I still haven’t figured out why its called Plan 9. Is it the ninth plan? Ninth plan concerning what? Anyway…
As I mentioned in an earlier post I have downloaded, burned, and now tried Plan 9. I own two computers. A 64 bit desktop and a 32 bit laptop. The bits don’t have much bearing but apparently my graphics card does. Plan 9 does not (as of right now) support nVidia graphics. Yes, both of my computers have a nVidia graphics card. And from what little of the documentation I could find there is no plan to implement an nVidia driver. The lack of nVidia support didn’t completely stop me. On my desktop it did boot. Which is where you immediately begin to see its UNIX heritage and its deviation from. It also, being experimental, doesn’t do a lot of things automatically like you would expect Linux to do. I had to tell it everything basically, what kind of keyboard, what kind of mouse, what resolution to set the monitor at, etc. Oh, and this is a good place to point out Plan doesn’t appear to support USB keyboards and mice. Hope you still have some PS/2 adapters handy!
After successfully booting to a prompt your really sort of stuck for a lack of something to do. Something about not having a GUI really kills the “play with me” factor. Here is also where the non-UNIX part of the distro comes out. Some of the commands your used to are present, i.e. ls. Many of them are not, i.e. cd. So your left with a crap shoot of what you know how to do. It is probably of some importance that 99% of your beloved Linux programs aren’t there. The best example being vim is not an option.
Booting on my laptop never actually happened. Plan 9 appears to have trouble with my laptop’s DVD drive… I think. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what is keeping it from booting.
To sum it up I haven’t really got to see enough of Plan 9 to make a final judgment. I’m not this old, but imagine that if I could of gotten a hold of Linux in 1993 that it would of been a lot like Plan 9 is now. A bit radical and very incomplete.
Enjoy the Penguins!
ps. I do have one more computer to test it on. I’ll report on that later.