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From: Keith Gibbs <k@pixelheresy.com>
To: 9fans <9fans@9fans.net>
Subject: Re: [9fans] Difference between Plan 9 legacy and 9front
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2022 14:18:07 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <864D891C-3D20-4C3C-B585-83DB957A7CDF@pixelheresy.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <16432819440.2BDEed5fB.31029@composer.9fans.topicbox.com>

There is certainly a variety of opinions of what means what, but generally speaking:

9legacy: Continuation of Plan 9 from Bell Labs v4 with patches and fixes
9front: A close fork of Plan 9 focused on using and developing Plan 9 systems on modern hardware as a rolling and continually developed system.

Neither is (compared to say the variety of *nix distros) departing greatly from the source. Many of 9legacy’s patches are derived from 9front fixes and improvements.

There are two opinions of how these tactics are distinct:

1) 9legacy is current v4 Plan 9; 9front is the experimental test bed
2) 9legacy is maintaining the *historical* Plan 9, merely keeping the lights on in the museum; 9front is a living OS for people interested in practical use of the OS.

In the end, there is a bit of a dialectic here where *both* are true in a sense and neither are true in a sense. 

But this may allow you to figure out where to start.

If you are interested in understanding Plan 9 from a historical, software engineering perspective, 9legacy is the closest you get to what was installed and developed at Bell and Lucent.

If you are interested in incorporating the most modern iteration of a Plan 9 system with best hardware support for using within your own workflow, go with 9front. As an active user and community member of 9front, most of the people on the 9front side *use* 9front daily and have it incorporated in their personal or professional software development workflow, and I would argue there is a more active user/developer community.

That is not to say there aren’t developers actively using 9legacy (or p9p) for their work, nor that people only use one or the other exclusively, but it can give you a sense of orientation.

Both are now licensed freely and independently of Lucent, thanks P9F.

I hope this helps!


> On 27. Jan 2022, at 13.12, sml@firstpost.pub wrote:
> Hello everyone, 
> I'm really looking forward to getting to grips with Plan 9 in depth, but would have a question in advance.
> Since I want to use Plan 9 on an amd64 system, my understanding is that I am left with two options: Plan 9 legacy and 9front. I want to use Plan 9 on bare metal, so Plan9port would only be a stopgap.
> To be able to decide on an option, I would like to understand the differences. Do the two systems differ in their stated goals, or is 9front's development merely historical (e.g. for licensing reasons)?
> Many thanks in advance! 
> 9fans / 9fans / see discussions + participants + delivery options Permalink

9fans: 9fans
Permalink: https://9fans.topicbox.com/groups/9fans/Tbaab87532a204e00-Mc06e4d1fcc7168be5809c3b5
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      parent reply	other threads:[~2022-01-27 12:18 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-01-27 11:12 sml
2022-01-27 11:45 ` Alexandr Babic
2022-01-27 12:34   ` sml
2022-01-27 12:18 ` Keith Gibbs [this message]

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