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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Questions from the uninitiated - OS development


    As the title implies, my knowledge base in this area is pretty thin. I have a few questions I hope aren't overly stupid to ask.

    I am looking to develop my own platform that can replace an operating system on a computer, basically my own OS. This OS will only need to run one application. My questions are:

    1) How simple can this OS be?

    2) Can the application and OS be integrated? ( For example could you boot your system and the only thing that runs is an internet browser, can the OS itself be both the launcher and the application?)

    3) Roughly, how long would it take an experience programmer to write something like this?

    4) What language is the best for this type of project?

    So in essence, I want to develop software that is a hybrid between an OS and an Application so I can have a computer that is dedicated to the one function.

    It may seem a little crazy to create something that limits the function of a computer from 100's of programs to just one, but sometimes its necessary to step back before you can step forward. I appreciate any information provided. If you feel your capable of developing something like this feel free to contact me Edit by admin: no contact info permitted on the forum, thank you


  2. #2
    PeejAvery's Avatar
    PeejAvery is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Re: Questions from the uninitiated - OS development

    This has been brought up many times. The last was last time was this month.
    If the post was helpful...Rate it! Remember to use [code] or [php] tags.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Questions from the uninitiated - OS development

    First, I really can recommend the thread that PeejAvery already linked you to. It's short, but among other info it contains valuable advice from a guy who actually has engaged in OS development already.

    Second, that very guy recently pointed me to a site about OS development I didn't know yet: It looks really comprehensive and helpful, and I already found useful info there I could use to answer a post here on GodeGuru, although neither I never have been or am going to actually develop an OS myself nor that question was related to OS development.

    The site is likely to answer at least some of the questions you ask here, and many many more you couldn't even imagine yet.

    And now let me answer some of your questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by njm2 View Post
    1) How simple can this OS be?
    In theory, it can be almost arbitrarily simple. It can be as simple as a single boot sector, but of course this couldn't really do any useful things. It all depends on the requirements.

    2) Can the application and OS be integrated?
    Yes. This actually has been done some times in the past but nowadays it's at least really really rare, at least on common PC systems.

    So in essence, I want to develop software that is a hybrid between an OS and an Application so I can have a computer that is dedicated to the one function.
    Now this sounds somehow like some embedded stuff, and that's much more common than what I thought of when answerding your question 2). But note that this usually involves dedicated hardware (and that does not just mean a usual PC dedicated to a single specific task). Also, embedded software usually doesn't run completely "OS free". It usually is based on some runtime environment supplied by the hardware vendor (or sometimes a 3rd party on popular hardware) that can be considered some sort of OS, although of course it doesn't have sophisticated GUI support and stuff like e.g. Windows or *nix.

    Anyway, good luck with your project, in which form it may finally get implemented ever...

    Ah, and... Welcome to CodeGuru!
    Last edited by Eri523; February 1st, 2011 at 12:30 AM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    somwhere nearby

    Re: Questions from the uninitiated - OS development

    Hi Nick.
    welcome to CodeGuru.
    Eri523 said pretty much everything .
    i would like to point out that sth about your Question number 4:
    that depends on the programmer and the chore he is going to take , i mean you need experience with the low level stuff , and its not like that if for example im a professional C# developer i can write such a thing very quickly . (of course your over all experience in programming will definitely help you alot , more than what you can imagine , but as i already said thats not enough , having such skill is necessary but not enough ))
    and about your 5th question :
    i would myself prefer C++ .( i presume you would want to make such Os for educational purposes only ) .
    that's pretty much everything i wanted to say .
    Good luck and have fun coding your OS .

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