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Rather sooner than later, HelenOS will become a complete and usable modern operating system, offering room for experimenting and research. HelenOS uses its own microkernel written from scratch and supports SMP, multitasking and multithreading on both 32-bit and 64-bit, little-endian and big-endian processor architectures, among which are AMD64/EM64T (x86-64), ARM, IA-32, IA-64 (Itanium), 32-bit MIPS, 32-bit PowerPC, SPARC V8 and SPARC V9. Thanks to the relatively high number of supported architectures and suitable design, HelenOS is very portable. On top of the microkernel, HelenOS provides services such as file systems, networking, device drivers and user interface. Most of these services are composed of multiple independent server processes, which makes HelenOS one of the most modular operating systems.
As of now, HelenOS is being developed mostly by faculty members, and former and contemporary students of Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University in Prague. Nonetheless, the project is open for everyone, so we also have developers with different backgrounds from various places around the world. The source code is open and available under the BSD license. Some third party components, and components based on GPL software, are licensed under GPL.
In case you are interested in our project or have any questions about it, feel free to subscribe to our mailing list or chat with us on our IRC channel. The HelenOS operating system is, as of today, feature incomplete and the project is currently under heavy development (see roadmap). We are looking for people to join our team as co-developers or to merely try out our system and become our beta testers. If you have the skills and enthusiasm, you may consider making a contribution.