Explore the Uncharted Frontier

Build the Future with Plan 9

Come learn Plan 9 with us and help us build the future of operating systems.

For the last thirty years, the computer landscape has been dominated by UNIX-like clones. But all that is about to change for the free software community thanks to Plan 9.

Help Change Computing Forever

Plan 9 was created by the original UNIX team from Bell Labs, the same all-star team that invented Unix and the C language. Its contributors included Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, and Bjarne Stroustrup.

Plan 9 Innovations

Plan 9 follows the UNIX philosophy more than UNIX itself:

  • It takes the simple idea that every interface should be a file and extends that to everything: the keyboard, mouse, sound card, windowing system, and network resources.
  • It creates a unique name space for each process so that each process sees a unique file system.

Plan 9 is a distributed services operating system designed with the global internet in mind. Its elegant design will make it possible to easily set up clusters and grids of servers in a way never before possible with Unix-like clones.

Watch a Live Demo

We can give you a tour of Plan 9. Join us at IRCNow to learn more about the design:

  • Network services using protocols like ssh, ftp, and email simply appear as files on your filesystem. This removes the need for special client interfaces.
  • A new windowing system that is completely integrated with the system, with its own file interface, that is independent and easier to code for than X11 and Wayland.
  • Chroots have been replaced with unique per-process namespacing
  • Berkeley sockets and ioctls have been replaced with /net file system

Free 4-Week Plan 9 VPS

IRCNow is offering a FREE Plan 9 VPS. We want to train explorers so we can write our own free and open operating system.

Now is your chance to make a lasting impact on technology, to work on a project that will influence free software operating systems for the next twenty years. Join our team today to work on Plan 9 development!

Plan 9 Innovations Adopted by Linux

  • UTF-8 was first invented in Plan 9!
  • procfs was first invented in Plan 9!
  • Union filesystems were first invented in Plan 9!

What You'll Learn?

  1. The rio windowing system (mouse chording)
  2. How to set up your own nameserver and how to purchase a custom domain
  3. How to compile software on Plan 9

How to Apply

  1. If you're new to Plan 9, create a free plan 9 account? and finish the 9-101 tutorial.
  2. Join us over on IRC on one of our servers on #plan9
  3. Send an email to admin@ircnow.org
  4. Get verified using any one method below:
    1. Find a mutual friend who can refer you to IRCNow staff, OR
    2. Contribute 5 articles, OR
    3. Share a code project you've worked on, OR
    4. Share a personal social media/website/blog you write for


At the end of the four free weeks course, you can:

  1. Purchase the VPS at $5USD/month. Proceeds go towards supporting a free network
  2. Volunteer as staff to keep the VPS free of charge