Aircastle Project

"A common mistake that people make, when trying to design
something completely foolproof is to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools."
-- Douglas Adams


This page aims to describe some of the ideas of Martin Mares regarding a future of operating systems. The Only Right Description would probably be an exact transcription of mj's lectures, but none is available (yet? ;-). Thus, this is unevitably partially my personal interpretation, nevertheless you should still get the basic idea.


In the crowd of the current operating systems, there is an empty space - operating system which would be fully object oriented AND network oriented. Right, this project aims to fill this gap. Now, what we mean by the goals mentioned above?

This provides very flexible, versatile and elegant design especially for distributed applications, file sharing, but even for regular work. The points above imply many other things, like highly modular kernel (everything is an object; ie. you can implement /dev/null in userspace by simply creating a file object behaving like /dev/null) and perfectly and transparently optimalized applications. Also it is feasible for running long-term processes which need to be coordinated, fault-proof and backupped. The Inter-Process Communication can be fully transparent, regardless where the other process is located - the communication method (traditional IPC, UN*X sockets, internet sockets, pigeons, ...) is internal choice transparent (ideally) to the user.


There's no specification done yet, except the basic principles of operation mentioned above. We expect the specification to be designed and written during development of the reference implementation.

Just to give you an example how the object hiearchy would look like:

  | (defines basic properties - code, data and hooks abstraction, permissions)
  +-- [File]
  |     | (defines read/write/seek)
  |     |
  |     +-- [DataFile]
  |     |     | (common code to provide read/write/seek upon data property)
  :     :     |
  :     :     `-- [TextFile]
  .     .           | (defines line-oriented interface)
  .     .           `----------------------------------


There's no implementation done yet. We expect the first version of the reference implementation to be realized as a set of UN*X daemons providing the neccessary API for the Aircastle objects. That won't be too fast, but we believe that it will demonstrate well the flexibility and merits of the design.


This page has been originally written by Petr Baudis (, based on the ideas of Martin Mares ( If you will find concepts of this project interesting or if you will have any questions, feel free to contact us. If, by some wicked misfortune, this project will become more popular, we may even set up a mailing list. Especially when there will be some move for writing of specifications and practical implementations ;-).