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Pure JavaScript Unix-Like Web Based OS

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the java-and-unix-sitting-in-a-tree dept.

Unix 313

slummy writes " JS/UIX 'is an UNIX-like OS for standard web-browsers, written entirely in JavaScript (no plug-ins used). It comprises a virtual machine, shell, virtual file-system, process-management, and brings its own terminal with screen- and keyboard-mapping.' If only you didn't need an OS to run the web browser on."

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313 comments

Why does my web browser need an OS.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831440)

Seems kinda microsoftish sounding!

So its true! (4, Funny)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831443)

Re:So its true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831615)

No, but it is true that people repost stuff from OSNews, almost word for word.

Next up (5, Funny)

tqft (619476) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831446)


From TFA:
"The only application for now is a simple implementation of vi"

How long before emacs is ported?

Re:Next up (1)

MROD (101561) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831570)

Well, that reminds me of the old emacs joke:-

--:-- *scratch* (Lisp Interaction)--L5--All--
Loading vmunix.el... Done.

It is rather impressive to have an OS in a web browser though.. even if it's not exactly that useful.

Re:Next up (2, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831609)

Wow, that boggles the mind. A web-based OS running an editor-based OS. Holy virtualization Batman!

The sites /.ed already... (1, Funny)

sandstorming (850026) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831447)

It obviously isn't an OS made for web hosting ;)

Re:The sites /.ed already... (1)

alapalaya (561911) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831552)

No, but it might be the first OS web-hosted! :)

Re:The sites /.ed already... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831635)

No, but it might be the first OS web-hosted!

Technically speaking, it's a web hosted *shell*. The full OS is what you're using right now. ;-)

Uses? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831448)

That's kind of neat, but I am having some difficulty in deciding what it's useful for. Perhaps teaching Unix to new users? It is, after all, a "fake" environment that looks like the real thing.

Related to this (but much cooler), there used to be a site at WebOS.com where the site lauched a full-screen browser window and allowed you to interact with an entirely HTML desktop. Even the applications were downloaded on the fly, and the files were saved on the server.

Re:Uses? (5, Funny)

AnObfuscator (812343) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831573)

Usefull? Usefull??!! Dude, it's a Unix OS written in JavaScript that runs on a web browser... the nerdiness is off the charts! Who cares about usefull?!

Re:Uses? (5, Funny)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831578)

If your browser is sufficiently tabbed you can run multiple sessions and create a Beowolf Cluster from them -- BeoFox? Beafari?

No networking (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831604)

Too bad, it has no networking code. And this is what we would really want. It would be possible using a hidden IFRAME. The latency would suck, though.

I happened to be reading the JS/UIX page right as the slashdotting came in. I want a JavaScript viewer for my termrec tool [angband.pl]. My version is in very early stages [angband.pl], but at least it's in color :p

Re:Uses? (1)

fyonn (115426) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831629)

I am having some difficulty in deciding what it's useful for

well, that deopends how it works. the site is under some load at the moment so I can't read it. is the OS running locally in your web browser? or are you getting a shell to a web-based OS on the web-server?

if the latter then it could be very useful, esp if they can port ssh across. then users inside a corporate firewall can use it to get a shell outside the company that they can ssh from, when they may not have ssh access fgrom inside. and as it all runs in a browser, it should be sandboxed from the rest of the OS, and thus not be considered a security problem as such.

one wonders if you can run a webserver from a web based os? :) and host that OS inside itself...

dave

Re:Uses? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831671)

It's a shell and an in-memory file system running in the browser. As a result, it's able to present working versions of most Unix utilities (e.g. vi, cd, ls, cat, etc.) but doesn't actually let you *do* anything to interact with other environments. :-)

Re:Uses? (1)

compass46 (259596) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831659)

Perhaps teaching Unix to new users? It is, after all, a "fake" environment that looks like the real thing.

Ummmm, looks like the real thing? Wouldn't a shell server be more appropriate for teaching Unix to new users? Something like SDF? A freaking Putty window looks more like "the real thing".

Embedded browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831707)

If you would happen to stumble across a browser embedded in a device without a sane operating system like Linux but with the posibility to run (custom) javascript code, you could use this code - if properly expanded with network features and compilers :) - to run custom applications.

I did not say this, I am not here.

Uses -- about as useful as Cygwin or Unix Svcs (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831717)

Well, maybe not as robust or developed as Cygwin or Unix Svcs, but the concept is the same. A unix environment avaiable on a non-unix platform.

