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paradigm-X
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: optional installation and overlays for 'Plan 9' Reply with quote

I think this inquiry belongs here because I have a general question about using an overlay, not one about a problem with a particular overlay. Kindly advise if the question belongs elsewhere. When I was looking at the programs related to a Gentoo project called "Plan 9", shown here: "http://soc.dev.gentoo.org/~rps/plan9/", I noticed at the bottom of the page that there were three alternatives for obtaining the programs, either download a ready-made CD, or download a stage 3 tarball, or make an overlay for the Git repo. In addition, when I was looking at the results of a relevant query I made with "eix 9", I found that there were also several programs pertaining to 'Plan 9' within portage's regular tree.

As I have had up to now very little involvement with any of the overlay programs, my question is, therefore, are these several programs already available in portage supposed to be used "after" applying the overlay? When I began reading in general about the overlay information, I was under the impression that programs like these would not become available until after a person configured the overlay and applied it to his existing system. So how then do these other programs relate to the overall Plan 9 project?
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not assume the Plan 9 -related packages in Portage to require use of the work from the "Plan 9 from Gentoo" project. In other words, I would assume you can use the stuff that's in Portage, without using the overlay.

There are a number of elements of Plan 9 that have been added to the Linux kernel or ported to the GNU/Linux userspace over the years. You can selectively make use of this for whatever purpose you desire. These are the things you see in portage. Many other Plan 9 -related concepts have been incorporated as enhancements to existing programs.

There was also a project within the Gentoo community a couple of years ago to try and create what amounts to a gentoo-based distribution that made use of as much Plan9 stuff as possible. I think that's what the "Plan 9 from Gentoo" wiki page, the iso, and the overlay are about. It's not clear to me how active that effort is.

You might even see overlap between the overlay and Portage. There might be newer versions of things in the overlay, or patched versions of them.

It's all rather experimental. I would read everything I could find before diving in.

My only real exposure to it personally was to use the window manager named 'wmii', which makes use of the Plan 9 virtual filesystem as its configuration interface. That was an eye-opening experience, seeing what "everything is a file" can really mean.

I have been wanting to dabble more with Plan 9 ever since then, but have not done so. So, this is about all I can tell you. I hope its of some use.
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paradigm-X
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, BoneKracker, for taking the time to provide a helpful explanation. I have begun reading about it and searching for even more. It all sounds quite interesting to me from what I have found so far. I became aware of Plan 9 while learning how to use an aspect of KVM related to virtio and file-sharing between host and guest, which you can see more details about from here: "http://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/9psetup" . It worked perfectly and seamlessly within KVM.

One of the many benefits of VMs is being able to "dive in" to unchartered waters without stressing it too awfully much. I have been wondering about the level of activity too. I did find this information, "http://git.suckless.org/9base/" , which appears to show some fairly recent goings-on. I think I am going to dive in a little deeper pretty soon, just as soon as I have taken care of a couple other issues on my plate along those lines. It looks to me like some interesting stuff, and I think the people who were the impetus behind it were some pretty smart hominids. Even if the development is not directly active, I am sure that reading about it would prove edifying. Take care and talk to you later.
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also inferno, which was a commercial attempt to bring Plan 9 back to life.

Nix-OS seems to be another effort to revive it (specifically, to create a 'new multicore OS based on Plan 9)[/url].
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