Java vs C to make an OS

This is a discussion on Java vs C to make an OS within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Sorry if this is the wrong section. I'm new here and did not see a topic for Misc programming topics ...

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    WOP
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    Java vs C to make an OS

    Sorry if this is the wrong section. I'm new here and did not see a topic for Misc programming topics and its not in the FAQ one. Its either specifically this language or specifically not programming at all along with no Java sections. I picked C since thats the OS language I am assuming. Unix and Windows is C I believe and not C++. Thats not what I am asking though.

    I'm a beginner programmer. I'm learning C for a few reasons including its the OS language. One of my teachers at college thinks Java is the worlds best language and can do anything. I dont remember how it came up but someone said that Java can not make an OS. He said otherwise and because no one could specifically say why Java cant do that, he wins the argument. I really need to know why :P

    Can someone enlighten me on this?

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Welcome, we actually use the Tech board for such questions, so this thread has been moved.
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    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Java "can" make an O/S that would run off of a VM of sorts. Does that mean it's appropriate?

    You came to a C board, so the answer will probably be no.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    As MacGyver said you'd need a VM. Java is interpreted by a VM, and you couldn't write the VM in Java 'cause you'd need a VM to interperate your VM.

    SunOS (Solaris) is mostly in Java, except the kernel. However the Kernel is the biggest component of the OS. So you could write an OS in Java, just not entirely in Java.

    I myself am not a fan of Java, and your teachers comment is rather narrow minded. Creating an OS that is run through a VM is stupid and slow.

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    An OS is responsible for handling low-level hardware interfaces. Java doesn't provide any means for low-level access to hardware. Calling anything written in Java an Operating System is like calling Windows Explorer an Operating System.

    Besides, Java necessitates the presence of virtual machine. The OS is responsible for loading and providing memory for the virtual machine. If the OS is written in Java, you end up with a very nasty bootstrap problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    SunOS (Solaris) is mostly in Java, except the kernel. However the Kernel is the biggest component of the OS. So you could write an OS in Java, just not entirely in Java.
    Sun developed both Solaris and Java, but Solaris is definitely not written in Java in any way.
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    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuestionC View Post
    Sun developed both Solaris and Java, but Solaris is definitely not written in Java in any way.
    I believe he's referring to the Java Desktop System, though, whatever he meant he clarified he was not talking about the kernel.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You can't write a complete OS in C, much less Java. I shudder to think how slow it would be if it were coded in Java.

    If you want information on programming operating systems I suggest the book MMURTL. It is very heavy on assembly language (but OS programming necessitates being heavy on asm) so you may want to brush up on that or learn it. I don't have a link for the book but perhaps Fordy might.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    The Solaris front-end (Java Desktop System) is written entirely in Java. As I said, the kernel is not.

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    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
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    An OS is a mixture of C and C++ as MacGyver stated on a thread a while back. With some assembley thrown in the pot too.
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    Registered User Frobozz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7
    As MacGyver said you'd need a VM. Java is interpreted by a VM, and you couldn't write the VM in Java 'cause you'd need a VM to interperate your VM.
    Unless of course the VM is the actual hardware. http://www.soc.tuwien.ac.at/courses/jvmhw

    Also someone is already trying a Java OS. http://cjos.sourceforge.net/archive/

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    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swgh View Post
    An OS is a mixture of C and C++ as MacGyver stated on a thread a while back. With some assembley thrown in the pot too.
    I don't remember saying that, but sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frobozz View Post
    Unless of course the VM is the actual hardware. http://www.soc.tuwien.ac.at/courses/jvmhw

    Also someone is already trying a Java OS. http://cjos.sourceforge.net/archive/
    I suppose the debate would then be about the performance of the VM-turned-hardware.

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    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Another book I'd recommend is "Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles". Although it has nearly no code, it takes a very in-depth look Linux, Solaris and Windows and discusses things every OS has to do.
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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Also someone is already trying a Java OS. http://cjos.sourceforge.net/archive/
    FOOLS!, They belong in the same group of people whom are porting the idea of a 'registry' to Linux, and porting VisualBasic to Linux.

    You really have to weigh the benifits of Java, Java is portable thats really its only upside. Now a portable OS? Eh???

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    One of my teachers at college thinks Java is the worlds best language and can do anything. I dont remember how it came up but someone said that Java can not make an OS. He said otherwise and because no one could specifically say why Java cant do that, he wins the argument.
    It is not much of an argument though: it is just opinion that Java is the world's best language. If the argument is that this is because it can "do anything", then a counterexample easier than trying to prove that an OS cannot be written in Java is to point out that assembly language, C, C++, etc, can also "do anything". In the end, use the best tool for the job if you can, rather than always try to use the "world's best programming language" even when it (whatever it is) is not the best tool for the job.
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