Advanced Namespace Tools blog
26 December 2016
ANTS 2.6 Release
The 9front project has released a new update of the installation .iso image, making this a good moment for me to sync up the ANTS code repositories, documentation, and downloads to the latest revision. I have decided that making "release tarballs" with precompiled kernels is probably pointless, although I will probably upload and link a compiled kernel at some point. Compiling from source seems like what Plan 9 users prefer to do. The idea of a mostly non-technical user who wants to use "Plan 9 Advanced Namespace Tools" is probably a complete phantasm. Most people who are interested in Plan 9 already have fairly substantial software development and system administration skills.
New Features Added since 2.1
I haven't been doing regular point releases, so there haven't been any specific version releases between 2.1 in fall 2015 and 2.6 now at the very end of 2016. I just bumped up the version by .5 to indicate that a fair amount of work has been done, but not so much change as would be implied by calling it 3.0. Here is a summary of notable improvements:
- Support for rcpu/rimport and dp9ik auth in the ANTS boot/service namespace
- Support for building amd64 kernel
- Support for TLS boot option in plan9rc boot script
- Ramfossil script for instantiating a temporary fossil from a venti rootscore
- Patched versions of utilities and kernel updated to latest 9front code base
- Bugfixes to hubfs with multiple client readers, grio color selection, and more
Whither Bell Labs support?
This release still includes the Bell Labs version of ANTS in the main directory, with the 9front specific changes in the "frontmods" subdirectory. 9front is my primary Plan 9 environment, but I do keep a Bell Labs qemu VM active. Last I checked (in 2015), the Bell Labs version of ANTS compiles and installs correctly in 9legacy, also.
Time marches on, life is short, and in the absence of any kind of significant active user base for ANTS making feature and support requests, I am intending to drop active support and testing for the Bell Labs version. Since the labs' version of Plan 9 is no longer receiving updates, this release should continue to be useful for anyone who does want to use the original. If I receive any feedback that people are interested in using ANTS with 9legacy, I will probably create an independent repository for a 9legacy, based on the current code for labs.
The https://bitbucket.org/mycroftiv/plan9ants and https://bitbucket.org/mycroftiv/antsexperiments repos have been re-synchronized at revision 427. This represents ANTS release 2.6, which builds vs 9front revision 5641. This is probably the last ANTS release to support Plan 9 from Bell Labs.