Lightweight operating system using Node.js as userspace.
npm. Any package in
npm is a NodeOS package, which at
last count was 301,660 packages. The goal of NodeOS is to provide just enough to
npm provide the rest. Since anyone can contribute to it, anyone can create
This project won the spanish 9th National Free Software Championship on the Systems category and was Honorable Mention of its 10th edition. It was also presented as the degree thesis of Jesús Leganes Combarro with a qualification of 10/10 with distinction.
- New Wiki (under work)
- pre-build releases images
- 1.0 Roadmap
- 2.0 Roadmap
- media files (logos, wallpapers...)
NodeOS is a Node.js based operating system, built-off of the Linux kernel. The NodeOS Project is aiming to, and can already run on some of the following platforms:
- real hardware like desktops, laptops, or SoC's (Raspberry Pi)
- cloud providers like Joyent, Amazon or Rackspace
- virtual machines like QEmu, VirtualBox, VMWare and KVM
- PaaS providers like Heroku or Joyent's Manta
- container providers like Docker & Vagga
Core development is being done in layers. There could be some differences to adjust better to each target platform, but the general structure is:
- barebones custom Linux kernel with an initramfs that boots to a Node.js REPL
- initramfs Initram environment to mount the users partition & boot the system
- rootfs Read-only partition image to host Linux kernel and initramfs files
- usersfs multi-user environment with the same behaviour of traditional OSes
All the layers are bootable, leading barebones to a raw naked Node.js REPL prompt as PID 1, while initramfs (and by extension rootfs) exec actual NodeOS code to mount the usersfs partition. In all the cases, it will be used an initramfs as root filesystem and all the changes will be lost when powered-off.
If a usersfs partition is being set at boot time, it will be mounted and the
system will considerate each one of its folders as the home folder for a valid
user on the system, and will execute a
init file in the root of each of them.
root user will be the first to be considerated and will have access
to all the home directories, but by design it will not be possible to elevate
permissions once the system has booted.
If you are hacking on NodeOS as a somewhat production server, you are likely
building usersfs images since each user is isolated of others, but you can be
able to customize all layers. For example, you could be able to modify
initramfs to login the users and mount their home folders from a cloud service
or craft a system without global services (no
root user) or also dedicate a
full NodeOS instance to a single Node.js application.
The iso can be written to a CD-R or flashed to an USB pendrive, but will only
provide the read-only rootfs and the changes will be done in memory loosing them
after reboot, so you'll need to set manually a read-write usersfs partition if
you want to persist them. On the other hand, if you want to flash it to an USB
pendrive, it's recomended to do it by using
bin/installUSB command so it will
create automatically a read-write usersfs partition to fill the remaining space
so your changes will persist.
Build NodeOS in five steps
Download the project source code:
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:NodeOS/NodeOS.git cd NodeOS
Install the required build tools, on a Ubuntu based system you can do it by executing
Install NodeOS build dependencies:
npm run build
By default it will generate some files that can be used with QEmu, compiled for your current machine architecture. You can be able to configure the build process by passing some environment variables. For example, to force to build for 32 bits, use
PLATFORM=qemu_32 npm installinstead.
Pick some microwave pop-corn and go to see a movie. No, really, do it.
Exec your fresh compiled NodeOS image:
It will automatically detect what CPU architecture will need to be used on QEmu and exec the correct emulation.
...and profit! :-D
NodeOS on LXC containers (Docker and vagga)
Currently LXC containers support is unmaintained due to the inability to mount filesystems from inside them. There are some NodeOS images on Docker Hub, but they are totally outdated. If you are interested in help or testing, you can build them from source code.
Build from Source
Warning: the build process is hairy, it probably won't work the first time. I'm working on that.
git clone https://github.com/NodeOS/NodeOS.git cd NodeOS PLATFORM=docker npm install