Why not consider a hybrid os?

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dsnider
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Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by dsnider » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:00 am

While I understand the desire to have a free alternative to Windows, and that many people do not want to run Linux+WINE, has anyone seriously considered a hybrid system that would be somewhat akin to how OS-X runs on UN*X-like microkernel (Darwin), and can run native Mac applications on the same screen as X-Window applications?

If I could run an OS that was pretty much just like Windows, but could natively run both Windows and Linux binaries, and let me drop into a bash shell (and not running under Cygwin), or run "cmd.exe" if I so desired, I think that would be ideal.

It wouldn't even have to be Linux... it could be even based on Darwin, as long as in the end it is a pure hybrid -- not Windows running on top of UN*X, or UN*X running on top of Windows, but instead a new OS that natively implements both APIs (for lack of a better term).

Pisarz
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by Pisarz » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:11 am


dsnider
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by dsnider » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:15 am

UML has lower performance than native Linux, and this still isn't the same as a hybrid where you'd be running a single OS as opposed to running two OS' in parallel.

Z98
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by Z98 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:23 am

Others have considered it. The ReactOS development team however has little interest in the ability to run Linux binaries. When we have a need to do so, we just run Linux. We do not place much importance on the ability to run binaries from different OS platforms on the same OS, therefore we have little interest in pursuing such a project.

PurpleGurl
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by PurpleGurl » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:04 am

Another consideration here is this. Why not let us finish developing Reactos as it is? Then you would have source code for a complete Windows OS and several different Linux versions, and you can mix them up in any way you can get to work as you see fit.

PascalDragon
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by PascalDragon » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:23 pm

dsnider wrote:If I could run an OS that was pretty much just like Windows, but could natively run both Windows and Linux binaries, and let me drop into a bash shell (and not running under Cygwin), or run "cmd.exe" if I so desired, I think that would be ideal.

It wouldn't even have to be Linux... it could be even based on Darwin, as long as in the end it is a pure hybrid -- not Windows running on top of UN*X, or UN*X running on top of Windows, but instead a new OS that natively implements both APIs (for lack of a better term).
Are you aware of Windows NT's subsystem concept? The Windows subsystem is (simplyfied) a translation layer between the API expected by Windows applications and the kernel's API. There also exists a POSIX based subsystem called Interix or Services for Unix Applications in newer Windows versions. It basically implements a BSD on top of the NT kernel and I personally prefer to use that instead of Cygwin. It won't allow you to run Linux binaries though, but you can compile POSIX based applications from source and run them.

For more information about the subsystem concept take a look at the following links:
Windows NT Subsystems
Architecture of Windows NT

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DOSGuy
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by DOSGuy » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:28 pm

I'm with PurpleGurl. It should probably go without saying that making an OS that supports binaries for two platforms will be at least twice as difficult as an OS that supports only one platform. Once ReactOS is really good at running Windows software, I would applaud any efforts to make ReactOS capable of running Linux or OS/2 or BeOS binaries.

The concept of a modular, "universal" OS has been proposed and investigated in the past, and it's simply too ambitious for a group of unpaid volunteers. Let Google or Apple or Warren Buffett work on that. Feel free to add support for other platforms to ReactOS if you know how, and I'll give you my best wishes, but it's not going to be a priority for the ReactOS team until they achieve all of ReactOS's goals for Windows compatibility. Maybe something to discuss after v1.0.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article. Get free DOS, Windows and OS/2 games at RGB Classic Games.

dsnider
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by dsnider » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:51 pm

I wasn't intending to cause any offense. I think ReactOS is a great project which creates the ability to facilitate such an endeavor.

I was simply asking if anyone had considered such a project. I'm certainly not suggesting that the ReactOS team change their core focus.

