For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to create my very own operating system, one which I have complete and total control over. Because I have neither the time, nor the skill to write my own kernel, this means that I’d eventually land up creating a OS based on the Linux Kernel. Unfortunately, outside of Linux From Scratch (LFS), there is very little information on how to do this, and LFS, despite how amazing it is, teaches very little about the inner workings of Linux and emphasizes copying and pasting to compile a Linux distro.
The lack of information and documentation on developing OSes is, in my opinion, a pretty big problem - how can we hope to continue developing and innovating on the OS level when it’s practically impossible to figure out what anything does or how it works. But then the thought hit me - what if I went through the creation of a distro - while blogging each step of the way, and taking community input to both get better ideas, and avoid making foolish mistakes. Over the past few months, I’ve played around with the Linux kernel and some core utilities, attempting to gain enough of an understanding of Linux-based OSes to be able to educate others on how it works and create my own distro, from scratch - not just from source.
And so Kirk was born, an OS without limits, built to be open from the ground up - with as open of a development process as possible. The benefits of this approach are twofold - not only will the development process of Kirk be accessible enough for anyone interested to jump right in and contribute, but it will also educate anyone interested on how their OS works behind the scenes. For Kirk, I not only plan on going through and explaining the process of developing a Linux distro, but also pushing the boundaries of what can be done with total control of an OS - so I’m not aiming to be “standards compliant”. But for every post, I’ll be sure to explain how the canonical Linux utility solves the task at hand, and how the Kirk utility solves it.
So, stay tuned for the next post, should be coming sometime in the next week or two depending on how much spare time I have. It will also detail what I’ve done so far, and my more specific plans for the future.
If you have any questions/comments/ideas, or just want to talk, feel free to contact me via twitter (@IanChiles) or by email (ianrchiles @ gmail.com)