope. Whatever you have done is just great. It must have given you satisfaction at that time. You see we humans have certain limits set by that Almighty. So whatever achievements we have are the joyous moments in our life. You are lucky you could make Sky OS happen.

I wish if I could get my dreams of becoming a very good C programmer, understand the in and out of the Linux I will certainly try my best to contribute to your work.

I will suggest you that slowly and steadily you keep on updating/ upgrading SkyOS. Don't worry about the fast growing hardware changes. They will. But there will never be a day on earth such as "if am having DDR2 RAM with 800 speed today and tomorrow something with 1333 speed comes; I will throw away my 800 and grab 1333." No people are no fools to change things like this. So you have, really have enough time to escalate your SkyOS. One more thing. Share it with Other quality developers. And you be at a supreme position to decide what to adopt and what to drop. See things will again take boost.

All the best to you.
From your faithfully(awaiting friend);
rajesh DOT sali AT gmail DOT com
+91 9209203696


what is your thing that can help sky os


faster development = open source code

Open it up!

Congratulations on becoming a daddy. :-)

I paid my dues and joined the beta test. I vote that you should release everything under a BSD license and see how it benefits the world. I suggest a BSD license because it offers the greatest leeway for industrious individuals to innovate. People with warm hearts and lofty ideals will feel right at home creating free software under any open source license, and undoubtedly will do great things with your code. However, there are many individuals out there whose motivation to create comes from the promise of a monetary reward. Consider that if your code found its way into commercial products those products would also benefit the world. Yes, someone would earn money in part from code you created, but so what? A gift is only a gift if it's given unconditionally--otherwise it's some sort of a loan. Love is only love if it's unconditional--otherwise it's selective approval. If your situation has changed such that you no longer have time to work on your project, do the benevolent thing and let the world have at it: it will flourish in posterity one way or another!

"Open" Slavery? =)

HARDWARE COST SOME MONEY. Why work of the programmer must not bring money for him? Is programmer the slave?

Sorry. It was answer to another post of another user. It's my error.

Making the OS available for

Making the OS available for free wouldn't help development I guess. Making it open source might help. But stopping completely
would make everything you've done so far in vain.
So when making it open source, which license should be used. Personally I do not like the GPL license since it's much too restrictive. A BSD or MIT license would be nice. With possible some restrictions like Haiku does.
Anyways, I hope to see something soon. Don't kill SkyOS please!

Future SkyOS

Hello Robert, future SkyOS till now and is not certain, it still can be changed! SkyOS progressive system with the beautiful graphic interface. I for a long time watch news of this project and to me the destiny of this OS is not indifferent. I consider that the best way of an output from this situation would be opening an initial code or sale SkyOS of the company which could develop this operational system. You can easily open an initial code and give paid support to users thus you have rescueed both system and could develop further. I live in Russia and even at us your system is known enough. To close development now means to kill that that I have been created during many years therefore consider long live OSSkyOS. For some reasons you do not have precise plan of development, but your system is almost ready to it only there is no applied software and drivers, having made system free you can привлеч huge quantity of developers from all light! Robert I would like to contact you personally! My e-mail

Hi, am sorry the news, I

Hi, am sorry the news, I think the best thing for the system is to make a license type Haiku-OS ( and will not be assured that thousands of distributions SkyOs of going through the network, open source under the MIT license ( I do not know, I have many years in fatal SkyOS and I seem to have just as well: (

I hope everything goes well, a greeting!

Dual License

Try this, use a dual license model like MySQL, one open source and one commercial, next create a company around the project. And you protect your rights, you control the future of the project and give/receive the community help

That is indeed a solution

That is indeed a solution that could potentially be interesting.
Even if the commercial license stuff would not be available immediately, this is indeed a way for Robert to have something to earn from.

Offering support for an open source operating system is something the big linux companies (like redhat) have been doing for years.

I'm going to say that you

I'm going to say that you should open source it until I am blue in the face. Really, open sourcing it is really the only way to go. Would you rather have SkyOS wither away and die or have people use it, even if you don't develop it anymore.

Plus, what is that niche? Net[books/tops]? Windows XP, Windows 7 & Linux have that. Embedded appliances? Linux and Windows have that. I doubt SkyOS'd run on a router. SkyOS is a desktop OS. Market it as that.

Don't open source

I don't think you should open source SkyOS, since it will just die without the leadership of the original creator. I also guess you have some licensing issues to deal with in that case?

My take is that you should donate drivers and other useful tidbits to, say, Haiku or Syllable, and be done with it. They're alive and kicking, but need license-compatible driver source.


Hope all goes well in life for you!

I think that your personal reasons are more than understandable and I hope the best for you. I have followed this project for many years now it seems.

My personal and biased opinion as that you should open up the source. More can be done with the project as many people get to look at the code and work with it. Yes, it might get turned into a GUI or Distro for Linux but is that such a bad thing? You have licensing options and ways to somehow in the future see returns on your investment of time. The source would be a huge benefit to the open source community and to all of those who want choices and freedom. If the code dies with the project it's just another notch in Microsoft's monopolizing belt. The style of the GUI was great and the features and core of the OS could be utilized in great ways.

