1. 38
  1.  

  2. 1

    Noob question that I did not figure out about 9front when I installed it on a VM: how do you manage auth? I could never figure out how to not default to a login that was essentially an admin for the VM, which is not ideal if you intend to use it as a main system (which I’d like to try if possible)

    1. 1

      you use factotum for that. in my network i have a separate cpu server and auth server, so i kinda have to make two accounts. one account for the fs on my cpu server, and an account on the auth server. that way, users authenticate themselves using the auth server, then access the filesystem using their fs account on the cpu server. you can also use secstore to make that data persistent

    2. 1

      What is the current state of Plan 9 development?

      1. 7

        9front is actively developed.

        1. 1

          Is 9front usable on desktop? By usable, I mean that there’s some mail client (I don’t mind CLI, I use Mutt anyway), some audio / video player (mpv is just fine) and some browser that understands modern websites (yeah, I hate JS too, but it’s inavoidable). I guess the last part is the worst :)

          1. 9

            The last part is indeed the worst. For web browsing, there’s mothra and that’s about it. Mothra does not support JavaScript. Here is the relevant bit of the FQA.

            Russ Cox described his motivation for creating Plan 9 from User Space like this:

            I ran Plan 9 from Bell Labs as my day to day work environment until around 2002. By then two facts were painfully clear. First, the Internet was here to stay; and second, Plan 9 had no hope of keeping up with web browsers. Porting Mozilla to Plan 9 was far too much work, so instead I ported almost all the Plan 9 user level software to FreeBSD, Linux, and OS X.

            1. 2

              Yes there’s a mail client, playing videos depends on the format, modern browser…no, by design mostly.

              1. 3

                there is no support for video playback at all.

                1. 2

                  What can you use 9front for? I don’t mean playing in VirtualBox or whatever VM software you use, but for serious usage. I’ve always wanted to play with it more, but playing just for the sake of playing with it makes me isn’t interesting for me :)

                  1. 11

                    The system excels at manipulating text. It can playback most popular audio formats, and it can display many popular image and document formats. It does not (currently) have any support for video playback. There is no modern web browser (the native browser, mothra(1), ignores CSS, js, and many HTML tags). The system includes a PC emulator called vmx(1) that is capable of hosting Linux or OpenBSD, but currently the guest’s framebuffer is emulated entirely in software, so performance is pretty awful, and programs like web browsers are barely usable.

                    1. 1

                      Now, that is something, thanks!

                      What about use as a server? Since this is Plan9-derivative, I assume all Plan9 servers (CPU, Auth, 9P etc. are available). I can also see the included HTTP server. Can it use TLS? What about others protocols (like XMPP, DNS authoritative server etc.)?

                      I see there’s a port of OpenSSH, but it’s at version 4.7, which can’t do ED25510 :/ Is there any other SSH client (I mean, one written for 9front)?

                      I hope you don’t get angry by my questions, I just want to know what I can use 9front for. You kind of made me again interested in it, so I’ll install 9front on a spare PC.

                      1. 6

                        I’m the admin for basically all of the 9front official websites, and the cat-v.org sites, all hosted on 9front for several years. TLS is supported, but there is no support for SNI, so the end result is most current mobile browsers will refuse the self-signed/wrong-domain-name certificate. I also host all my DNS on 9front, pushing updates automatically to slaves at dns.he.net.

                        You didn’t ask about mail, but all the 9front mailing lists are also hosted on 9front, with upas(1) and a rather primitive mailing list manager called ml(1). I also host my personal e-mail with upas(1).

                        The system includes a native SSH2 client called ssh(1).

                        http://fqa.9front.org is probably the best overall resource for information about the system. It includes links and pointers to most other relevant sources. Unfortunately it tends to lag behind the current state of the system at times, mainly because of time comstraints.

                    2. 3

                      The Introduction To Plan 9 from the 9front FQA might interest you.

                      1. 1

                        I read it, I used 9front for a few hours some time ago, so I’m not a complete newcomer.

                        What I miss is some overview of available software. I can see that there is https://bitbucket.org/mveety/9front-ports, but it doesn’t seem official.

                        EDIT: Nvm, just found https://code.9front.org/hg/ports/

                          1. 1

                            Thanks, that’s what I was asking for.

                      2. 1

                        I’d really like to get around to porting emacs to Plan 9. That might be the sort of work I could actually do. I’d love to port Firefox to Plan 9, but … that just isn’t going to happen.

                        It’s a pity, because emacs & a web browser are the only things that Plan 9 is really missing.

                        1. 3

                          I think it really needs a hardware accelerated graphics stack. Things would improve dramatically after that.

                          I would love it if the plumber can talk to my phone. An Android/iOS app that reads a web link from plumb and display it on the phone would solve the browser problem.

                          As to the editor… just use acme.

                          1. 3

                            it’s trivial to plumb a link to a script that opens ssh to a remote host and runs a command.

                            1. 1

                              I would love it if the plumber can talk to my phone. An Android/iOS app that reads a web link from plumb and display it on the phone would solve the browser problem.

                              I’d think that could easily be doable with a small Android app to listen for GCM messages.

                              As to the editor… just use acme.

                              But that wouldn’t be emacs, and emacs is what I want to use:-)

                            2. 2

                              emacs has been ported to plan 9 more than once.

                              1. 1

                                Really? I did a quick googling, but no joy. Is it in the main emacs tree?

                                1. 2

                                  looks like i’m not able to reply from mothra.

                                  there were a couple of (old) ports on sources, which i think is permanently down. there exists a mirror at http://9p.io.

                  2. 1

                    Very cool :)

                    1. 1

                      Is it possible to connect to it with plan9port? How do I do it?

                        1. 1

                          I thought this 9grid did not serve cpu, which would be required for drawterm to connect.

                        2. 1

                          The idea is that you use 9p mounts to connect to each of the available services (see Connecting). I don’t think plan9port contains anything that lets you do that. I’m not sure if there are any other tools (like this one?) that might help.

                          1. 1

                            their are broken 9p mount drivers for various operating systems, none of which support 9front’s improved auth scheme.