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The Implementation of the ULIX Literate Operating System

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A diary documenting the implementation of ULIX-i386

Welcome to the ULIX blog.

Ulix (Literate Unix) is a Unix-like operating system developed at University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. I use D. E. Knuth's concept of Literate Programming for the implementation and documentation. The goal was a fully working system which can be used in operating system courses to show students how OS concepts (such as paging and scheduling) can be implemented. Literate programs are very accessible because they can be read like a book; the order of presentation is not enforced by program logic or compiler restrictions, but instead is guided by the implementer's creative process.

Ulix is written in C and assembler for the Intel architecture. The literate programming part is handled by noweb.

On this page I document my progress with the implementation.


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Ulix has Hard Disk Support (sort of...) (02.10.2012)


I've been looking at a few implementations of hard disk drivers, since (obviously) Ulix needs this as well. Since none of the available solutions is simple enough for inclusion in the Ulix book, I've decided to cheat a little.

So I present: the serial hard disk. It relies on an external process that serves as some kind of simple storage server. Via the serial port, Ulix can request sectors (or send their content), and the storage process translates this to reading and writing a disk image.

It already works for non-blocking I/O (i.e. when the kernel wants to access the disk), when Ulix runs on qemu. (Bochs support follows soon.) In theory this would also work when running Ulix on a real machine and connecting the serial port to another machine running the storage process. Next up: blocking I/O for processes.

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