Whatever you decide, I personally wish you the best. Please take the time to think your decision through and don't let anyone tell you that you made the wrong decision. It was your passion that made Sky OS what it is. It was the industry that progressed at a rate that outpaces a single person. What you did was incredible and you deserve a great bow of appreciation from everyone.

Thank you and best of luck to you!

What do you want?!


The question comes down to what you want to see SkyOS as. If you are/were planning for this to be a business, then you need to look closely at what your market is going to be, and there are some clear places where SkyOs (or an alternative to Windows/MacOS) could do well where Linux and open source options have failed.

I think you really need to understand what your market is meant to be and how your product can fill the needs of that market better than the others. I cite business market as it is a lot easier to get a hold in than the open consumer market, and once you are in the business market, you can start looking at the consumer market.

If you want some help then please feel free to contact me and I can help with some fundamental questions which will help you decide which direction to take SkyOS in.


2 weeks ago and nothing

2 weeks ago and nothing happened? Make your decision.
Don't let SkyOS die, do something.

Open Source SkyOS!


I would suggest to opensource SkyOS, Nothing gona happen to SkyOS if it will be open sourced, not derivates of SkyOS can be better i believe. As you can see in that derivatives are ranked very low. the orignal OS are always at the top.

You can be the admin of SkyOS which is always good for you and you can provide your current users, who paid for the development, free support for the OS.

It is a good project and i hope you can beat Apple with it.


Open Source Parts of the System.

I too, have been following your progress for many years. And would hate too see you close up shop - and have the os gone forever.

Perhaps opening up parts of the system to public development? Drivers and UI seem to be two things that would be great as community development. BeOS opened up their Tracker and Deskbar, and those two projects continued on long after the OS was canned.

If the UI and Driver development were opened up, then Code Bounties - as mentioned previously - would definately take the pressure off you to do these things, and allow you to continue core development.

This, of course, would mean that your system would need to be given away for free. But there are still plenty of options for income. Support, App Store (all the rage these days).

What would the best choice be?

I've been following SkyOS' development for years now, but I'm one of those alternative OS hunters who refuses to pay for a beta system. The promise of a free copy once it goes to final wasn't enough to warrant paying for something unknown and untested.
Open sourcing the code may not be the wisest choice as the risk of forks is a realistic one. I know what it's like feeling uncomfortable sharing your work with others and having them run off with it, taking all credit for whatever comes out of it. So I understand why that hasn't really taken your fancy. Doesn't mean that fear is rational or all that important, but I get it.
Getting others involved, however, has nothing to do with the licensing concerning the code. You may be best off getting some good coders in on the team and develop that way.
Offering the beta for free, however, seems to be the choice you're going to have to make anyway, regardless of how you continue. If SkyOS is freely downloadable and, therefore, testable, I'm sure a lot of new users will come in offering to help out wherever.
If you give up on SkyOS, THEN you should open source it. Because it would be a waste of so much effort if you just put it on a shelf, never to be looked at again.
The project is looking far too awesome for it to just disappear. Don't do that to us, because we're reading this, looking at the screenshots and whatnot for a damn good reason.
Don't give up.


I em highly agents Complete open source. I do not want to see 30 Different Distos of SkyOS, Why do you think linux sucks sooo much. Oh and please don't tell me linux sucks because the bottom line it dose suck. Keep away form the GNU

you may want to open it up to free development under the single disto?

Free download it at its latest atlest,

The way I do it is higher Developers and pay people to work on it alone with you is the best Idea I have, Have a Closed OS that well developed.


open source it

I think the best solution is to open source it. For example, a few years ago, Blender was a closed source project. Then the company who develop it struggled and they decided to put it under GNU licence to keep it's development on track. In doing so, they probably increased the number of developers who can contribute to the project and the number of users. To date, I don't think there exist a fork of the project. But if it happen I don't think it will hurt. The problem with some GNU/Linux distributions are a lack of good support and a bad choice of software (they often choose the latest version for all the softwares that contains in some cases a lot of bugs). Providing a good support for the users at an attractive price by buying a support licence (per year) for example is the way to go I think. So the software is not view as a product but more like as a service.

Making SKYOS an open source project will not magically augment the pace of it's development and make it successful. The project will still need some involvement from it's leaders. But keeping SKYOS a closed source project is maintaining a status quo and for now it's development is halted.

That Idea now faill...

This has no Logic... Donate, Bounty and other form financil are here... projects commercial OS go to open source, OS type SkyOS is open source as life water...what openqnx... close system and distro onlz 30day is practically disintegration - now again open/free for non comercial , symbian to 2012 be open source .. first break licences software... other much project are proof opposite...

