Plan 9

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Plan 9 at Noisebridge


What: Introduction to using Plan 9 (as well as various forks)

Where: Main hacking area (at the tables)

When: Sundays at 18:00-19:30

Contact: User:mischief

Plan 9

Plan 9 is a computer operating system widely regarded by the electronic intelligensia as the pinnacle of operating system organization and application interface design . Lacking the postmodern irony and self-referential practical jokes made at the expense of application programmers (OOB-IPC, chroot, application registry etc) that would come to characterize operating systems of the 20th century, Plan9 is an operating system that defies any sort of explanation made in relation to existing technologies. Despite its alarmingly mentally unstable user community, it rivals Unix itself in it's impact on contemporary operating system organization.

Lacking the organizational and logical afterthoughts that plague managed application development (I ask the reader to consider the simple case of sockets), it defines itself on the basis that all objects are files (no exaggeration here). File communication is a completely transparent process, regardless of the actual physical location of the files.

Despite these obvious advantages, Plan9's use and reputation has been born posthumously. Due to the shifting economic circumstances of the 1990s, Plan9 would be largely abandoned by Bell Labs by 1995.

In its wake, Plan9 has attracted a small extremist community of software archaeologists, hardcore systems programmers, knights of knowledge and other seekers of ultimate truth.

Praise, Analysis and Precepts of Plan9

"I started keeping a list of these annoyances but it got too long and depressing so I just learned to live with them again. We really are using a 1970s era operating system well past its sell-by date. We get a lot done, and we have fun, but let's face it, the fundamental design of Unix is older than many of the readers of Slashdot, while lots of different, great ideas about computing and networks have been developed in the last 30 years. Using Unix is the computing equivalent of listening only to music by David Cassidy'" - Rob Pike
"It’s possible that I understand better what’s going on" - Russ Cox
"Plan9 is a metaphysical experience" - Bertrand Russell [1]
"Unix compilers are slow" - Rob Pike
"Brave, unconcerned, mocking, Plan9 is a woman, and like all women, she loves only a warrior" - Karl Gotch [2]
"The chief cause of problems is solutions" - Someone who liked, or would have liked, Plan9

Concerning the Class

Noisebridge's favorite roguish rapscallion User:Mischief is primarily responsible for you not being able to use the front of the main table (alternatively Plan9 class), which happens at 6:00PM (pacific time) on Sundays as I'm sure you know. It is good to have a copy of 9front before you come. Staying true to Plan9 principles, instructional organization is largely nonexistent and generally treated with contempt, so feel free to drop in with any amount of Plan9 knowledge and you are sure to open up new, terrifying vistas of reality (as well as have fun).

See you there!


Elementary Documents

General Information



Use bunzip2 to decompress files ending in .bz2.


  • 1. Bertrand Russell did not say this
  • 2. But did Karl Gotch say this? We will never know.