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PetrOS - NT alternative?

Hemos posted about 15 years ago | from the beat-them-at-their-own-game dept.

Microsoft 315

Anonymous Coward writes "Trumpet Software, the company well known for its Trumpet Winsock package has been quoted in the press as having their own version of a Win32 platform operating system, called PetrOS. They are working out if they can release it without affecting MS's API intellectual property, from the " They claim to have a 100kb microkernel, and run native NT executables. Anyone have more details?

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Benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813364)

What would the benefits be?

I remember lots of bugs kept in it due to
compatibility reasons..

Re:People buy that stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813365)

Yeah, IP Masquerading is a much-touted feature
of Windows 98 Second Edition. :-) Sad, aint' it?

api (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813366)

I wonder how much of the API they actually implement. I can't imagine they have compatibility for COM+ and what not. I remember the IBM stopped trying to mirror the win32 API with OS2 because Microsoft changed it so often. I wonder if these guys will be able to keep up.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813367)

How do you know the windows kernel is huge?

Its amazing so many people know so much about the internals of the Microsoft OSes.

I didnt realize so many of you are ex-MS programmers.

Kerberos security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813368)

So, does this NT knockoff use Kerberos as it's default security, as is the case with Windows 2000? Are applications vendors running a OS vendor supplied test suite to identify compatability bugs?

Even Samba can masquerade as an NT Server with a few lines in the smb.conf file.

Re:eat it, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813369)

That would be if you knew Bill. You don't.

Re:WinNT API != Win32 API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813370)

There is a complete POSIX layer available. Interix. It's third party, developed in cooperation with Microsoft. It's more POSIX compliant than Linux. (Linux is still wannabe until somebody ponies up the cash for testing)

Re:WinNT API != Win32 API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813371)

The fact that it's not clearly communicated wether it's the WinNT "API" (which is not doccumented publicly by Microsoft in any event) or the Win32 API indicates the amount of cluelessness surrounding this thing.

Re:Commission a gui? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813372)

XFRee86 is already ported to the semi-official POSIX layer, Interix.

Re:This is a great Idea!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813373)

I hate to point it out, but you have a misspelling. You wrote "babbling", where it should have really been spelled "lunatic ravings of a racist who feels inadequate and must tear others down to feel better about himself".

Sorry, I know correcting typos is bad form, but it really is a pet peeve of mine. Please get a dictionary before you come back out from under your rock.

Score 1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813374)

Kudos to /. moderators for giving this post a scrore of 1. Wow, keep up the great work guys.

In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.

Re:eat it, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813375)

Why isn't this infantile flamebait moderated down?

Re:Benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813376)

Why was this moderated down?

Because it didn't add to the riot in progress?

Re:Score 1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813377)

The score of 1 was automatically given because the user had logged in. Moderators subsequently rated it down.

Please become informed before you decide to whine.

don't assume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813378)

Don't assume this means a Linux-NT bridge. Have these guys said anything about open-sourcing their kernel?

Re:Commission a gui? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813379)

need to port a libc first

Re:Why not WINE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813380)

But they couldn't make much money if they used wine. Go read the GPL.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813381)

Pretty easy to figure it out. Lets see, I was reading a book on NT that my MCSE brother has (he only did it for the money, really! :P), and it specifically states that the NT kernel is approximately 16mb.

This is why NT will not boot on less than 16mb of RAM, no matter how much you want it to. It cannot physically fit the kernel into memory without it.

As opposed to my 412kb Linux kernel on my 486 (and my 450kb or so on my p166), which boot fine with 8mb of memory or even 4 if I feel like it. Of course I'd rather keep the 64mb and 96mb they have, but hey, just in case :)

Re:Kerberos security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813382)

Kerberos != MicroKernel
Kerberos == Userland code

Believe it when you see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813383)

Sorry folks, I've just seen wya too many "breakthroughs" that are going to "destroy M$" mentioned here and never heard from again.

When I can sit down at a computer and run Office 2000 on it, I'll believe it.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813384)

I have one URL for the microkernel nay-sayers:

Download the demo and try it out. It's nifty.

-- Anonymous Cowardus

Re:100kb Microkernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813385)

As an experiment I once installed Windows NT 3.51 on a 386DX-25 machine with 12 Megs of RAM. It installed properly and crawled along as would be suspected.

So where did you make up this "minimum 16 MB" stuff. Are you smoking the green with your brother up there in the treefort?