DOSGuy
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by DOSGuy » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:30 pm

And I took no offense. You can read up on failed attempts to create an operating system capable of running any other operating system's binaries, such as E/OS and Freedows OS. It's a great idea, and I'm all for the concept, but ReactOS has been in development since 1998, so if it's that hard to make a Windows-compatible OS, hybridizing it to support additional operating systems is going to be f---ing hard.

With that said, I don't declare the cause hopeless. Linux is open source, and there is an open source version of BeOS (Haiku) and OS/2 (osFree), so in theory someone could try to merge the program-execution code from all of those projects onto ReactOS or some other microkernel to create an OS that would run the binaries of all four platforms. Where there's a will, there's a way, but it would probably help if you had a lot of money to hire people to work on it. ReactOS could sure use some development money.

Finally, you have to assess if it would even be worth the effort, considering that you could just run ReactOS/Linux/Haiku/osFree in an emulator or virtualization suite. As long as there's a free OS from each OS family, do you really need an OS that natively runs the binaries of any other OS?
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article. Get free DOS, Windows and OS/2 games at RGB Classic Games.

fred02
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by fred02 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:11 pm

PurpleGurl wrote:Another consideration here is this. Why not let us finish developing Reactos as it is? Then you would have source code for a complete Windows OS and several different Linux versions, and you can mix them up in any way you can get to work as you see fit.
I agree with DOSGuy too and I would like to propose the above quote for inclusion in ROS MotD.
Last edited by fred02 on Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The123king
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by The123king » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:41 am

If you want to run Linux and UNIX programs alongside Windows programs, why not use WINE in Linux? Or Wine in OS X if you want to run OS X programs. Turning ReactOs into a "hybrid" OS seems pointless IMHO
dsnider wrote:If I could run an OS that was pretty much just like Windows, but could natively run both Windows and Linux binaries, and let me drop into a bash shell (and not running under Cygwin), or run "cmd.exe" if I so desired, I think that would be ideal.

It wouldn't even have to be Linux... it could be even based on Darwin, as long as in the end it is a pure hybrid -- not Windows running on top of UN*X, or UN*X running on top of Windows, but instead a new OS that natively implements both APIs (for lack of a better term).
That is EXACTLY what WINE does. It's simply an API wrapper around POSIX calls, thus requiring no emulation or other performance loss. Which is also why WINE is x86 specific. OK, so it's not necessarily "native", but it's as close as you can get without creating a complete open source clone of windows

igorko
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by igorko » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:52 pm

Linux Unified Kernel, Longene. Such hybrid OS(read as kernel) is already in development.

EmuandCo
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by EmuandCo » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:07 pm

And is no proper solution for neither world nor will ever be.
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ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is recommended only for evaluation and testing purposes.

zed260
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by zed260 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:31 am

well strictly speaking i think a much more viable option short term option is a duel kernal letting you run ether windows or linux drivers (but not linux apps)


that would make a lot more sense anyway of course later on one could depreciate the linux part of the code and eventualy elimnate it in favor of windows drivers


but as far as hybrid os check out http://www.colinux.org/

PurpleGurl
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Re: Why not consider a hybrid os?

Post by PurpleGurl » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:06 am

zed260 wrote:well strictly speaking i think a much more viable option short term option is a duel kernal letting you run ether windows or linux drivers (but not linux apps)

that would make a lot more sense anyway of course later on one could depreciate the linux part of the code and eventualy elimnate it in favor of windows drivers...
Now that could prove interesting, and whoever writes it could call it Chimera or something. It could use a modified Linux kernel from the most compatible Linux flavor with Linux drivers, but expose a full set of NT APIs and be fully compatible with Windows software. Similar to Linux+Wine, but tightly integrated, inseparable, and fully designed to run only Windows applications. That could be more FOSS friendly since most of the available drivers would be open source.

The above would be outside of our goals, but could be another viable alternative. Once we get to a good finishing point, other GPL projects are welcome to use our code and mix it up with Linux any way they see fit.
Last edited by PurpleGurl on Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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