[Mono-dev] [Mono-devel-list] Operating System in C# Project

jmacdonagh johann at macdonaghs.com
Mon Oct 30 12:51:58 EST 2006

Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in ths. I've also toyed around
with this idea for some time. I began looking at traditional operating
system development to learn a little more.

I envision an operating system where applications and shared libraries are
first-class citizens. Meaning, the operating system knows exactly what is
installed (and doesn't rely on an installer to tell it that an application
is installed), what versions are installed, and what dependencies they have.
IL assemblies provide all of this (versioning and dependencies).

It ended up coming down to me deciding what language I would consider
first-class. Meaning, what language or runtime environment would my
operating system consider first-class. I could choose C/C++, but that locks
people into a language. Instead, I could choose IL, which can be generated
by any number of languages.

I'm very interested in this project. You can do a LOT with unsafe code in
C#, more than enough to write most of a kernel (especially if GRUB was used
as the bootloader). But the problem regarding the runtime still arises. We
would still need a runtime in the background, which would most likely be
unmanaged. Mono comes to mind ;)

My abstract idea was to look at how IL assemblies could communicate with the
mono runtime. If we could break it down into some standards (such as
standard shared library calls), then we could simply load the mono runtime
environment first, and have that load up the actual kernel.

I have many more ideas for such an operating system, including an operating
system regulated area for application configuration files, as well as a
regulated system for overriding configuration files (making a removal of an
application completely seamless).

If anyone else is interested, just reply back.


Johann MacDonagh

Suresh Shukla-2 wrote:
> This is very interesting idea.
> I had been thinking about this for some time. To bring the language
> cleanliness and clarity of Java / C# down to OS layer.
> The OS I have in my focus is mikrokernel based distributed servers
> architecture, actually MINIX. Minix brings many best practices and
> cleanliness from OS side.
> In my opinion a compiler for generating native code from C# would be
> required. Then the task could boil down to a port/rewrite of MINIX.
> Suresh
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