Plan 9 on the Raspberry Pi

plan9 copy

Yet another operating system has been ported to the Raspberry Pi. No, it’s not Haiku, sadly, but it is something just as weird and interesting. This time it’s Plan 9 from Bell Labs, an 80’s era OS from the same company that brought you C and Unix.

As a research operating system, Plan 9 has a bunch of really weird, but useful features. For one, everything about a computer running Plan 9 is distributed; the memory can be running on one machine, the processor on another, and the display can run on yet another machine. This modularity gives Plan 9 the honorable title of, ‘more Unix than Unix’.

Another great feature, although somewhat of a historical note, is that Plan 9’s graphics capabilities are written into the kernel, unlike Linux and X where the display manager is floating around in user space.

It’s an interesting system, and if you’ve got enough Raspis to build your own supercomputer you might want to install Plan 9 on a few of your nodes, just to see what the future computer of ages past looked like.


  1. truthspew says:

    How cool is that. I want to pick up a few more Raspi’s just to try it out.

  2. Joe says:

    Good to see Glenda.

  3. Connor says:

    After reading the last two articles,

    Now, I don’t feel so good….

    SkyNET anyone?

  4. Vicary says:

    Is the graphic drivers (if it is still drivers) being actively updated?

  5. h_2_o says:

    Plan9 was way ahead of its time IMHO. it is great to see people still porting it and using it.

  6. Fred says:

    So Plan 9 is “an 80′s era OS”, “the future computer of ages past”? Although with not a fast pace like Linux and the BSD’s, it’s still being developed.

  7. Sam Flint says:


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