Re:The space shuttle (off-topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813386)

They probably use some of each for various things. I remember some astronaut was using a 386 GridPad (notebook with pen rather than keyboard) running DOS on a space walk a while back.

Re:PetrOS - Server OS, not desktop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813387)

Oh, you'd be surprised at the number of dorks who run Linux on the desktop. It's the equivalent of driving the tractor down to the corner tavern, but hayseeds will be hayseeds.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813388)

When most people refer to an OS, they refer to the CURRENT VERSION by default, and add version info if they need to be more specific. Try putting NT4 onto that box and watch it thrash the hard drive to death. If it will load at all.

What the hell are you talking about?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813389)

And I see you've taken this opportunity as a high-n-mighty NT fan to trash Linux fans for no particular reason. I'm glad your comment dealt directly with the subject at hat, to wit: microkernels and the implementation of the Win32 API within or not.

Pot, kettle, black.

Re:Why not WINE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813390)

Members of the People's Liberation Army (from the People's Democratic Republic of Linux) should go down there and push them onto the WINE team with their riflebutts.

Re:eat it, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813391)

Yeah, Instead he'll make something similar but much worse, try to pass it off as good, and at the same time make deals with the company that will eventually put them out of business... :-)

Re:The space shuttle (off-topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813392)

The use of the 386 actually has more to do with its inherent resistance to the types of radiation you find outside of Earth's atmosphere than anything else.

Re:Kerberos security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813393)

Ah, right.

This is just a kernel. All it's capable of on it's own is wobbling around on the floor, like an engine not connected to anything.

Trumpet does it again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813394)

I bet they'll do what they did last time with their winsock stack... Give it away for a while, then when most everyone is using it, make it shareware! :-(

Hey moderators. Lets test the new moderation here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813395)

I believe Rob just modified the moderation system so that when a user is marked down often his score is quite low. Lets test this new moderation system. Lets mark him farther down because a troll or someone who is offtopic is one thing but something offensive and rude is another.

I believe something racist, sexist or slanderous should be marked down by 2 points rather then 1. This is just my opinion of course but lets moderate him further down and see his score the next time he posts a comment because insulting people is pretty bad on a open discussion computer website.

lets all make sure /. stays a fun place for discussions.


Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813396)

Wine licence [] is BSD like

Thank you for playing.

Re:Clueless about NT Operating System as usual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813397)

(Flame suit on)

It is interesting that you mention the speed of Linux in comparison to NT. Hmmm, was there not a test just a little bit ago that showed otherwise????

...and Trumpet's software sucks!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813398)

Their winsock was one of the most horrible pieces of sh*t I was ever forced to use... it was only a success because it filled a void space in the marked.

Argh. Do we need any new systems software from Trumpet? I would need them to proof their quality ten times before even looking into anything.

Re:eat it, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813399)

Anybody who doesn't leap right into the gang rape is a Microsoft mole?

My, that reflects well on us as a community...

People buy that stuff? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813495)

Looking at Trumpet's selection of software, I see they sell a TCP/IP stack and a gateway/masquerading program. I can't believe people actually pay for that stuff when you've got Linux and FreeBSD which will do that for free.

The masquerading program for Windows is $160 for 20 client boxes. My lord. I could throw together an old 486 for hardly a penny more and have it performing the same task with a _real_ OS.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813496)

On a currently running WinNT 4.0 SP 5 machine, task manager reports the following kernel memory usage:

Total: 22,392K
Paged: 14,624K
Nonpaged: 7,768K

On a WinNT server in the next room, SP4:

Total: 18,556K
Paged: 14,556K
Nonpaged: 4,000K

I suspect that these numbers vary a bit from machine to machine, and the numbers on the server were changing as I was trying to get them.

Michael Koehn

-- I'm working on my boss. Already got permission to set up one Linux box as a print server (Yay!)

NT clone: Already been done. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813497)

Pharlap released an embedded NT clone OS over a year ago. see It called Pharlap ETS, not the TNT system! Implements a subset of the Win32 API (no GUI related calls). It's so compatible with NT/Win32 that you use the regular Visual C++ tools to compile the object code and do the final link step using their linker against their libraries. It produces a single monolithic executable containing both OS and application that you transfer to the target hardware.

Linux is still a better choice even for this kind of application for many reasons. I've worked with both and I'd choose Linux in a heartbeat.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813500)

The NT Kernel doesn't implement the Win32 API. That is implemented by another layer, a client layer that talks directly to the NT API (which is undocumented). The client layer is the Win32 API and runs alongside various other client APIs.

