NodeOS: Node.js based Operating System

By ongraph
February 3, 2016 | 1572 Views

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Many of us must have heard about Node.js programming language but what about NodeOS? NodeOS is an operating system build entirely in JavaScript and managed by NPM (Node Package Manager), which allows all of the JavaScript applications to be downloaded and installed easily. The NodeOS Project was started more than 2 years back and is now close to its 1.0 launch to reach out to a global audience.

NodeOS is a slender operating system targeted at server needs. The project lives on GitHub, but is also available as a compiled image that is rebuilt after every commit.


1. NPM – Using Node.js and NPM for development lowers the barrier of entry for programmers, since JavaScript is arguably faster and easier to work with. The wealth of libraries in NPM is huge (last count was 206,609 packages) which simplifies the reuse of third-party code.

2. Ease of use for deploying Node applications – The fundamental goal of NodeOS is to build an ephemeral operating system for quickly deploying Node.js applications without requiring separate images for every application.

3. Linux at core – NodeOS uses the existing Linux kernel, so most software written for Linux can in theory work with it.

4. User-level filesystem – NodeOS has introduced concept of isolated filesystems for each user. A user can operate/install/work in his/her filesystem only without having access to other partition. This provides a huge security benefit as the entire system cannot be compromised.

Missing pieces

1. There is no GUI for NodeOS at the moment though an HTML5-based graphical interface is in the roadmap as per its developers.

2. Lot of common Linux commands do not work off-the shelf like ‘man’ ‘grep’.

This project has already gathered favorable attention by winning the Spanish 9th National Free Software Championship and it’s a current participant of its 10th edition and the Granada University 2nd Free Projects prize. The project is ambitious and promising. Lets wait and see what future holds for NodeOS!

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