Software Freedom Conservancy

Software Freedom Conservancy Welcomes Harvey OS as Member Project

February 28, 2017

Harvey project logo

Today Software Freedom Conservancy is pleased to announce that Harvey OS has joined the organization as a member project. Harvey is a new operating system. It’s most directly descended from Plan 9, the research operating system developed at Bell Labs as a successor to Unix. This influence spans from its distributed application architecture all the way down to much of its code. However, Harvey aims to be a more practical, general-purpose operating system, so it also uses ideas and code from other systems.

Harvey OS strives to provide an accessible development environment. The kernel is compact—less than 100,000 lines of code. You can build it with either GCC or LLVM, and run it under QEMU or real hardware. This makes it especially suitable for education and experimentation. It is a work in progress and the development team welcomes new contributors and ideas.

“Harvey is built on a very strong foundation: a security model based on network authentication instead of a password file and user names instead of integer user IDs; management of resources via a common interface and namespaces; and transparent resource sharing over networks,” said Ron Minnich, one of the Harvey OS committee members and a long-time contributor to many open source operating systems. “While Harvey started with Plan 9, the license change to the GPLv2 is letting us bring in better technologies where needed. We are always looking for new ideas, especially in the areas of filesystems, graphics, and user interfaces.”

“In order to promote software freedom effectively, Conservancy provides a good home to a wide variety of projects. That includes both stable, proven software, as well as experimental, up-and-coming projects,” said Karen Sandler, executive director at Software Freedom Conservancy. “We’re pleased that we can be helpful to Harvey OS, and we’re happy to have them join our family of member projects.”

“We have welcomed many people to the Harvey OS community recently, and they are interested both in learning and contributing new ideas and code,” said Minnich. “With our new membership in Conservancy, we can now support these members as needed with hardware or travel support.”

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