Putting the Win32 API directly into the kernel is short sighted, and implies that Win32 API is all that this kernel is capable of running. That means it's already nearly obsolete before it's even out the door.

In a sense, it's the equivalent of calling a kernel which has the BASH shell (and almost nothing more) directly into a lightweight kernel and claiming that it is a new lean-mean Linux.

I wonder if the doj could open win32 (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1813501)

Since the doj recognizes that spliting up ms would be worse to the IT industry, I wonder how serious they were with opening code. I read on zd that the doj was considering it as a more radical alternative if nothing else would work. We would have now 3 monopolies all shoving proprietary code down our throats instead of 1 and suns Scott McNeally acknowledges this if ms is split up. ATAT became more powerfull after it was split. I believe all the ms executives are behind this corporate screw up in the trial. This was just my opinion of course. Wouldnt it be great if win32 api's were freely available to all and we would have beos win32 for games and redhat win32 clone for workstations and servers and caldera and suse for win32 compadible bussiness desktops. Perhaps this new OS could also come into the picture.

After this the win32 will be everwhere though and be bad for possix. :-(

But we would have choices and if all these different distros of windows (linux, be, ect)and if posix is included perhaps win32 would die.

Another great thing could happen with apple. Apple would relise that win32 is the thing after this new wave of windows clones and would add win32 api support into mac osx so non computer people could have access to a stable OS thats way easier and supperior to use then windows.

I truly hope that the doj will force ms to release the win32 api.

WinNT API != Win32 API (1)

stevied (169) | about 15 years ago | (#1813502)

The WinNT API is the one the NT kernel actually implements. IIRC, it's pretty small.

On top of this there are various drivers which allow executables with different `personalities' (not sure if that is the correct terminology). Win32 is one of these personalities, POSIX is another - or would be if the driver was complete and correct. Presumably the Win16/WindowsOnWin32 stuff is another.

So have these people implemented the WinNT API (probably a realistically small task), or the Win32 API -- which is huge and constantly expanding?

Re:Why not WINE? (1)

abischof (255) | about 15 years ago | (#1813504)

>But they couldn't make much money if they used wine.

They could still sell support, a la Red Hat...

Alex Bischoff

Re:WINE works for me... (1)

Steven Borrelli (354) | about 15 years ago | (#1813505)

WINE is certainly not useless. I've been running Quicken 6.0 for the past four months via Wine for all of our home finances. Sure, there are rough spots and some missing functionality, but it works fine for us.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank the Wine team for their great work. I do agree with you about the suckitude of Windows command line apps.

PetrOS... for games? (2)

Scott Wunsch (417) | about 15 years ago | (#1813507)

If they could get a current DirectX running on this (without the GUI), wouldn't this make a nice fast low-overhead environment in which to run my games ? (The only reason for Windows, after all.)

Re:This is a great Idea!!!! (0)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1813510)

Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

Let me guess, either you just lost your girlfriend or your mother just ran off with a black jewish italiam man with a much bigger pecker than you or your dad have.

Am I right?


Re:eat it, Bill (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1813511)

Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

Why is it that you M$ moles are so easy to spot?


An interesting approach... (3)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about 15 years ago | (#1813519)

It sounds like he's concentrated on getting the command line programs working and doesn't have a GUI yet. Since (I'm guessing) the GUI is the bulk of the work, this hardly counts as a Windows clone.

But, I actually like the approach. I wonder if the Wine folks wouldn't have made faster progress by following the same strategy. As it is now, there are lots of programs that "sort of do something" under Wine, but few useful ones that really work 100%. If the command line stuff worked WELL it might draw more developers to finish the job.

Re:An interesting approach... (2)

Matts (1628) | about 15 years ago | (#1813528)

I doubt it. How would getting command line apps working on Wine encourage developers to work on Wine? There's not a single command line app that I can think of that there isn't a better Linux version of. Can you?

