Everybody needs an operating system. But do we need a new kind of operating system?
Right now we basically have three major options: Windows, macOS, and Linux. Windows and macOS aren't open source, but that's not the only thing that's wrong with them. Linux is open source, but oftentimes that feels like its only advantage over the other two.
For years now I've dreamed of an alternative desktop OS with a fresh new foundation. Something we can build the future on with more speed and confidence because it got the fundamental abstractions correct. An operating system shouldn't feel bloated or fragile or like a monumental hack on top of 70s-era technology. It should be the minimal layer of software that can effectively and safely abstract hardware and allow multiple user programs to run together in harmony.
For the past five years, my guest Jeremy Soller has been actually building an alternative operating system: Redox OS. I think it might be our best hope.
This conversation is extremely technical. In a sense, this is the sort of technical stuff that most users never have to think about. But I find it interesting because someone has to care about these technical details or nothing would get done. I'm interested in the low-level details because I think getting those right can enable more capabilities and excellence at the user level.
If you absolutely hate operating system talk, you can fast forward to around the hour mark where we talk about the Linux computer company Jeremy works at: System76.
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