An open source operating system for x86 machines
The Araxes project is an open source operating system for x86 architecture PCs, servers, and appliances, with no reliance on Unix-like design, semantics, or software. It is available free of charge in both source and binary forms under the terms of the ISC license.
Araxes still lives, though I've not pushed code to public in some time. My current focus is on nailing down the new system design overall, and documenting thoroughly as the design is implemented. I have an internal goal to release a functional system preview for testing this summer in hopes that it will pique the interest of more than just a handful of people in #osdev on Freenode.
About a year ago I committed to redesigning the system completely, with the internet of building something new and entirely unlike the myriad Unix-like systems produced in the hobby operating systems space. The new Araxes design is unique enough to stand alone, but should be comfortable enough for any programmer familiar with either Unix or NT to work with. The underlying goal of the project however is not a lofty one of revolutionizing computing; it is to be a platform to provide specific services, and to provide them well.
The two key goals of the system are clear: Prioritizing user experience and complete documentation. The method of configuring a system through a smattering of text files and arcane incantations increases the complexity of bringing up and maintaining a system and the number of focus switches an administrator needs to make to find and reference some buried manual page somewhere just to change a few options. And often that manual page is crude and standalone. The Araxes project will provide in-line documentation in its user interface for expediency when configuring and maintaining a system, and a full manual and reference book that describes both the back and front ends of the system for more complex and in-depth troubleshooting and optimization.
More will be available about the system in the coming weeks.
Obtaining the latest Araxes source can be done through Git (git clone https://github.com/Kazinsal/Araxes.git) or via a tarball of the Git master branch HEAD (click "Latest TAR" in the top right of the page). Please note that HEAD may not always be stable, and is likely to have more bugs than a stable release. Stable releases will be made available periodically when there is more to the operating system.
Also in the future, pre-built live CDs will be available in ISO format. The disc images will contain the operating system in bootable form. These will be released alongside (and be built from) the periodic stable source releases.
Building the operating system is not a particularly complex process. The majority of the time needed is consumed by building a GCC/binutils cross-compiler. Once the toolchain is installed, the operating system build process can be initiated and automated (and even tested) with the build-araxes command, to compile the build assistance tools, build the kernel, userspace, and live CD ISO.
For a more in-depth look into the build process and the required tools, see the latest README.md file.
All first-party code in the Araxes operating system is under the terms of the ISC license. The ISC license is functionally equivalent to the simplified BSD license, but removes wording that is unnecessary under the termes off the Berne Convention. In summary:
The full terms of the ISC license are available in the repository as license.md.
You can email the Araxes support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Email support is responded to on a best-effort basis; please do not resubmit your query if you don't immediately receive a response.
Real-time chat with the Araxes team and community is available on the Freenode IRC network in the #araxes channel. We highly recommend registering a NickServ account to ensure your messages are not automoderated.