Although I'd love to see _anything_ that got Wine working better than it does now - right now it's completely useless. VMWare is going to kick it's butt all over the shop.


perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'

Re:100kb Microkernel? (3)

Matts (1628) | about 15 years ago | (#1813529)

Those aren't part of the kernel though. They just provide API's to developers, that happen to implement some basic OS services (or what NT considers basic). The _real_ kernel is NTOSKRNL.EXE which on my work system (which I think is SP4) is 927,552 bytes (the bit that provides core system services like threading, process control, etc). Big compared to 100k, and huge compared to QNX Neutrino's 20k. I didn't want to refute your point - just provide a bit of accuracy.


perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'

Re:VMWare vs Wine. (1)

Sneakums (2534) | about 15 years ago | (#1813534)

1) Legality: I happened to have a copy of NT left over, but there are those who would argue that ownership of software is immoral in any case.

2) Resources: the only real hogging that VMWare does is memory, and most of that is the memory given to the guest OS; it's a simple tunable trade-off. It only hogs CPU when it's actually doing something.

3) Second box: I can't afford to do that. What I *will* do is add another 128M to my existing box and give NT 96M insted of 64.

I have yet to try WINE, so I will not comment, except to say that I think it's a wonderful project and exactly the kind of thing that shows that there is no great mystery to Windows.

Best of luck.


Re:hmm.. i wonder if it will be open source? (2)

substrate (2628) | about 15 years ago | (#1813535)

Well, its a microkernel so that 100kB comparision to NT isn't really accurate. What the microkernel represents is the smallest amount of code that allows it to schedule processes, manipulate memory and load in other modules. As soon as a user does something silly like try to use it the microkernel will have to load in code that handles ethernet, graphics, input/output devices etc.

A more accurate comparision would be from a fresh boot what is the graph of memory consumption of each OS while running this script in SuperWizzyWorks 2000?

Re:Clueless about NT Operating System as usual. (1)

tjansen (2845) | about 15 years ago | (#1813536)

But is it a good thing to have dozens of API calls for special cases when a Unix system can do the same things with a slim elegant API, with less than 100 API calls, and still be as fast as an NT system (or even faster)?
I think that this is embarrassing for NT...

Re:People buy that stuff? (1)

tjansen (2845) | about 15 years ago | (#1813537)

There are still lots of companies who havent upgraded to Windows95 or Win98. And even if only 1% of the Windows computers are running 3.x then there are still million of them that need a decent TCP/IP stack.

Re:GUI (1)

AMK (3114) | about 15 years ago | (#1813542)

Pad++ was a zoomable user interface written in Tcl/Tk. It grew and grew and got unmaintainable, so its successor is a Java library called Jazz [] , which looks very promising. It's alpha work at the moment, though, requires Java 2, and still needs more optimization work.

Re:This is a great Idea!!!! - score this down NOW (1)

bpdlr (3132) | about 15 years ago | (#1813543)

Jeez, this guy is an argument for censorship all unto himself. Moderators, do you job! Maybe if you all give him -1 he'll be the first to end up with a -50 score. Is there any was the system could automatically ban someone if they receive a huge markdown? I would prefer never to see this sort of racist, bigoted hate speech at all, even though I sometimes look at the -1's just for a laugh sometimes.

Barry de la Rosa,
Senior Reporter, PC Week (UK)
Work: barry_delarosa[at],
tel. +44 (0)171 316 9364

sphincter? (1)

QueenFrag (5694) | about 15 years ago | (#1813547)

i'm sure he'll hear about it from his already- "excited" lawyers.

Trumpet Software (3)

Booker (6173) | about 15 years ago | (#1813548)

Whatever this PetrOS thing is, I've got to hand it to Trumpet Software - they *really* made a difference 6 or 7 years ago with their Trumpet Winsock stack. Way before Microsoft acknowledged the Net's existence, Trumpet was there to help us poor non-Unix folks get on the web. One of the few shareware programs I actually paid for. :-) I wondered what they were doing these days... I'm not sure there's much of a market for a TCP/IP stack under Windows anymore.

Re:The space shuttle (off-topic) (1)

rhinoX (7448) | about 15 years ago | (#1813553)

I was under the impression that the shuttle uses 6502's (well, later models) because they were the only CPU's that are currently manufactured to withstand the heat generated by reentry.

But it's been a while, and I could be wrong.

Goodness gracious (3)

The G (7787) | about 15 years ago | (#1813556)

I wonder if these folks even realize the implications... forget embedded (win32 is a bad idea for the embedded market anyway), think emulation -- win32 drivers and applications running with no overhead under any OS you like.

If this is legal (and you can bet MS will be trying hard to prevent it from being) then we may just have hit the point where even OS-specific software and drivers aren't OS-specific any more.

