Version 6 (modified by Jiri Svoboda, 14 years ago) ( diff )

Keyboard layout selection, shell text input.

User's Guide

  1. Quick Start
  2. Console
  3. Shell
  4. Kernel Console
  5. Building From Source

Quick Start

To try out HelenOS, download the latest IA-32 ISO image from the download page. Install QEMU. In the directory where you downloaded the ISO image run

qemu -m 32 -cdrom image.iso

You can also use a different emulator. Just make sure it is configured to emulate a Pentium 4 or later CPU or HelenOS won't boot and it will display a red error message.


Press the F1-F11 keys to switch between individual virtual consoles. Pressing F12 will take you to the kernel console. You can also switch keyboard layouts with Ctrl-Shift-Fn strokes as follows:

Keystroke Layout
Ctrl-Shift-F1 US QWERTY
Ctrl-Shift-F2 US Dvorak
Ctrl-Shift-F2 Czech QWERTZ


Type help (+Enter) to get a list of built-in commands.

(Trunk Only) The shell has basic command-line editing capabilities. Besides typing to insert text, you can use the following keys:

Key Action
Enter Submit and execute the command.
Backspace Delete character to the left of cursor.
Delete Delete character under cursor.
Left Arrow Move cursor left by one character.
Right Arrow Move cursor right by one character.
Home Move cursor to beginning of text.
End Move cursor to end of text.
Ctrl-Left Arrow Move cursor left by one word.
Ctrl-Right Arrow Move cursor right by one word.
Up Arrow Move to older history entry.
Down Arrow Move to newer history entry.

Kernel Console

The kernel console is controlled via a command line. The continue command will take you back to the user-space console. help will show a list of commands. The command line supports completion (Tab key) and history (up and down arrow keys).

Building From Source

Checkout the latest sources from our central Bazaar repository

bzr checkout bzr:// HelenOS

Note: To get versions older than 0.4.1 you have to access the original Subversion repository

svn checkout svn:// HelenOS

Use our script to install a supported cross-compiler toolchain

cd HelenOS/contrib
./ ia32

Go to the source root and start the build process

cd ../..

Load preconfigured defaults for the platform you want to build for and select Done. HelenOS will now be built.

Important note: If you don't compile using the supported toolchain, your build may well fail.

Note: See TracWiki for help on using the wiki.