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Distributed operating systems (OSs) are a type of network operating system (NOS). NOSs exist mostly or fully for, their main reason for being, is to facilitate networking, between two or more computers, to operate and improve networks, with non-trivial networking (e.g., routing) included and/or built in, which need not be added later, and they make little sense without their network functions. Many OSs have some networking ability, but not all such OSs are NOSs. Distributed OSs go beyond most NOSs, to divide, distribute, and even dynamically migrate tasks and information, to operate, over networks to run on two or more processors, often called clustering, and heterogeneous multiprocessing. By definition, distributed OSs are multiprocessor OSs, usually asymmetric. On this page, OSs are arranged in two groups and levels: 1) Top group: OSs for which there are more than one instance of an OS of this name/type, an OS family. 2) Bottom group: specific OSs, individual instances; there is only one OS of this name/type.
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MIT LCS PDOS - Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems Group; research focus: extensible and flexible system services: filesystems, networking, languages. Projects: 'C, Chord, Click, Exokernel (Exopc), Grid, Prolac, RON, and SFS. Funding: DARPA, NSF; AT&T, IBM, Intel. Many open source downloads. MOSIX - Software package to enhance Unix kernels (7 so far) and Linux with cluster computing abilities. Lets any size cluster of x86-based workstations and servers work cooperatively as if part of one system. [Open Source, GPL] E1 - A distributed operating system based on the concepts of object replication, component model support and persistence. It consists of a L4 microkernel and a set of distributed objects acting at the user level. [Open source] AtomsNet - Modular object-oriented application to index files across networks. Has plug-in type data retrieval system, webserver, peer-to-peer connections for network-wide information gathering, retrieval; has features of OSs, database management systems, distributed networking. Open Source, GPL. Sprite - Distributed OS gives one system image to/over a networked cluster of workstations, research project, Berkeley, John Outerhoust group; high file system performance via client and server caching, process migration to use idle machines; testbed for research in file systems (log-structured, striped, RAID), crash recovery. Hurricane - hierarchically clustered OS implemented on Hector multiprocessor; manages system resources in clusters, using tight coupling within clusters, loose coupling across clusters. Succeeded by Tornado. Tornado - Object-oriented operating system for large-scale shared-memory multiprocessors. Minimizes data sharing via careful design: often eliminates data sharing even when sharing appears natural. Successor to Hurricane. The V Distributed System - Research OS for a cluster of computer workstations connected by fast network; structured as a small distributed kernel, and set of service modules, runtime libraries, and commands. Stanford University. V Operating System - Growing article, with links to many related topics. Wikipedia.
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