I tried this out on mirrordot and was impressed (even if it is still in proof-of-concept stage). It would be neat to have a unix environment anywhere you have an internet connection. I could also see it being used as a extremely portable virtual machine for simple applications.

dead (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831450)

Dead already.. So more like windows than unix.

Yes But.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831451)

Does it run Linux? And can you imagine a cluster of these bad boys?

Especially... (3, Informative)

nmoog (701216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831455)

..Especially when combined with XUL [sf.net]
(apologies to slashdot member CTho9305)

Re:Especially... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831750)

You could had posted a link to the comment [slashdot.org]
from the original author.

You would have got your karma and you would not seem as plagiarist as you seem now.

Just what we need (-1, Troll)

ChrisF79 (829953) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831471)

If this project evolves and somehow we have a fully web-based OS, I would bet it would STILL be more secure than Windows.

This is totally OT but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831472)

the nice people at MS have stopped allowing Firefox (actually I'm using the Deer Park alpha) to download stuff from their site. So far I have only tried the development stuff some of which is useful to me, ie. Visual C++ SP etc. I can't believe they would stoop this low. No, hold on..

Re:This is totally OT but... (0)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831559)

It would appear you are either stupid, or lying, because I can still download things fine everywhere on microsoft's site (except for windows update).

Re:This is totally OT but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831664)

next time take your head out of your ass before reading. OK, lets try again. DEER PARK ALPHA 1 does not download from the MS site. I have just tried both FF 1.0.4 and DP (oops, bad acronym there). DP is *not working*.

Obligatory (3, Funny)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831475)

I for one welcome our new web-based OS overlor... oh, shit, look at that, it's slashdotted.

PS You do know that in Soviet Russia, your browser runs your OS, right?

Re:Obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831584)

i had the impression IE runs windows.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831775)

you're talking about windows when the browser runs the OS

What's the use ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831481)

[guest@www.masswerk.at:2]$ rm -rf /
illegal option.

not funny

Screenshot (5, Funny)

md81544 (619625) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831485)

Dead already, but I managed to grab a screenshot:
[guest@www.masswerk.at:2]$
:-)

Re:Screenshot (1)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831602)

At first I though you were joking, but after looking at this on mirrordot, I found out that you really did capture a screenshot!

fake DOS... (4, Funny)

wirehead78 (576106) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831491)

I remember back in the day I wrote a BASIC program that looked exactly like DOS, except it would give weird error messages any time you did anything. My parents sure loved that one.

Re:fake DOS... (1)

naich (781425) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831529)

I did one too. I just did a quick check and bizarrely, it's still out there, on the net: ftp://ftp.sac.sk/pub/sac/utilmisc/panic2.zip [ftp.sac.sk]

This internet thing sure is good at storing crap for all eternity.

Re:fake DOS... (3, Funny)

fons (190526) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831638)

haha, downloaded and tried it.

It still works on my XP machine!

I was even worried for an instant when it was supposedly formatting my hard d^i^c^kz^z^z^^z^z^f^^ s^d^f^zêf^zê^f^sd^f s^df ^sd^f ^sd^f^s^df^s s^df ^sd^f^s^df^s^df^^s^sd^f^sd^f^^sd^f ^^sdf^^sd^f

Re:fake DOS... (3, Funny)

the way, what're you (591901) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831712)

I was even worried for an instant when it was supposedly formatting my hard d^i^c^kz^z^z^^z^z^f^^ s^d^f^zêf^zê^f^sd^f s^df ^sd^f ^sd^f^s^df^s s^df ^sd^f^s^df^s^df^^s^sd^f^sd^f^^sd^f ^^sdf^^sd^f
for those of you keeping score at home, that's (zf-c)(sd+2k-i)(f-x)(1-ê)^3, with len(d^i^c^kz) = 0

Re:fake DOS... Fake netware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831551)

My buddy got kicked out of school for a similar stunt. He wrote a fake TSR that looked exactly like th e Novel NetWare login screen. It would take the username and password and give the user the standard wrong password error message that Novel would give. It would then record the username password pair to a text file, spawn the true novel login and wait for the next victim. He managed to get it installed in 3 computer labs and had over 700 passwords when he finally got busted. The kicked him out with a semester to go until graduation.

Re:fake DOS... (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831568)

I did this in school once, and got kicked out of the computer lab for the week.

c:\> prompt "enter password:"

so then, instead of the friendly c:> prompt, this was what everyone saw:

enter password:

I still don't think they'd figure that out if presented with that prompt today.

Re:fake DOS... (1)

Daneboy (315359) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831682)

My favourite was always this one:

C:\> prompt "Abort, Retry, Fail: "

Abort, Retry, Fail: A

Incorrect command or file name.

