There are tens of Linux and Unix-derived systems. Systems that were created when the internet and network security weren’t even things.

Computers over the years have become more popular in such a way that it is almost directly proportional to how much people have also learned to manipulate them and steal information. This is the single reason security features were added to Linux.

Nevertheless, there are some functions that aren’t as secure as you would expect, because nothing is perfect, but that’s what the team of developers building Redox OS have set out to fix. They’re starting the project from scratch.

Redox OS

The Redox project was originally launched by Jeremy Soller in  2015 during the month of April. Although the majority of Linux development, specifically the kernel, is written in C, Redox OS is being written in Rust. The programming language is a new one that was first announced in 2010.

The redox team decided to use Rust for this project because it can “provide more memory safety considerations than C allows by default”. Apart from the difference in project languages, Redox will be using a microkernel design, unlike Linux’s monolithic kernel.

Apart from the difference in project languages, Redox will be using a microkernel design, unlike Linux’s monolithic kernel. This will minimise the kernel size and in turn, make the system quicker.

Both systems also handle data differently. With Linux, every item on the hard drive is a file, but the Redox team has decided to treat all items as a URL, saying that it will make it “simple to register handlers for events, and it provides a consistent manner to perform other kinds of abstractions”.

Redox OS is being released under the MIT license in order to encourage other developers to adopt Redox code.  However, the project isn’t ready for production ready. The ISO image file is 32 MB in size only, it’s file system is basic with an optional GUI referred to as Orbital.


Why Redox?

According to Redox’s Book, the Redox project have three goals they want to achieve by creating a new Operating System:

  • We want to be able to use it, without obstructions, as an alternative to Linux on our computers. It should be able to run most Linux programs with only minimal modifications.
  • We’re aiming towards a complete, safe Rust ecosystem. This is a design choice, which hopefully improves correctness and security.
  • We want to improve the security design when compared to other Unix-like kernels by using safe defaults and disallowing insecure configurations where possible.

Right now, there is almost nothing you can do with the OS. It has no package manager and no internet drivers. But then again, Linux is roughly 24 years old, Unix is even older and Redox has been in development for just about 13 months, so we can understand that they have a long way to go.

We wonder if you will be interested in Redox, it’s at least a modern competitor to Linux. For now, all we can do is slowly follow the project development and feed you news as it comes.

About The Author
Martins Okoi
Computer Science enthusiasts with a passion for learning new things. In my spare time, I listen to music, read like a compiler, and learn like an A.I algorithm.

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