Of course the obvious MS response is to immediately make some incompatible API changes that break this new micro-OS, and patent them so far up their asses that a programmer couldn't extract them without reaching down their mouths with a plumber's snake. We'll have to see how the legal side of this evolves.

Re:Score 1? (1)

matasar (8397) | about 15 years ago | (#1813557)

The reason he was at one is that he has registered an account. ACs start at 0, and registered users start at 1. So nobody moderated him up.

But he's down to negative one anyway (and that was a moderating point well spent).

VMWare vs Wine. (2)

landley (9786) | about 15 years ago | (#1813562)

My understaing of VMWare is:

1) You need a copy of windows to run. To do it legally costs $$$, especially NT.

2) Running a whole second OS is a serious resource hog.

3) It's effectively running on a second (virtual) computer, in its own little sealed box. Why not just get a second computer and a monitor/keyboard/rat switch?

Wine provides the Win32 system calls to a Linux process, allowing things like a windows CGI program to do credit card validation to be spawned from Linux' Apache. It may never run every windows program in existence, but:

1) Neither does any one version of Windows.

2) I don't own every windows program in existence. I only care about the ones I have (which these days, are mostly games, half of which actually run under DOS.)

3) This is legacy support. 50% of the legacy windows programs out there aren't Y2K compliant anyway, and an amazing number of people are limping along with "good enough for now" 3.1 installs left over from the 1980's for their daily word processing and checkbook balancing/payroll. (Sheesh, last year I helped a friend of a friend copy his comic book store inventory system from an old 386 SX with a 100 meg hard drive to an old 386 DX with a 200 meg drive. Only reason he left the old system was he'd tried Dos 6 doublespace and the drive started to eat itself.)

We don't HAVE to support the latest and greatest Windows apps, those companies are still around and we can lobby for a native version as we penetrate farther and farther into "grandma" land and our usage numbers go up with drool-proof interfaces like Gnome and automatic install/configuration and pre-installs. And we ALREADY support a lot of the old stuff, and creep farther every day.

The Wine people are adding new APIs faster than Microsoft is. They're better at it. Someday, they'll catch up.


Re:Hey moderators. Lets test the new moderation he (1)

Croaker (10633) | about 15 years ago | (#1813565)

Hmm... I just hit this dweeb with another negative moderation point, but for some reason he's not -2 now. Perhaps it's because I didn't choose "flamebait" as the original moderator did, but instead chose "Troll."

My last moderation point was gobbled up. so it should have docked him another point...

(I'm posting as AC because, of course, I can't post to a topic I've moderated...)

Re:Hey moderators. Lets test the new moderation he (1)

Croaker (10633) | about 15 years ago | (#1813566)

Oops. Well, it looks like I managed to undo my moderations by somehow posting as myself... D'oh! It did say it was undoing the moderations, though... which meant it recorded them. But it didn't reflect it in teh moderation score. Weird.

hmm.. i wonder if it will be open source? (1)

saturated (11469) | about 15 years ago | (#1813569)

i'll definetly sign up for that dev program. i wonder what the minimum requirements for the system are? if the kernel is only 100kb what the hell has mikeysoft put in thiers?

now if we all can convince them to open up the dev project this would be damn cool.. expand wine to run native nt products alongside reqular windoze apps.

"Linux is not portable" - Linus Torvalds

Why not WINE? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 15 years ago | (#1813574)

These guys ought to put their exceptional talents to use on the WINE project, rather than re-inventing the wheel yet again. There's already an alternate Win32 implementation out there, and it's already open-source.

I dunno... (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 15 years ago | (#1813575)

This is off-topic, but I kind of have a problem with your argument. Is what _you personally_ call "bigoted hate speech" any more of a flaim-bait than any other trolls we get here? Why does "bigoted hate speech" deserve a -50 where "Linux Sucks" deserves a -1? The moderation is here to clean up the trash a bit, but there is no section in the guidelines that specifies a larger penalty for political incorrectness...

Re:People buy that stuff? (1)

mwr (12650) | about 15 years ago | (#1813576)

Looking at Trumpet's selection of software, I see they sell a TCP/IP stack and a gateway/masquerading program. I can't believe people actually pay for that stuff when you've got Linux and FreeBSD which will do that for free.

