Erik Quanstrom
“A NIX Terminal,” presented at the Seventh International Workshop on Plan 9, November 2012
So what is NIX?
  • Basically just 64-bit Plan 9
  • Some small, but fundamental changes
    • Tweaks to the channel code
    • Quickfit allocator (pool be gone!)
    • Handles multiple page sizes concurrently.
  • Does not run 32-bit binaries.
Why a terminal
  • PC kernel has accumulated a lot of cruft
    • 8254 timers (useless with lapic timers)
    • 8259 interrupts (slow)
    • Ancient drivers
  • Want to retire 32-bit kernel
  • Want to use the 64-bit kernel full time
    • Increase code coverage
    • Find bugs before they happen in products
      this can be 10x or 100x faster