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@awesomekling @rburchell @rok-povsic @BobbyRaduloff
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Graphical Unix-like operating system for x86 computers.

Travis CI status


I always wondered what it would be like to write my own operating system, but I never took it seriously. Until now.

Serenity is a love letter to '90s user interfaces with a custom Unix-like core. It flatters with sincerity by stealing beautiful ideas from various other systems.

Roughly speaking, the goal is a marriage between the aesthetic of late-1990s productivity software and the power-user accessibility of late-2000s *nix. This is a system by me, for me, based on the things I like.

If you like some of the same things, you are welcome to join the project. It would be great to one day change the above to say "this is a system by us, for us, based on the things we like." :^)

I regularly post raw hacking sessions and demos on my YouTube channel.

Sometimes I write about the system on my blog.

There's also a Patreon if you would like to show some support that way.


Screenshot as of 9145a72

Current features

  • Pre-emptive multitasking
  • Multithreading
  • Compositing window server
  • IPv4 networking with ARP, TCP, UDP and ICMP
  • ext2 filesystem
  • Unix-like libc and userland
  • POSIX signals
  • Shell with pipes and I/O redirection
  • mmap()
  • /proc filesystem
  • Local sockets
  • Pseudoterminals (with /dev/pts filesystem)
  • Filesystem notifications
  • JSON framework
  • Low-level utility library (LibCore)
  • Mid-level 2D graphics library (LibDraw)
  • High-level GUI library (LibGUI)
  • Emojis (UTF-8)
  • HTTP downloads
  • SoundBlaster 16 driver
  • Software-mixing sound daemon
  • WAV playback
  • Simple desktop piano/synthesizer
  • Visual GUI design tool
  • PNG format support
  • Text editor
  • IRC client
  • Simple painting application
  • DNS lookup
  • Desktop games: Minesweeper and Snake
  • Ports system (needs more packages!)
  • Other stuff I can't think of right now...

How do I build and run this?

Make sure you have all the dependencies installed:

sudo apt install libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev libgmp-dev e2fsprogs qemu-system-i386 qemu-utils

Ensure your gcc version is >= 8 with gcc --version. Otherwise, install it (on Ubuntu) with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get install gcc-8 g++-8
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-8 800 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-8

Go into the Toolchain/ directory and run the script. Then source the script to put the i686-pc-serenity toolchain in your $PATH.

Once you've done both of those, go into the Kernel/ directory, then run ./, and if nothing breaks too much, take it for a spin by using ./run.

Later on, when you git pull to get the latest changes, there's no need to rebuild the toolchain. You can simply rerun ./ in the Kernel/ directory and you'll be good to ./run again.

Notes on WSL

SerenityOS can also be built and run under WSL Version 2. WSL Version 1 is not supported since Version 1 does not support ext2, which is needed for the setup.

WSL Version 2 is currently only available for Insider Builds of Windows which are more unstable and prone to crashes. Therefore, running SerenityOS on WSL Version 2 and running Insider Builds, in general, is not recommended on production systems.

Nevertheless, here is a guide on how to get an Insider Build and how to get WSL2. The installation then procedes as usual.

WSL2 does not natively support graphical applications. This means that to actually ./run SerenityOS, you need an X Server for windows. Vcxsrv is a good option. When you start up Vcxsrv, make sure to set the Display number to 0, and to Disable access control. Before actually doing ./run, you need to set the DISPLAY environmental variable as such:

export DISPLAY=$(cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver | awk '{print $2}'):0

This is due to a bug in WSL2. For more information, microsoft/WSL#4106.

Now you can finally, ./run.


Come chat in #serenityos on the Freenode IRC network.



(And many more!) Feel free to append yourself here if you've made some sweet contributions. :)


Serenity is licensed under a 2-clause BSD license.

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