Back in the old days (before 1995), Trumpet's Windows 3.1 stack was the best thing going in the market. Even if it's been surpassed since then, it was good stuff, it fit on a floppy, and it did the job. Most, if not all of the other Win31 stacks were serious payware, less flexible, etc.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

jabber (13196) | about 15 years ago | (#1813580)

It may be true, but it certainly can't be running an NT compatible Win32 system. The NT microkernel is but a tiny pary of the NT kernel. The microkernel is responsible for thread scheduling, multiprocessor sync, interrupt handling and little else. The mukernel needs the other kernel mode services (large) of NT to even begin to provide a Win32 system.

This sounds a lot like saying that Linux is capable of running a web server, X windows, Netscape, Emacs, yadda-yadda, and it can fit on a floppy too. Note, not at the same time, but it can. The floppy sized piece is a small part of the whole that can do wonderful things. I'm sure that the Trumpet people rely on other kernel mode services to provide a system that can run anything at all.

To their credit though, the Trumpet people couldn't take functionality OUT of the mukernel to reduce it's size to ~100K, so that size is a result of tweaks. But then again, we don't know how large that functionally comparable piece of M$-NT is per their distribution of it.

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

jabber (13196) | about 15 years ago | (#1813581)

Microkernels are a great way to do things.
I've used/developed for QNX in a real-time environment, and I was very impressed.

But, the thing to remember is that small size comes at the cost of functionality and performance. After reading your link and some of the ones from there on, I'm under the impression that beyond a bootable POSIX, browser and web server, there's not much there on that floppy. And I noticed that it uses a two stage boot process to get going. Step one bootstraps a decompressor, and step two loads the decompressed system into memory. That OS, off the floppy, is probably on the order of 4MB+...

The QNX installation I worked with included a full OS (complete with those bells and whistles like grep, awk and vi), the full Photon windowing system (not just the GUI support for the browser) the developer support for TCP/IP, and Photon, and a nuts-to-the-wall C/C++ compiler from Watcom.

The install was about 100MB+, and still wouldn't run Quake.:) It's nice to have a 45K mukernel, but it is more important to have the code for the whole system efficient and fast. Even if the mukernel is half a meg, it must be fast before anything else - except where size trully matters, like on a satellite. :)

Re:100kb Microkernel? (1)

dirty (13560) | about 15 years ago | (#1813582)

By that same logic, the linux kernel is equal to the size of /vmlinuz + `find / -follow -name "*.so"`. I'm not even going to attempt to figure out how huge that would be. The nt kernel itself is quite small I think. It should be atleast as it's a microkernel. Also, small is not always equal to good. The MS-DOS "kernel" is something like 10k. It's a peice of crap though.

PetrOS (1)

generic (14144) | about 15 years ago | (#1813583)

This would be great, another Desktop OS. If I were them I would keep it as different from BeOS
System X and windows as possible. Maybe create a 3D desktop as the standard? that would be neato.

Re:GUI (1)

generic (14144) | about 15 years ago | (#1813584)

A ZUI? cool got any links?

I work down the road from Trumpet... (1)

semis (14252) | about 15 years ago | (#1813585)

.. and MAN do they have no clue!

They are also an ISP and they charge AU$5/hr (US$3) !!!

All their products have crappy win3.1 interfaces, and sure they might have been good a while back, but these guys don't have what it takes to make this OS work...

my 2c.

Commission a gui? (1)

dar (15755) | about 15 years ago | (#1813588)

Xfree86 should be easy to paste on.

Re:100kb Microkernel? MS kernel size numbers. (1)

Shoeboy (16224) | about 15 years ago | (#1813589)

Kernel32.dll is ~ 700Kb in size. Hal.dll for x86 is ~90Kb. On W2K beta 3 at any rate.

Close, but no cigar.. (2)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | about 15 years ago | (#1813590)

It wouldn't be a true NT clone unless it crashed 3 times a day, and cost more than a typical family car to keep running.

For Bill's lawyers (1)

bunyip (17018) | about 15 years ago | (#1813592)

Let's send his "excited" lawyers off to Tasmania, it was the worst of the penal colonies.

Also, a few years back it was the only state in Australia where machine guns were legal. Dunno if this this still the case, but I'm sure there's still a few around in case some errant, excited lawyers turn up...

The obstacle to Microkernels (1)

bunyip (17018) | about 15 years ago | (#1813593)

OK, we all agree that microkernels make for simple, robust, flexible systems but you can't measure that objectively. So, magazines and reviewers measure speed (or feature lists - hence bloat).

W95 was faster the NT3.5, particularly the GUI, so all the GUI stuff migrates to the kernel. So does all the other junk.

