A free Inferno Binary & Limited Source download for Linux
is now available from the Vita Nuova web site:
The result of more than 20 years of research in operating
systems and programming languages by Rob Pike, Dennis Ritchie,
Ken Thompson and others at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences
Research Center, Inferno is a cultural descendant of Unix.
Inferno is an operating system for creating and supporting
distributed services that can run both natively and hosted
on a range of platforms offering identical interfaces on all.
In particular, Inferno runs as a virtual operating system
on top of the Linux operating system. An overview of the
system can be found at:
Inferno applications are written in a new language called Limbo
which was designed specifically for the Inferno environment.
Its syntax is influenced by C and Pascal, and it supports the
standard data types common to them, together with several
higher-level data types such as lists, tuples, strings,
dynamic arrays, and simple abstract data types. In addition,
Limbo supplies several advanced constructs carefully integrated
into the Inferno virtual machine. In particular, a communication
mechanism called a channel is used to connect different Limbo
tasks on the same machine or across the network.
Brian Kernighan has written an introduction to Limbo and
Dennis Ritchie has written the Limbo Programming Language
Reference Manual. These can be found at:
The package comprises:
- - The Inferno operating system running in hosted mode for
Linux which includes the Dis virtual machine, integral
support for the Styx network protocol, and an
implementation of the Tk user interface toolkit.
- - Linux and Inferno versions of the Limbo compiler for use
inside and outside of Inferno and with which all of the
applications and library modules can be compiled.
- - Source for most of the Limbo applications, including:
* the Acme integrating development environment,
* the Yacc compiler-compiler,
* the Inferno 'sh' programmable shell,
* plumbing support - similar to Plan 9's plumber,
* several Unix-like tools: cat, cd, chmod, cmp, cp, date,
dd, diff, du, echo, env, grep, gzip, kill, lc, lookman,
ls, man, mkdir, mv, ps, pwd, rm, sleep, sort, sum, tail,
tee, telnet, test, time, touch, tr, wc, xd, yacc, ...
- - The contents of Volume 1 of the Inferno Programmer's Manual in
Unix style man format.
- - The Inferno suite of C cross-compilers for a variety
of CPU architectures.
Inferno: a small efficient virtual operating system for
distributed computing and embedded devices.