Abort, Retry, Fail: ... and so on.

Re:fake DOS... (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831652)

I did that too! Wow, looks like a lot of us did stupid stuff like that.

Mine said things like "I can't find that for you. Can't you see that I'm busy?" and stuff like that.

I think I called it "sleepy" or "grumpy" or something. I tossed it into the autoexec.bat, and annoyed family and friends for ages :)

-WS

Re:fake DOS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831739)

heh... I wrote a fake DOS for my TI-81 calculator that actually ran all the other little programs I'd written for it. It also supported simple commands like "dir".

By and large a pointless project, but a fun diversion. :)

If this becomes too successful... (2, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831498)

If this becomes to successful, we might get lawsuits in the future to prevent a browser company from shipping a free OS add-in!

Yes, but . . . (4, Funny)

Idou (572394) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831500)

Can it run Lynx?

Re:Yes, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831703)

Can it run KDE to run WINE to run PEAR to run OS X?
Anyone got benchmarks?

If you cant reach because of the /.... (5, Informative)

sandstorming (850026) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831502)

JS/UIX is an UN*X-like OS for standard web-browsers, written entirely in JavaScript (no plug-ins used). It comprises a vir- tual machine, shell, virtual file-system, process-management, and brings its own terminal with screen- and keyboard-mapping.

For an overview of implemented commands have a look at the complete > JS/UIX-Manual-Pages; see also the > Version-History.

The keyboard accepts the US-ASCII character set. As key-mapping depends from your browser, you may have to use the cursor and backspace buttons at the lower right of the terminal. A complete keyboard can be accessed at the lower left.

Compatibility: Netscape 4+, MS IE 4+ and DOM-aware browsers.


Mirrordot link:
http://mirrordot.org/stories/1c1bf041ca7144dbe4b35 249a8db7dff/index.html [mirrordot.org]

Slower than OS X? (-1, Troll)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831515)

Anybody seen any comparison with OS X. Especially threading and forking. Is this bad boy even slower than OS X? Is it possible?

Why is this in the Java topic? (4, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831541)

For the nth time, Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other. The syntax is similar (both being based loosely on C), but that's it.

It might as well go in the Hardware topic too, while you're at it - after all, it must be running on some kind of hardware.

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (1, Funny)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831596)

They've become accustomed to your Java/Javascript confusion posts and like to get a rise out of you. Just thought you should know.

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831628)

For the nth time, Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other. The syntax is similar (both being based loosely on C), but that's it.
Why do you call yourself Tim C? For the nth time you were not written in C, you are composed of DNA and a bunch of other chemicals. The syntax is similar (both being based on a series of instructions), but that's it.

You might as well call yourself Tim x86 Assembly - after all, there's some underlying atomic arrangement to your cell structure.

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (1, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831647)

Because my first name is Tim, and my surname begins with C.

Nice try though :-)

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831718)

I would throw the blame in the direction of the person/group that called it javascript rather than come up with a better name for it.

Likewise, I think that Intel should have done better to name their new card format other than PCIe because PCI-X was available for a few years already. At least PCI-X is electrically, physically and software compatible with the PCI standards, PCIe isn't on any of these accounts.

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831772)

I would throw the blame in the direction of the person/group that called it javascript rather than come up with a better name for it.

That would be Netscape. The actual standard is called ECMAScript, but the JavaScript name has stuck.

Re:Why is this in the Java topic? (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831720)

Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other

Allow me for a minute to represent the ignorant mass:
Yes they have!

Oh the irony.... (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831561)

Slashdot-syndrome strikes another victim....it'd be ironic if the server was hosted on Js/UNIx...(probly not, but a funny thought nonetheless)


Still, going to try this out to sate my uncontrollable new-OS syndrome...definitely one for the cool factor when my friends ask me how come all my windows have crashed, but I'm still working in my web browser....

Java UNIX Site SLASHDOTTED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831619)

Yeesh...this site got /.'ed fast.

Webserver? (2, Funny)

generic (14144) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831622)

So can I write a webserver for it and use my browser to serve webpages and look at them!

I am tempted to check it out.

Re:Webserver? (1)

the way, what're you (591901) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831761)

So can I write a webserver for it and use my browser to serve webpages and look at them!
The answer is an emphatic yes? I'm just as excited as you are?

nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831625)


does it run nethack already?

Finally we can put together... (5, Funny)

ratta (760424) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831626)

the ease of use of Unix with the security of Internet Explorer.

The next application... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831640)

Someone should write a web browser for this operating system, huh?

