[colug-432] Unix Is The Last Operating System

Stephen Potter spp at unixsa.net
Wed Jun 17 12:09:43 EDT 2015

On 6/17/2015 11:18 AM, Rob Funk wrote:
> If you consider the Linux kernel to be the hypervisor, that's starting 
> to sound like Docker and similar Container systems. You could set 
> things up so that the host only has enough to run the containers, and 
> all applications run in containers - which in turn each contain 
> nothing that's not necessary for running that application. 

Truthfully, I am thinking of more of vSphere/ESXi due to its prevalence 
in the market and its wider ecosystem.  Containers are not really 
changing the paradigm I'm thinking about, because they are still heavily 
wedded to the traditional Linux OS concept.  You still have a really big 
underlying OS without the application itself taking on the higher level 

> I think many of the things you want to get rid of will long remain 
> useful security and system management tools. You risk throwing things 
> out only to see them gradually added back in (reinvented poorly). 

The point is to remove the necessity for the security and management 
tools.  If you are dealing with virtual applications that have a single 
function, where do you need much of this?  Think of the specialized 
hardware appliances we have - network functions, security functions, 
telephony, digital signage, cameras, satellite receivers.  Many of them 
are based on embedded Windows or Linux distributions, but do they truly 
need all the complexity of a complete kernel and OS, or would it be 
possible to embed that functionality directly into the application.

> "Not a traditional filesystem" means yet another filesystem, optimized
> for the specific purpose at hand. You'll have different filesystems
> for different purposes.

Yes, and as I mentioned, you already see this specifically from DB 
systems, where they want a raw device to manage for performance reasons.

> There's been speculation and observance over the last few years that
> the traditional PC is disappearing in favor of tablets and the like.
> But there will always be people with specialized needs who aren't
> served such devices -- for example, developers writing code for those
> tablets and for the servers they rely on.

Of course, there will always be the need for some generic OSes.  I was 
exaggerating a little when I said no need, but for many major 
application systems, when does it get to the point to make more sense to 
write to the hypervisor than to write to a specific OS?


More information about the colug-432 mailing list