Feeds

Plan 9 moves out from Lucent licence space

UNIX successor arrives on the planet of the GNU

High performance access to file storage

Plan 9, a successor to Unix developed during the 1980s by Bell Labs, is now available under the GNU Public Licence.

The operating system was never particularly popular or prevalent, but did generate enough of a following to spark a successor of its own known as Inferno. We also wrote it up last year, saying that “Compared to modern Unix, it's also very minimal and lightweight.” Which is a good thing.

The world of Plan 9 is not fast-moving, with the OS released to the general public for non-commercial use in 1995 and then made available to all and sundry under the Lucent Public Licence in 2002. That licence, say GNU folks, is less-than ideal “because of its choice of law clause.” The Lucent licence specifies “the State of New York and the intellectual property laws of the United States of America” as the jurisdictions governing interpretation of its terms and conditions. GNU therefore recommends it is fine to footle around with Plan 9 under the licence, but not to release your own software with Lucent's legalese.

That advice is now moot, because The University of California, Berkely, last week quietly let it be known that it “has been authorised by Alcatel-Lucent to release all Plan 9 software previously governed by the Lucent Public License, Version 1.02 under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.”

It's not clear why Alcatel-Lucent decided to make the OS available under the GNU GPL. Whaterver its reasons, Plan 9 is now just that little bit more intellectually pure and maybe just a bit more attractive for future development for those who don't like the idea of New York's courts.

If you like the idea of taking Plan 9 out for a spin, downloads can be found here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.