Hi everybody.

In this text I like to deal with the tools, stuff that are needed in any kind of platform, to allow people to use the environment.

There are so many things that can be said on this subject that it is difficult to choose where to start and how to not try to make too many arguments, so that the text can be small to fit our purpose here. Trying to deal with all implications that we can think of is outside our scope and doesn’t serve us here.

I like to focus on a single tool that its need is more visible for the vast majority of people. So I like to deal with the subject of "tools" (in general), by using the idea of a single tool that I'm proposing below.

[The Wire-frame "OS"]
When the subject is virtualization on the server machines, there is a concept called 'hypervisor' that describe an environment that sits on the hardware and control its function, exposing it to several other operating systems to use those functions, thus allowing the same hardware to be used by more than one operating system. In this sense my current argument deals with the notion of 'hypervisor' software but the present arguments are not towards the subject of 'server machines', instead, the idea is to include server machines and 'clients' machines, as well as any other categories of 'machines' that we can think of.

What I'm going to propose here is that instead of embedded OS into the hardware, we can think of "embedded OS into the software", so that this particular piece of software can perform its function without a traditional environment (trad. OS). This is the equivalent of "installing an operating system", but in this case to install it into the software we want to run.

More specifically, I believe that by just stripping down the current Knoppix 6.2, reducing it to the "bare OS" infrastructure, we can achieve a working prototype of a 'Wire-Frame Operating System' that fulfills this function (as Wire-Frame OS).

So, the idea is to start using Knx (+ VBox inside) as an Open Source, easy to use 'hypervisor'. This time, the 'hypervisor' will be less connected with servers and more general in nature (all kinds of "machines").

[Why Knoppix?]
Because Knoppix is in its sixth generation, we should expect that thousands of hours has been spend in doing and testing that 'infra-structural' part of the OS. And, because this kind of 'Wire-Frame' (in my point of view) should be a "live OS" instead of traditional OS, I see very few "candidates to fulfill this role" and I believe Knoppix is the best choice, if we want to do such 'Wire-Frame OS'.

[Why the need to "strip it" down in size?]
Let me try only 4 arguments in connection with size (of the wire-frame).
The first is execution in RAM. I believe that lots of software are going to be executed from RAM rather than rotating hard disk. The difference in response is significantly enough to justify it. In this regard, every byte makes difference.

The second is that SSD price still high. Solid State Disk is a crucial component (and trend) for an evolved information technology to take shape, but the average price still around 10x the price of the rotating disks, so, it is a good idea to think that software that doesn't need to be there, is not there taking precious space.

The third is about the need to scales up to dozens, hundreds and thousands. Virtualization makes possible to think of hundreds or thousands of "machines" running software, in that scenario each time you have a software component that you are not using, it may be taking a 1000x its own space size if you have a one thousand "machines" running. Something like an application that fills 100MB in space will make a huge difference if it is multiplied by 100 or by 1000.

The fourth is that loading, disposing and saving "machines" is one of the great features of virtualized environment, and again, to scales hundreds or thousands of times in short period of time, we must thing of having the 'wire-frame' as small as we can get. In this context, just one full minutes multiplied by 100 times equals 1 hour and 40 minutes of extra time (this 'extra' is in reality unnecessary time).

Powerful proprietary 'wire-frames' already exists (for server infra structures), but I believe we need a simple, easy to use, open source and yet, good enough 'wire-frame' to help the common users, professionals and businesses to start to fully experience and take advantages of the idea of virtualization. A Knoppix VBox WireFrame can fulfill (for Knoppix it will be the second time) the role of making the concept practical and popular. When it reaches the hands of the whole global users, it will unleash the full power of the 'virtualization' stuff…

In the current case, I believe we can fairly say that we have the following multiplying factors for success:

a) A working "prototype" already exists (Knx6 series with its microknoppix core).
b) The power of the Open Source.
c) The need to give the users a real practical (and easy) software to "see" the benefits (of vt).
d) The "live OS" experience (which differs in simplicity from the traditional).

I like to stress the point that, in my current assessment, traditional OSes cannot fulfill the role of a true 'wire-frame' for virtualization. I think that the "live" is the best approach.

The final (and necessary) point is that I'm not arguing that Knoppix should become a wire-frame only stuff, but instead to have this alternative available in easy way so that anyone can click a button or invoke a script and enjoy it. And, since (I believe) there is no other competitor at the same stage and level, Knoppix can become a tool for everyone that wants to have the full benefits of virtualization. Once you have a strategic tool like this in your hands, you start to explore and create new ways to use virtualization (what I'm calling "the 2nd phase").

Since there is no other "competitor", if we launch a small effort to materialize this 'wire-frame' using Knx6, we will be "creating this new category" and giving users (home, pros and business) a key element to make virtualization widespread and thus help (in some way) the whole IT industry to "cross" to the next level. Considering that almost everything is "already done" (in Knx6), the effort is minimal but the rewards are far reaching, to say the least…

…we may end up with a cool stuff for the 99%, and this is enough motivation…

1000 Knoppix running in RAM?
Ok, I exaggerated a little bit here, and, Knx6-Wire Frame is not going to save us from 2012 Mayan Prophecies, but I think I made my point in a way that is easy to appreciate.

The idea of this particular tool is to have today a way to experiment with the concept with minimal need to "do" stuff, since Knx6 just only requires a remaster to be ready. Of course, once we start the thing, then, a lot of other tools may enter our horizon of visibility and probably end up helping shape the whole vision on the matter. As we "walk" the vision it unfolds its potential to us…

Let me abandon here, hoping that the text helps to communicate how can we learn and do more about this new kind of tools by starting with a single one, the Knx6 Wire Frame. And by doing so we not only perceive and understand the whole (plat.) better but actually we may be starting an interesting thing to do…