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airyxOS Aims To Build Upon FreeBSD With The "Finesse of macOS"

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  • airyxOS Aims To Build Upon FreeBSD With The "Finesse of macOS"

    Phoronix: airyxOS Aims To Build Upon FreeBSD With The "Finesse of macOS"

    One of the promising new BSD projects started over the past year was helloSystem as "the macOS of BSDs" and built atop FreeBSD but with a macOS-inspired design. A Phoronix reader has pointed out another entrant in this field with airyxOS as a FreeBSD-based operating system designed to be similar to Apple's macOS experience...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...-FreeBSD-macOS

  • #2
    It's in the alphabet stage, eh. Looks interesting. I always say that about BSD desktops.

    Looking at their source roadmap combined with the licensing talk in the Rust article makes me wonder if source code needs a public domain clause; like how songs, books, movies, etc are supposed to go public domain after so many years (Disney keeps getting the law changed I'm not sure what it currently is). Some sort of "after X amount of years from the first public release date of an open source program's source code, said source code is to transfer from its original license to Public Domain"; something like ($HEAD_DATE)-($X_YEARS)=PD. For example, if X was 20 years then we'd be able to use the Linux kernel from 2002 under Public Domain, not GPL.

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    • #3
      I can't help but wonder why not join forces with helloSystem...

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      • #4
        Was wondering why they're doing this and not contributing to another project, I looked at their FAQ and it's very in-depth

        https://airyx.org/faq.html

        We are in fact working with helloSystem! As some people have noticed, Airyx 0.2.X was basically helloSystem. (That was the second PoC. The first had been built on vanilla FreeBSD and had no GUI at all.) Under the hood, however, Airyx 0.2.2 has a partial implementation of Cocoa, a modified compiler & linker that support frameworks, and several other additions that make it distinct. We have similar philosophies, and share technology and cooperate where it makes sense (e.g. Filer), but the project goals are quite different.

        helloSystem wants to create a computer that is simple to use, open, elegant, small and fast. Older MacOS X and Classic are an inspiration to what that might look like, but they are not explicitly trying to create an open-source Mac. In fact they're mostly avoiding Objective C and XML plists and other Mac technology in favor of simpler and/or more modern ways (e.g. Qt, C++, JSON).

        Airyx is explicitly trying to be compatible with Mac software at a source and eventually a binary level, without losing support for FreeBSD/X11 software, and to implement a very similar experience on the desktop and at the command line. For example, on Airyx you can type open -a MyApp image.jpg and have image.jpg open in MyApp. You will find things in (mostly) the same directories as a Mac, like ~/Library or /System/Library/Fonts. Airyx is not as concerned about keeping the OS as small and simple as possible, and more concerned about making it clean, secure, performant, and compatible - implementing many of the features I use daily in macOS while skipping the lock-in and "tabletization" of the computer.

        Some of the more technical differences between Airyx and hello are:
        • Airyx uses a patched kernel and compiler suite that supports Frameworks and has preliminary support for Mach-O as well as ELF
        • Airyx has a package repo with software built to "standard" paths like /System, /etc, and /usr instead of the FreeBSD repos which are built into /usr/local
        • Airyx desktop is based on KDE Plasma where hello's desktop is based on openbox, Menu and Filer (originally from LXQt) plus other lightweight services for notifications (dunst), screen color temperature (redshift) etc
        • helloSystem uses a simplified .app structure whereas Airyx uses real Bundles for .app
        • helloSystem tends to use typical Unix paths and files, while Airyx is moving towards typical Mac paths and files
        • Airyx tries to provide the same APIs as macOS
        It sounds like they actually know what they're talking about and not just blindly trying to paste a fancy KDE theme over FreeBSD. Although, it's disappointing they're using every outdated and insecure language as possible for new projects instead of adopting Rust. I mean, god, you really want to use Java after log4shell? Why not throw in COBOL while you're at it. Although I suppose Mac was never intended to be anything more than a toy desktop so it's not like it needs to be secure or stable. Still, best of luck to them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
          Although, it's disappointing they're using every outdated and insecure language as possible for new projects instead of adopting Rust. I mean, god, you really want to use Java after log4shell?
          so, you're saying we have to throw away the biggest software ecosystem because of some vulnerabilities in a 3rd part library?

          Would you like to talk about this one? https://www.cve.org/CVERecord?id=CVE-2022-21658
          And this was in the Rust standard library, not an external project.

          NOTE: I love both Java and Rust.
          Last edited by cynic; 30 January 2022, 11:11 AM.

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          • #6
            I love the idea. I think FreeBSD is a better design than the typical Frankenlinux desktop environment. And I prefer the licensing over the GPL quasi-pyramid scheme. I hope that both airyx and helloSystem suceed.

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            • #7
              Ironmask
              ​​​​​​​Also mac os "toy desktop" is still either more advanced or more stable (sometimes both) than anything on linux

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JackLilhammers View Post
                I can't help but wonder why not join forces with helloSystem...
                They are coooperating, see theirs github. But those projects are different. airyxOS mostly taking inspiration from current macOs and author likes modern subsystems and technologies. helloSystem aiming for old 1990 Mac OS and author dislikes modern subsystems as hard to understand.

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                • #9
                  Referring to "macOS experience", I don't understand why any one would want that? It's terrible...

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                  • #10
                    I was pretty disappointed that helloSystem did not boot on my Ryzen 4500U APU thinkpad, the hardware support doesn't seem to be all that there. These guys seem to know what they are doing so I will follow.

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