Another example is the web. If we put HTTP in the kernel, such as a loadable driver, it'll run faster, IBM's doing that on AIX with a couple of GB of kernel-based cache to serve up static pages faster.

So, would consumers buy or even download and install this new OS if all it did was run Windows programs 5% slower w/o crashing?

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

magic (19621) | about 15 years ago | (#1813604)

I wonder how much is in their distro, though. The Windows kernel is way huge, but that is only a small part of the OS. The file system, GDI, UI (which includes IE now), device drivers, etc. make up the bulk.

The coolest thing about this is that with a 200kb NT, it would be possible to use it as an NT emulator, making it possible to load NT device drivers under other OS's. A little linux-NT bridge could easily be built, where the drivers would get all of the NT services they expect.

This would be very helpful for getting "alternative" OS's like BeOS, Linux, MacOS, OS/2, (and now, PetrOS) etc. running on currently unsupported hardware.


Re:WinNT API != Win32 API (1)

nick this (22998) | about 15 years ago | (#1813611)

According to the article, it's Win32. Also, the article states that it is command line only. No GUI. Which means that realistically, only a subset has been done. No window handling stuff has probably been implemented.

This really isn't a huge feat. There have been several embedded OSes that were Win32 compatible. Some were not only source compatable but binary compatible, as I understand. I believe Phar-Lap had one that could be developed with Visual Studio on NT, and the same binary would run on both platforms.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:hmm.. i wonder if it will be open source? (4)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1813612)

if the kernel is only 100kb what the hell has mikeysoft put in thiers?

Easter eggs. If you hold down QCKRTISO whilst saying the Lord's Prayer backwards and tipping milk into your keyboard, it displays random pictures from Bill's family photo album. This is why stuff like GIF decoders have to be in kernel space under Windows NT; the "photo album" Easter egg requires them to work.

Interesting idea, and a known phenomenon (1)

osmac (24461) | about 15 years ago | (#1813613)

Sounds good, and a little bit like COS, the MacOS 8 alternative by Omega GmbH, Vapourware par excellence.


Re:100kb Microkernel? (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | about 15 years ago | (#1813617)

From the Windows NT Workstation homepage : "Pentium or faster processor 16 MB of memory (RAM); 32 MB recommended"

Re:PetrOS - Server OS, not desktop. (1)

goomba (29295) | about 15 years ago | (#1813623)

There is a difference. People don't use Nt Server and Linux for playing games and word processing, they use desktop OS's like Windows 95/98, BeOS, and MacOS.

I thought the Win32 API had GUI in it (1)

Rocket Boy (34136) | about 15 years ago | (#1813632)

Not being a serious Win32 programmer, I thought it had functions for creating a gui and components? If so, then PetrOS might have it already.


Re:An interesting approach... (1)

Natty (51284) | about 15 years ago | (#1813636)

>There's not a single command line app that I can think of that there isn't a better Linux version of. Can you?

Ohh, I can, I can! There's a small program called preqcc made by the people who created the Team Fortress quake modification. It adds #define and #ifdef to the quakec language and is needed to compile team fortress. Unfortunately this is a win32 console program but I was able to succesfully run it in wine. So thanks to wine I have a really cool quakeworld server now. Mmmm Quake, I haven't played it for like 10 minutes!

Re:100kb Microkernel? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 15 years ago | (#1813639)

lesse, the NT kernel consists of a bunch of files: kernel32.dll (9X has that and krnl386.exe) shell32.dll wsock32.dll and don't forget the GUI subsystem, as it's part of it... commdlg32.dll comctl32.dll and we still have to boot: ntldr, ntdetect.. the file sizes do add up, compared to linux...

100kb Microkernel? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 15 years ago | (#1813640)

If this is true, and is running an NT compatible Win32 system, this shows how really inefficient the coders @ Microsoft really are (or are pushed to be)...

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

dr00p (56154) | about 15 years ago | (#1813641)

NT 3.51 client or server ? because client works even on 8Mb RAM ... server ... with 12Mb RAM, told me it needs 16Mb Ram to start ... I don't know about NT4.0 ... spX ... etc etc ...

Re:The obstacle to Microkernels (1)

styopa (58097) | about 15 years ago | (#1813642)

Your observation about W95 being faster than NT3.51 is true under most cases. I found that on a 486SX25 with 8 Megs of ram that NT3.51 was actually faster than W95, and very compariable to W3.11 in speed. Hopefully no one else will be as unfortunate to make this discovery, but it is true.

