NiceBSD Dev Diary 2015-02-25

So playing with Mezzano some more, becoming more convinced of the all-in-one-system approach. Even with the Makefile currently, the process is still manual in some parts (requires installing Quicklisp and the dejavu fonts), but I’ve got the image building. Since I’m starting this project on a 4-year-old netbook, the initial boot took longer than expected.

VirtualBox ended up being more of a pain than expected, so I switched to QEMU for the virtualization instead, and this got me back on track. Since QEMU happens to work, it’ll be the first to get NiceBSD releases (with other virt solutions in time).

After you build the image and (finally) get it going on a VM, you’re going to be waiting a while as it churns through the load process. It’s got me thinking that the NiceBSD image releases should come ‘pre-heated’ so that folks curious to try it won’t be sitting on their thumbs for a half-hour (one of the better features of MenuetOS (written entirely in assembly language) was the near-instant boot). Part of this build time is due to the garbage collector running after the load of each file, which I think might be a bit overzealous. Tonight was a wash for unrelated reasons, but I’ll experiment with cutting out as many GC cycles as I can tomorrow. Until then, marvel at the amazing debugger. Woo!

Mezzano debugger