The Experiment

Submitted by Robert Szeleney on Mon, 2009-06-08 17:35.

In order to "workaround" the driver issue reported earlier I'm in the middle of doing a few proof of concepts:

1) Using the Linux Kernel
2) Using a NetBSD Kernel

1) Linux Kernel
A Linux ( from scratch (LFS) is used as base containing only a the absolute necessary userland tools in order to operate a linux kernel. On top of this kernel the SkyOS API (SkyGI, etc...) is ported. In order to get the graphical user interface running the SkyGI Kernel part (which resists in the SkyOS kernel itself) is ported to userland and converted to something similar like the appserver. Only the linux kernel will be used. No textmode. From a user point of view no difference should be visible between the current SkyOS kernel on this proof of concept linux kernel.

2) NetBSD
Similar to 1) but with a NetBSD Kernel.

Based on the results of these proof of concepts (e.g. performance, user experience, etc.) further decisions regarding the SkyOS future can be made.

Thanks for your patience

Follow the current progress of this experiment.


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Its been one year since last update.
Talk about patience...
I`m really regreting having contributed to this project.

Hybrid Kernel

How about hybrid kernel (like Darwin & MacOSX hybrid kernel, based on simple microkernel)? (OpenDarwin, GNU-Darwin).

very disappointing

What did you work for? Why have you made all this and now you do nothing?. Do you blame yourselfe so much aboute your source that you cant put it under a opensource-licence? or did you steal from GPL sources and this is why you cant make your source open?.
What did I paid for? Nothing?

// Yes, crap english, I know.

Looking forward to Linux-based kernel.

I'm very much so looking forward to a new Linux based kernel. I've been watching SkyOS for a while now. I was disappointed when I learned I would have to pay for it to be able to use a beta version, so I never really got involved with it. I'm looking forward to a Linux based kernel though because it would allow for many drivers to work with SkyOS and almost everything would automatically work.

In order to get video drivers to work, SkyOS would need to use X11 as a backend for its SkyGI interface. That's what GTK, Gnome, KDE (etc) does. (As far as I know.) I also hope that media codecs and development software come included with SkyOS so that I won't have to look online for them. (I don't have much access to the internet.)

I do have a few questions though, and I hope Robert or any qualified person may answer. (Of course, speculation is always welcome.) Is there some sort of an offline/online package manager for SkyOS? (Will there be?) I favor the Debian package manager to all other Linux package managers, but I'm aware of the fact that SkyOS will operate differently. I like the fact that in Windows, the app's install wizard (if it comes with one) will install everything that it needs automatically. Likewise, I like the fact that (as long as you have the internet) in Ubuntu/LinuxMint (LinuxMint is based on Ubuntu,) you can just type sudo apt-get (options) to install whatever you want. If you don't have the internet, you have to fall back to the online repository or install scripts that use wget to download everything. This has always been an issue for me because it's difficult for me to be able to do this. (Not from a lack of ability or knowledge on how to do it, but rather the resources required to do it.)

Anyways, I'm looking forward to the new SkyOS and hope to see some results very soon. (Hopefully a video.)


softwarestore - factory

Enter the world of the Software store

package format can be used both online and offline (single download file per package)

there is also factory to help with packaging.

There is more information on both systems in the news archive.

Sounds good! I hope Robert

Sounds good! I hope Robert is going to post some more information and status updates soon!

NetBSD is the way!

Please don't do skyOs yet another linux distro!
NetBSD is safe, powerful, fast and cross-platform like noone!
NetBSD gives you tons of software.

(i have to admit that linux = more drivers = more compatible hardware).

Then, whatever you do, don't make SkyOs yet another linux distro!

You don't know what you are talking about.

This is total bull****. We are talking about the *kernel*. Linux is just a kernel, the GNU tools make it what you call "Linux" (GNU/Linux would be a better name). Those GNU tools are already available in SkyOS, so porting to the Linux kernel should be straightforward and is a logical decision.

The whole reason SkyOS is going to use an other kernel is because of driver availability. If you are saying that NetBSD is lacking the large driver-base Linux has to offer, what profit can be achieved by using the NetBSD kernel?

One more thing: SkyOS is never going to be "just another linux distribution", because it will stay SkyOS. The users won't notice any difference except performance increases (especially with graphics and such) and better support for libraries. We won't see KDE or Gnome on the next SkyOS. We will see SkyGI and the whole SDL-based GUI.

At least... If Robert is going through with this project, because the last news post and status update was more than 3 months ago...

minor update

I hope Robert doesn't mind, but I recently got an email from him stating that he made progress. He even has a basic appserver working already, meaning the once linux has booted (hidden by a nice animated boot logo) the SkyOS desktop already appears where applications like SkyPad can be launched and used already.

just to inform you guys

Thanks Peter!

Thanks Peter!

Linux is a good choice

I find Linux would be a good choice :)
Its free , runs with many architectures , is very stable and it have a big

How about XNU/Darwin?

