Google Opens Its Fuchsia OS for Public Contributors

Google Opens Its Fuchsia OS for Public Contributors

Despite the fact that Google has two popular operating systems — Android and Chrome OS, it has taken up the development of a third — Fuchsia OS. For the first time, it became known four years ago. Then it was reported that the operating system is based on the Zircon microkernel.

It was also posted that the OS is small, but is designed for a wide range of platforms, including mobile devices, IoT and industrial systems. There is no practical implementation yet, but Google has opened its OS to third-party developers. The company now not only allows you to view the code, but also gives you the opportunity to put something of your own into it. Any developer can join the team, read the documentation, view the bug tracker, subscribe to mailing lists, etc.

This is really a great opportunity to participate, but there is only one problem: it is still unknown what this operating system is being developed for. Some guesses, since Google itself does not yet advertise the goals of this OS. The only thing that the corporation disclosed is that the project is long-term, and the operating system is general-purpose and will be distributed according to the Open Source model.

The corporation has made the Fuchsia OS roadmap available to everyone, so that any user can better understand the status of the project.

Who Will Own the Code?

Perhaps Google plans to become a completely independent company, since Fuchsia is not based on the Linux kernel. This means that the company can do anything with its own operating system. So, Google will be able to adapt Fuchsia for certain devices, whatever they are, 100%.

As for the development process, yes, anyone can join it. But the code will be entirely owned by the company, which makes its license similar to BSD. Therefore, Fuchsia is 100% Google’s initiative and no one else’s, even though the project is now open to the world.

It may well be that one of the developers will be able to understand what the company is developing the OS for by digging into the code. Now it is planned to make it available for devices such as Acer Switch Alpha 12, Intel ® NUC and Google Pixelbook.

By the way, there is another development option for Fuchsia — this is the dahliaOS project. It is written on the basis of the Dart language and is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. The developers are preparing two versions of the OS — for systems with UEFI (158 MB) and virtual machines or obsolete systems.

As for the second option, it is prepared on the basis of the Zircon microkernel, which was discussed above, and the Fuchsia OS. These builds are already available for platforms such as the Raspberry Pi 4, MSM8917, and a small number of other devices.

At the same time, the developers plan to use their own custom shell Pangolin, which is written in the Dart language using the Flutter framework. This shell already supports the mosaic window layout mode. The basis for this shell is parts of the Capybara project and its own developments, including a window management system written from scratch. All this can already be tested, however, so far in the form of a web version that is compatible only with Chrome.

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