GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011

Plan 9 from Bell Labs

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Plan 9 is an operating system originally developed by the same group at Bell Labs which developed Unix. The central idea in Plan 9 is the use of a single resource sharing protocol for access to everything in the system, from regular files to device drivers to the windowing system. Plan 9 extends the concept Unix popularized of "everything is a file" much further, exposing a lot of power

Plan 9 is used in a wide variety of environments, from embedded systems and appliances to workstations and supercomputers. The ideas from Plan 9 also show up in a variety of other systems, including, most notably, Inferno (a sibling OS project to Plan 9 which adds a virtual machine and language), 9vx (a port of Plan 9 to the vx32 virtual machine library), and Plan 9 from User Space (a port of many of the Plan 9 applications and libraries to POSIX environments). For the past two years, we have served as an umbrella organization for projects related to these technologies. In addition to projects focusing on the operating systems themselves, we encourage applications for projects using the same technology and ideas in other environments.


  • Unification of X11 code and wsys device Plan 9 related software which runs on unix systems (9vx, Inferno, drawterm and p9p) use almost identical code to interact with X11. The first stage of this project will consist on unifying this code, removing any direct dependency on Xlib. On a second stage, a wsys device will be written to allow using the window managing facilities of the host system.