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Home » » Kolibri is a small x86 assembler hobby operating system.

Kolibri is a small x86 assembler hobby operating system.

Kolibri is a small x86 assembler hobby operating system. It forked off MenuetOS in 2004 and has mostly been developed by ex-USSR community since.

API and ABI is being enreached with developer-friendly features. User interface is not that good yet but we are trying to improve it as well.

Your feedback is very appreciated, although help would always be much more valuable.bri or KolibriOS is a small open source x86 operating system written completely in assembly. It was forked off from MenuetOS

System requirements.

    * i586 compatible CPU required
    * 8 MB of RAM[2]
    * 1.44 MB floppy disk drive[2]
    * Boots from several devices; NTFS is also supported. Can even be started from Windows (Windows will shutdown)
    * Graphical user interface based on VESA
    * Development kit: code editor with a macro-assembler (FASM) integrated
    * Fits on a single 1.44 MB Floppy (many applications are compressed)
    * Pre-emptive multitasking, streams, parallel execution of system calls
    * Supported file systems are FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 (long names support), NTFS (partially, read only), ext2/ext3 (partially, read only) and CDFS
    * AC'97 audio codec support for Intel, nForce, nForce2, nForce3, nForce4, SIS7012, FM801, VT8233, VT8233C, VT8235, VT8237, VT8237R, VT8237R Plus and EMU10K1X chipsets

Current release introduces several kernel, applications and libraries updates. We thank everyone participated and tried making this release a better one. Huge networking code changes, ATI video driver, HTMLV and DOWNLOADER integration for convenient web browsing and many other improvements — that is what we would like to get you excited today. Full list of changes could be found at a special wiki page.

[IMG] Floppy image to be used for various virtual machines, writing on diskette or putting to hard disk to boot from. (ru) (en)
[ISO] Compact disk (LiveCD) image to be used for various virtual machines or burning to CDs to boot from. (ru) (en)

Dual booting Debian and KolibriOS .

KolibriOS is very impressive stuff, and after finding a brief set of instructions for installing it to a hard drive, I had a “dual-boot” system of both Debian and Kolibri running on the old Thinkpad 560e that’s still floating around the house.

It’s not as hard as it might sound; the instructions I found here from a few years ago still work fine with Debian stable as a host system. I can’t tell you why decided to use Debian, other than the fact that the CD was already in the drive.

And chances are I doubt it really matters which other Linux distribution you use as host, because the symbiont is tiny by comparison. If you give it a FAT32 partition of its own, you can save files to and fro and between the operating systems without having to rely on something like a floppy drive as an intermediary.

For my own purposes, this is what the partition array looked like on my test machine, with a slot specific to Kolibri.

/dev/hda1 64Mb /boot ext2
/dev/hda2 128Mb swap swap
/dev/hda3 1Gb /dos fat32
/dev/hda4 ~ / ext2

That last partition was whatever space happened to be lying around. It was more than enough to hold an entire Debian stable command-line installation, while the /dos partition was where all the Kolibri goodies sat — and a gigabyte was way too much space for that, too.

In any case, I had a place to read and write screenshots or text files or what have you, and move them between operating systems. Primitive, but on a machine with no CD, no floppy, no USB and network access only while in Debian, I am hoping you can forgive me.

Once Debian was installed, I got the machine online and added syslinux and p7zip-full. The former brings in the memdisk package, which will allow you to boot straightaway into Kolibri off the hard drive, and the latter makes unzipping the .7z format a little easier. If anyone on the Kolibri team is listening, it’s probably not necessary to compress a 5Mb ISO down to 3.5Mb, but do as you will. …

Download the floppy image with wget, expand it to the /dos partition and keep an eye on where the kolibri.img file lands. Then edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst file to add something like this.

title KolibriOS
root (hd0,2)
kernel /memdisk
initrd /kolibri.img

As always, pay close attention to the root designation if you changed the array from what I had, and to the location of the .img file, relative to the top level of the partition. In other words, don’t prefix the kernel or initrd lines with “/dos/”, because it won’t work.

After that it’s simply a matter of rebooting. If everything is set correctly, Kolibri should running in only a few moments, far faster than by floppy. At 166Mhz and with a horrid 2Gb 4200rpm drive, it’s up and running in less than 5 or 6 seconds.

The downside is that the video card in the 560e is officially certified VESA1.2 — no ifs, ands or buts. That explains why no Linux distro to date could push it beyond 640×480, and why even Kolibri can’t push it past 640x480x16. And that depth is utterly unattractive, with color smears and ruined visual effects everywhere. 


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