XNU, the kernel of Darwin, based on Mach 3.0, which already has messaging system, also BSD API is implemented.
I guess it should be a better code base to port existing SkyOS.

What filesystem?

To: R. Sze

Its on the plan port skyfs to linux kernel and run your experiment top of skyos filesystem? when yes then this will be nice change.

Only NetBSD

Only NetBSD. NetBSD is safe, powerful and fast
P.S. Need Mono(C#) on SkyOS. Need to future...


Hey all,

I like this idea very much... I use linux in my everyday life and I really like it so it is a vote for linux kernel :)
I am not an expert on either of the kernels but I think linux kernel would be a good choice.
Keep it up :)

Its not fair, i say

because i do not agree with apple, and i don't even have a single apple product. It's not because they're expensive, cause with my pc cost i would buy two good mac computers. It's just because i don't like it.
I know that apple and microsoft are using open source software on their stuff, but i do not agree that, so i hate both. It's just my point of view, and what you've said doesn't make any sense, 'cause you're trying to solve a problem by showing other worse.

Interesting. Would the

Interesting. Would the NetBSD version be based on a PCC toolchain like NetBSD is shifting to, or use Clang or GCC or something else?

I hope this results in SkyOS staying alive.


I have been waiting for someone to do something like that for a long time :) A linux base, but custom everything else. It should be an interesting project.

Syllable's server variant

Syllable's server variant has done something similar before - they use a custom windowing system and API on top of a Linux kernel. It also includes the Linux base utils though.

It isn't so fair...

Well, I greatly appreciate your job on doing by yourself such a great kernel (which is the main "job" that you've done). Mostly of your system is open source based, as you're using many libs, and other things from open source community. It's not fair that you'll use an open source kernel, with open source lib's and app's, and keep on saying that you've made your system (which will consists just on a graphical interface.).
You can be remembered as the guy who've made a great system and broke micro$oft, or the evil guy that used his name on other's jobs.

Why not? This is exactly

Why not? This is exactly what apple did with osx (just not with linux). Everyone seems to be fine with that..


But a few questions remain (and new questions pop-up...):
AFAIK the Linux video drivers are written for X11 so these could not be used, right?
If so, this would mean that video drivers are still needed...
Wouldn't TinyCore ( kernel) be a better choice than LFS ( kernel)?
What about the ReactOS kernel, too much in alpha stage?
(utilizing Windows drivers sounds nice...)
What about using Syllable Server (uses Linux kernel)?
(seems Robert wants to do the same as the Syllable guys, get their own GUI-API on-top of the Linux kernel...)
Either way Roberts decides, it's nice to see SkyOS [might be] moving forward...
Take care

Push Graphical Engine to Kernel

wow! this is a welcome. I'm one of the fan of SkyOS. Kindly push the Graphical Engine into Kernel mode like Windows & MAC. Otherwise this will also become yet another X-Windows for *inux. If you push this into Kernel, then SkyOS can easily win other OS and it be better alternate for all the existing OS.

I concur

I agree with this. One of the down sides I've always seen with *nix is the way the gui is so abstracted from the kernel that the performance hit is atrocious.

-The Mighty Shawn

To: Kelly Rush


Please contact me. Would like to talk.


Alex in Michigan
alexc "at"

yes! do it!

I really like the idea of using the Linux kernel. (Ok, NetBSD may work too - I'm just not familiar with it.) I would even go as far as using glibc, gcc, and so on. And no, SkyOS won't become a yet another distro.

Linux really lacks a sense of direction. Every distribution is too busy repackaging the same piece of software in its own way, rather than making everything work together nicely.
Just throw away Xorg, Gnome/KDE, etc., put your own SkyOS UI on top of Linux, and standardize on one correct way of doing things. It worked for Apple.

BSD licence vs GPL

Well I dont know from the technical point of view but netBSD kernel since it uses BSD licence is more adequate. It doesn't force you to open up the source code of SkyOS and it will allow you to bundle skyOS with proprietary software.

linux does not force you

linux does not force you either, as long as you don't link against the kernel...

Hello Robert, I hope you are

Hello Robert, I hope you are well and I'm sure everyone here welcomes the update and is thankful.

Other OS projects have opted to fork their OS, building on top of an existing, supported and sustained kernel to ensure hardware will never be a serious issue or task... AROS (AROS Research Operating System) being one. They have created a fork called Anubis which will eventually build the AmigaOS-compatible+AROS API to work on top of the Linux kernel.

I think this is a sensible idea, and whichever option you take (keeping licensing in mind) - I'd like to assist with any of the base-level development if needed.

Thanks again,



interesting development, it will definitely solve the driver issue.

What about skyfs? Will you update the existing bfs linux driver to fully support bfs and skyfs? (I don't know if there is a similar driver for NetBSD)

Do you see this as a temporary solution to make the top level (gui, userland) more mature and focus on the kernel maybe in a later stadiom? Or would that be a rather definitive path?
(Of course this will depend on the outcome of the experiments)