GUI (1)

Tincan (64139) | about 15 years ago | (#1813650)

The article claims that they have yet to decide
on a GUI for PetrOS. If they are having such a
hard time walking the line of copying Mickeysoft
then why don't they do something in a completely
new paradigm? How about a ZUI (zoomable user
interface) perhaps like Pad++? Mickeysoft has nothing like it and I think it has a niche with great potential. This would enable it to be
attractive not only to the "fringe," but also for those who need to see something new to remind them that all of computing is not shrink-wrapped in their desk drawer.

Clueless about NT Operating System as usual. (2)

ronaldinho (64375) | about 15 years ago | (#1813660)

Try implementing some applications using some of the extensive multithread APIs in the NT OS, such as

ReadFileEx/WriteFileEx (async i/o)
PulseEvent (some of the event stuff is really cool)

and then come back and feel embarrassed for being an ignorant Linux would be all your life.

The applications may or may not be poor in your opinion. However the OS is fantastic. Some subsections of it are problematic (I don't like the registry as a device for instance, and it's support for multiple consoles is poor, and networked GUI), however the core of the OS is amazingly well thoughtout and designed by experienced software engineers.


Re:The obstacle to Microkernels (1)

mong (64682) | about 15 years ago | (#1813661)

Running stuff at a 5% speed disadvantage with a big stability advantage is actually a fairly attractive proposition - on the basis of notable recent (fair?) tests this is exactly what Linux does already...

The Space Shuttle uses late 386s or something like that, purely because the last 386s had all the bugs sorted out. Slow, but stable. See? There's many situations where stabilty is far more important.

Besides, with computers running at ridiculous speeds now, would 5% really put you at a major disadvantage to your competitors? Or would the speed of the actual box mean that the 5% becomes irrelevant?

Mong. (Developing a penchant for writing lots, and saying little).
* Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *

Re:100kb Microkernel? MS kernel size numbers. (1)

mong (64682) | about 15 years ago | (#1813662)

On this NT4(sp3) machine, Kernel32 is 363kb - easily floppy sized eh? winnt/system32/ is 101mb though. Much of this is unused/out of date junk... but it's still a hell of a lot more than 363kb.

You cannot even get close to being as functional as a full NT system on a 100kb kernel. Not that I'm saying NT is particularly functional or anything ;)


* Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *

Re:100kb Microkernel? (1)

mong (64682) | about 15 years ago | (#1813663)

> Did you wake up this morning and say to
> yourself "I could log onto Slashdot and show
> my ignorance in much the same fashion that
> a baboon shows it's rear end" ? Or was this a
> spontaneous demonstration?

Hey! Not nice dude!

Oh sorry, you were beating yourself, for being not putting your name to a mindless insult.


* Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

mong (64682) | about 15 years ago | (#1813665)

It's common knowledge that MS is bad, and we all know that a big kernel is a bad thing. QED - simple as that.

That said;
"She's a witch - throw her in the river, if she floats she's a witch, if she drows, she's not!
Well, Ducks float...
So? So do other things... wood
So, witches are made of wood?"

- A summation of a Python sketch. Proving that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4. On this logic, we could say (using simple chaining methodology...) that if a: In order to know something, you must experience it (Win kernel, big), otherwise, no matter how valid the source, it is only assumed/presumed. Therefore, people are just assuming that NT has a hideous, huge kernel - when in fact it may be gorgeous and petite, with the "bloat" being caused by all the other stuff...

Long winded I know, but I'm simple...


* Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *

Re:100kb Microkernel? (2)

moitz (65511) | about 15 years ago | (#1813666)

Since I happen to have (unfortunately) to work on an NT box at work, I decided to look up the exact file sizes of kernel32.dll, wsock.dll, ntldr, ntdetect, and a few others that are part of the kernel. All told, the size of the Windows NT kernel is nearly 2 megs (1730KB). Now that's huge. And slow.

moitz: i used to be somebody

Re:People buy that stuff? (1)

jmoo (67040) | about 15 years ago | (#1813670)

I agree, it seems hard to believe that they could make such an OS. But if they can it really show that M$ dosen't have a clue as how to write a program.

Re:eat it, Bill (1)

kizersosay (67287) | about 15 years ago | (#1813672)

knowing bill, he'll find a way to buy it, and then try to pass it off as windows 2000.
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