ⓘ Redox (operating system)


ⓘ Redox (operating system)

Redox is a Unix-like microkernel operating system written in the programming language Rust, which has a strong focus on safety, stability, and high performance. Redox aims to be secure, usable, and free. Redox is inspired by prior kernels and operating systems, such as SeL4, MINIX, Plan 9, and BSD. It is similar to the GNU or BSD ecosystem, but in a memory-safe language. It is free and open-source software distributed under an MIT License.


1. Design

The Redox operating system is designed to be highly secure. This is reflected in two main design decisions:

  • Using the programming language Rust for implementation
  • Using a microkernel design, similar to MINIX

2. Components

Redox is a full-featured operating system, providing packages that together make up a functional operating system. Redox relies on an ecosystem of software written in Rust by members of the project.

  • Ralloc – memory allocator
  • Redox kernel – largely derives from the concept of microkernels, with heavy inspiration from MINIX
  • relibc – C standard library
  • pkgutils – package manager
  • Orbital windowing system – display and window manager, sets up the orbital: scheme, manages the display, and handles requests for window creation, redraws, and event polling
  • TFS file system – inspired by the ZFS file system
  • Ion shell – the underlying library for shells and command execution in Redox, and the default shell

3. Command-line applications

Redox supports command-line interface CLI programs, including:

  • Sodium – vi-like editor that provides syntax highlighting
  • Rusthello – advanced Reversi AI; is highly concurrent, serving as proof of Redoxs multithreading abilities; supports various AI strategies, such as brute forcing, minimax, local optimizations, and hybrid AIs

4. Graphical applications

Redox supports graphical user interface GUI programs, including:

  • Orbterm – ANSI type terminal emulator
  • Calculator – a software calculator which provides functions similar to the Windows Calculator program
  • Editor – simple text editor, similar to Microsoft Notepad
  • Image Viewer – simple type
  • Pixelcannon – 3D renderer, can be used to benchmark the Orbital desktop
  • File Browser – a file manager that displays icons, names, sizes, and details for files; uses the launcher command to open files when they are clicked
  • NetSurf – a lightweight web browser which uses its own layout engine

5. History

Redox was created by Jeremy Soller and was first published on 20 April 2015 on GitHub. Since then, it has been developed actively, with contributions by over 40 developers. On the second anniversary of Redox appearing on GitHub, version 0.2.0 was released.