I tried it, very impressive - if reallly in JS (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831656)

I checked it out on Mirrordot. Very Impressive. I was able to create a directory, touch a file, and used vi to insert and save text, then copy it to another file. The shell even appears to be scriptable

"OS" is probably a misnomer, it would be probably better to call it a Write-Once/Run Anywhere Virtual Machine. A JS-based virtual machine might be kinda neat. It would probably never be as robust and general-purpose as JAVA, but could be useful for simple applications.

SSH client? (3, Insightful)

ahg (134088) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831670)

An in browser SSH client in Java has been done before... but I would love one in Javascript, no extra components to install in the browser.

Re:SSH client? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831783)

No. You're the second person to comment thinking this is some sort of SSH or telnet client.

JS/UIX is a UNIX-like Operating System. Running on top of a Virtual Machine. The Virtual Machine is written in Javascript.

JS/UIX implements process management, a filesystem (Complete with file permisions), a shell and some familiar UNIX applications such as vi and man. Sadly it does not (yet) feature network support nor a compiler, so it isn't useful in any real sense.

It is an Operating System running within your browser. Seriously.

Re:SSH client? (1)

ahg (134088) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831816)

Thank you... I know what JS/UIX is. I would like to see an SSH app. It's one of those useful applications for a project like this. Right now it's just a technology demo without any useful apps that I've seen.

I Know!!! (3, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831714)

Let's build a kernel around the Gecko engine!!! Boot into Firefox on a framebuffer!!!! The ultimate intarweb terminal! In the process we accomplisht the following:

1. No more monolithic Linux kernel or proprietary Windows kernel!
2. No more mach kernel because they're slow dontchaknow
3. We get rid of X Windows and replace it with Gecko, Javascript, CSS and Mozilla chromes
4. No more clunky X Windows network transparency because nobody uses it anyways. Now all graphic connections will happen in memory instead of going out over the network to the router and back in to the machine they went out of!
5. No more ability to run servers (because only crackers and pirates do that)
6. Google searches become embedded in teh OS like Microsoft plans to do in Pot Noodle Hornlong!
7. A driving instructor somewhere in Johanessberg gets his job back mate!

Man am I thirsty! ;P

Is this an original work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831724)

A guy with a russian language web site had a unix implementation in javascript a few years back.
I wonder if this is a re-emplementation, or a copy.


PS: anyone recall which guy I'm talking about? He had a bunch of other cool javascript hacks as well.

Right? (2, Funny)

RasendeRutje (829555) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831730)

So need need another operating system
to run aan browser
to run javascript
to run this new operating system?
This must be useful!

but is there a browser in their OS? (1)

Dan9999 (679463) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831735)

Can't check now, the site is down.

But if there is a browser available in that OS, I've been looking for one now for ages to basically create an OS in Javascript. It really sounds like this is the OS that I should choose to create this... if it has a browser of course ;)

I can see it already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12831748)

Geek 1: I installed linux on my xbox!
Geek 2: Yeah, well I installed it on my fridge!
Geek 3: That's nothing, I installed it on my web browser!
Geeks 1 & 2: Wow!

A-ha! (1)

Enjoi (857482) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831768)

Since it is just javascript, would it be as easy as viewing the source and copying it to get it on my site?

it'd be interesting to have something like this on it, maybe with some nice customised commands. Maybe add user interation.

They stole MY idea !!! (0, Troll)

The MESMERIC (766636) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831769)

I've been thinking about this for over 2 years.
But I've never publicized or implemented it though :(

(It would be based on FluxBox [fluxbox.org] .. so all the DHTML would be there, oh and it would work on Konqueror/Opera/Firefox/IE)

The desktop menu would be translucent (perhaps use an IFrame for IE but PNG for the rest).

And you would get all the little things like calendar, notes, email, and sessions would be saved on a cookie.

When I realized the utter complexity (and in a way futility) of the task .. I just kept procrastinating.

Stuff like that is good to do if you have a LOT of free time in your hands (or people don't keep giving you deadlines).

Oh and then there was GrannyOS (another vapourware) that I sometimes dream about doing.

IF you don't act on an idea soon, the Unconscious will tip someone else.

PS: If anyone wants to have a go at the Javascript Desktop OS - contact me, 2 people are easier. I got a fake "boot-up" script working
(Detecting this .... [ok], Detecting that ... [ok] like PLD-Linux booting up)

embed browser in firmware (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#12831787)

If only you didn't need an OS to run the web browser on."

If this caught on, they'd probably come up with a sytem that has an embedded browser built into CMOS.

As is is, however, I think that this has to run extremely slow due to the number of layers of abstraction and emulation involved.
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