Do any kerneltrappers have an opinion on plan9? It seems to have an interesting architecture and even has a free software license. Any reason it's not more popular?
Popularity - it's research, not hype... this explains a lot of why it's not as popular as Linux is, or even *BSD... Further, the HCL doesn't coincide with Linux - supported hardware is a fair bit further behind the curve, although that's probably a fn of "it's research, not hype"
the vandy monster
From a design perspective, Plan 9 does some rather neat things. My favourites include:
* It tries to include as much as possible in the filesystem namespace, minimising the number of abstractions used in the system.
* It is explicitly designed to be used extremely flexibly in network environments.
* The GUI contains interesting innovations (although there's not much eye candy to match the usability innovations...)
That said, I don't know how well it performs. I'm pretty sure that it would be less efficient on a server than *BSD / Linux, which have been extensively developed to perform well here.
To use Plan 9, there was originally a fee - I was at a talk by one of the researchers a while back, who suggested that (given the free availability of other operating systems), this had slowed the uptake of Plan 9.
There's also a much smaller base of supported software available for Plan 9 (of course, this is a standard free OS problem!).
Since I don't think it'd like my hardware, I've looked at some alternatives... I've had some success running Plan 9 in QEmu but not enough to install it. I haven't tried very hard with Bochs. I am, however, looking forward to the Xen port (in progress)...
my computer has two OS, windows98 and debian/linux (woody)
i'm familiar with windows98, trying hard to use linux but
then i created an empty partition on the same machine and
installed plan9, login as 'glenda' then fshalt . . .
another OS to learn, but disturbed by the comment that all
UNIX'es is a product of 'empty engineering'
My guess why it's not more popular, is that it's virtually unknown. That and even when I did know about it, nobody told me it could run as a live CD! I've tried it as one of the three non-Linux FOSS distros I'll be writing about this week, and between Belenix, FreSBIE, and plan9, I like plan9 the best! I'm earmarking it for install the next time I have some free hard drive space.
The learning curve is a bit steep. That's to be expected when the aim of the developers is to be revolutionary. But it's so much fun to play with, I'm sure it'll draw it's share of attention and new applications as time goes by.