Feeds

Plan 9 moves out from Lucent licence space

UNIX successor arrives on the planet of the GNU

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that PONG? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.