Moshe Bar examines distributed operating systems, offering a
summary of some of the most prominent: Amoeba, Inferno, Plan 9,
Sprite, and his own Mosix:
"Some experts define a distributed operating system as
an OS that manages a collection of independent computers and makes
them appear to the users of the system as a single computer.
Largely as academic projects, several implementations of such
distributed operating systems were created in the late '80s and in
the '90s, such as Amoeba, Inferno, Plan 9 and Sprite.
However, creating a scalable, efficient distributed OS with
widespread user support is surely a formidable task, be it for
research institutions or deep-pocketed companies.