i’m reading up on plan9 and while the going is slow reading up and actually getting around to being able to install it (there are only docs, barely anyone has actually done anything with it since the 80s, i’m pretty sure every daily user is named in the docs) but i do think it would be cool to use it for what’s it’s intended: clustering heterogeneous hardware!
in short, all these operating systems linked (and some others, there’s one that uc berkeley was developing for a bit called akaros there is more info in more depth than i can provide here: http://fqa.9front.org/fqa0.html#0.1) were designed at bell labs after unix to take everything is a file to the extreme so that the end result is that one can mount another machine’s cpu to one’s terminal’s file system (plan9 terminals consist of the bare necessities to operate graphically and computationally) and use the cpu for computations. same with network interfaces, graphics cards, sound cards, literally any device your terminal has permissions to access on the network can be used.
idk about you but i find this to be fascinating and incredible, imagine the possibilities posed by being able to easily share computational resources over a network with very little extra work like configuring message passing interfaces, schedulers, and provisioning systems as is done in more traditional computer clusters.
i’m still learning a bunch about all this, and obviously nothing i wrote is comprehensive, but it’s the broader big ideas of what i think would be possible with plan 9 and its clones.
more links to things (and apparently new users can only put two links in a post. these are the ones i have here are the most important of the 5 i wanted to add in)