Monday, 13 October 2008

not installing plan 9 ...

People react to having a blank day in their calendar in various ways. Some people (apparently) go looking on the web for pictures of people of the opposite gender in various states of undress, some play interactive Sudoku games. Being a sad anorak I do neither, I build test installs of various operating system distros  or play with various bits of software.

Today was an operating system day, and finally it was time for Plan 9.

Plan 9 irritates me as an operating system. It gnaws away at the corners of my mind saying 'look this could be interesting' like an itch you want to scratch and never do.

The whole idea of a simple distributed operating system to link together nodes for grid based application s is interesting and perhaps useful, but I'd never gone so far as to build an installation. Well this morning I did, building a instance on VirtualBox  rather than a real physical machine. 

After a little trial and error with the network settings (PCnet-PCI II (NAT) works fine) I started the install, taking the defaults all the way through on the basis that I didn't know what I was doing, though I had read the documentation. Installation was glacially slow, much slower than usual when building things under virtualbox, but basically worked with only the odd exception, usually caused by disk retries. Basically worked that is, until almost the last stage, unpacking the software image when it failed.

Probably due to running it on a vm more than anything else. Add it to the list to try next time I get another old machine to play with...

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