FreeBSD and the other BSD's

FreeBSD and the other BSD's have very few distros. It's the way that Linux was designed. It's just a kernel after all. SkyOS is a complete package. So the "there'll be distros" crap, is nonsense. There's only been one developer, THATS WHY SkyOS has gotten into this situation.

If you close it, it'll be almost the exact same situation. What if you don't want to/can't develop it? You want to waste all those years on nothing? Open sourcing it is almost your only option.

However, I do belive if it

However, I do belive if it was to be open sourced, there should be a firm development roadmap. I do also belive some, if not a lot, of the OS should be recoded. I can see the potential of SkyOS. What Linux SHOULD have been. Standardized. apt-get? rpm? Nope. server? Xfree86? Nope. No X.

I don't think anyone in the

I don't think anyone in the world could fault you on this decision Robert. There is nothing, NOTHING, more important than putting your family first. :)

Open source

I would be against opening the source (that's why I bought SkyOS in the first place), but if it had to, it should be freely open (MIT-style).

Just releasing SkyOS for free is doable too, especially if you can make profit off of the software store. Windows 7 or 8 is likely going to go to the free OS + commercial apps model -- you can beat Microsoft to it.

Really, this is why SkyOS

Really, this is why SkyOS failed. It wasn't open source.

several ways

Several ways, several choices.
First, i think that pay for a beta testing operating system is unacceptable.

Start to stop this.
Second, opensource would be the best... if done right.
and opensource DON'T means 'free for payment'! Several linux distributions are for sale (Mandriva Powerpack, Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop etc).

Dual licensing would be the way... Free for personal use, 100$ for professional use (for example).
You could use BSD license...

And (mad idea!) Think, SkyOS could be virtualized using little part of BSD kernel and you can use BSD drivers, for example! You can do virtualization modules and you have NOT to release code (BSD License!).

Or, you could be change target... no desktops anymore... but mobile devices, why not?

Dual licensing would be the way...

seethorne:"Dual licensing would be the way... "

Yes, maybe so. Open Source only - is not a good choice.


using little part of BSD kernel can our way but must by main idea,best attributs,originality kernel SkyOs SAVE!!!

Open source is the only way


I think since 3 years, that the only way for SkyOS ... is the Open source !

Possible Solution

I think personally that seeing as you have a child and all Congratulations by the way, that temporary open sourcing of the OS could be a solution though it should be under the same license as Solaris made by Sun Microsystems MIT I think.

SkyOS future

I agree that open-source is the way to go.

One possibility that I thought of - you could even make it "public domain". Examples of p.d. projects include the Cat programming language (which has an active community), and the SQLite database.

Going p.d. would be a *real* point of difference, as there are very few p.d. OSs (the only one I can think of at the moment is PDOS, which is (iirc) only a DOS clone.) SkyOS would be *the undoubted king* of p.d. OSs if it were made p.d.

If the license were'nt p.d., I think MIT would be best. It'd be easily compatible with Haiku, which would be useful.

Just my 2c worth..... :)
- latte

Yeah, one more thing could

Yeah, one more thing could be stablish some form of driver's standard since it's the biggest annoyance. That way drivers for one could work without too much changes in another one.

I don't think open source by

I don't think open source by itself means anything for SkyOS, you must be careful to choose the right open source license, if not it will become just another open source OS on pair with the 100th GNU-Linux distribution. That is the reason why GNU-LINUX hasn't gather enough desktop users/interest. SkyOS has very interesting things under de hood and I think it would be best to merge SkyOS project with some other project like HAIKU. First they both share the same file system (BFS). On the other hand although SkyOS and Haiku are different HAIKU's next priority after rebuilt BEoS R5 is to take HAIKU forward and I think that's where SkyOS might fit better. I know some people got "married" with SkyOS or HAIKU but if you guys want to take an important slice of the desktop market there's got to be some sort of union, if not both projects will become as I said just another OS in the open source half finished OS cloud.

Opensource it - from a paid beta tester

The open source model would be perfect for continued development of the operating system. Look at the was hiaku project has been doing with the BEOS 5 legacy or the AROS with Amiga OS.

But, I think that more of a openbsd style project model would work best. Robert Szeleney can be the project coordinator. ala Theo De Raadt

It would be nice to see an

It would be nice to see an SkyOS OSS version under the MIT/X11 license.

Open source it. More people

Open source it. More people will develop for it. More people will use it.


Opensource it like Linux, you can be the main visionary guy who sets goals etc a role like Linus has on Linux.

Could also sit down and try to only support a fixed set of hardware like Apple does, Maybe you could talk to the Aros guys and other x86 projects to agree on x86 hardware that could be targeted for drivers etc so that there were more OSS people focusing on same hardware. Maybe one even could set a spec for an ideal OSS x86 workstation hardware spec. This way maybe all the different flavours of chips would not need to be supported.. Its important that it is easily sourcable all over the world. And I think Ransoms/Bounties are an important way to finance development where its needed, thus you could possibly earn some money on your project even though it was opensourced..