Differences from Unix
- specialist hardware
- A typical Plan 9 installation will have a dedicated
cpu server, a dedicated
and many dedicated
The file server
and cpu server will be connected by the fastest link available.
- "everything is a file"
- Device drivers, network connections, environment variables
and many other services are represented by files in the individuals
file name space. This name space can be manipulated to customise
the user's environment. User-level file servers are trivial to
write and use, and all of this is easily distributed as the file
server communication is all in a simple
- minimalist philosophy
- Plan 9 is an operating system for programmers. It emphasises
simplicity over configurability, good design over compatibility
and pragmatism over "buzzword compliance".
- sensible security
- There is no super-user or root.
Communication with the
is only through a simple protocol which
allows no special access.
Passwords are never transmitted across the network, instead the
terminal manages a challenge/response
session with the authentication server.
- 1990s user interface
- A three-button mouse and bitmapped display are assumed. Support for
has been included from the ground up.
Character-based user-interfaces (vi, xterm, rn) have been superseded.