Define the project and explain the prerequisites to undertaking it and how to meet them, describe licensing considerations, and discuss typographical conventions used in the document.
Except where otherwise noted, content in this document
is licensed under the standard Creative Commons
Attribution–ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Click on the lines following to jump down to their content:
Subsection 1-1: Introduction
Step 1-1-1: Welcome
Step 1-1-2: Abstract
Subsection 1-2: Prerequisites
Step 1-2-1: Fluency Reading Idiomatic American English
Step 1-2-2: Familiarity Using a Classical Personal Computer
Step 1-2-3: Exclusive Use of an Appropriate Computer
Step 1-2-4: Computer and Network Administration Skills
Step 1-2-5: Miscellaneous
Subsection 1-3: Intellectual Property Considerations
Step 1-3-1: This Cookbook
Step 1-3-2: Plan 9
Step 1-3-3: Debian
Subsection 1-4: Conventions
Welcome to the cookbook! We (the Plan 9 community) are pleased you are considering getting some hands-on experience with this operating system and hope this document is convincing that you can do this, possibly in a just few hours if you have solid prerequisite experience and top drawer Internet bandwidth.This document will not spend much effort attempting to persuade you to install Plan 9 because there are so many different reasons for doing so and we don't know what's important to you. Instead we recommend you do some research if you are undecided, which should certainly include the Overview and What Do People Like About Plan 9 articles at the Bell Labs' Plan 9 wiki web site. If you are still undecided after that, consider the case regarding other flavors of Plan 9 (the initial page of the FQA for 9front in particular, which has links to the other flavors, too).
The abstract in the root file of this document, a précis of this section of the document, is repeated here in larger font:
If any of those highlighted terms make no sense to you, don't give up just yet. They are clickable links to explanations of the terms that may suffice to educate you to the point of continuing this learning experience. In most cases, simply grasping the main points of those articles is sufficient for continuing. If you're still struggling, read the next subsection for pointers to other works that can enable you to get up to speed for this project.
If you can already use a personal computer or learn how to, you can almost certainly learn to how to get to the objective of this cookbook. So let's look at what you need and how to acquire it if necessary, in rough order of most general to most specific.
Idiomatic American English is the language of this document, and it is expected you can read it fluently. If not, Google translate may really be your friend (you're probably using it already just to understand this sentence). If any of the idioms are problematic, please let the maintainers know so we can explain it to you and possibly rewrite the phrase for the benefit of others.
While experience using a smart phone may suffice, this is more about having familiarity with concepts like using a mouse to control an on-screen pointer, typing ASCII characters into a typewriter-style keyboard with modifier keys such as Shift and Ctrl, turning it on and off, rebooting when needed, and so much more. The computer vendor's documentation is the best place to acquire this knowledge but first keep reading so you procure an appropriate computer for this project on which to learn this stuff.
If what is said in this step causes your head to swim, you need to accept you have a lot to learn and that will take a significant amount of time and skullsweat. If you are willing, then study rudimentary tutorials about Intel X86_64 Linux computers such as the Computers For Beginners Wikibook that is highly recommended by the good folks at linux.com who offer their own Guides for New Users web page. You should also consider installing Linux From Scratch as a graduate course. If this applies to you, do your best to get help identifying a good computer for this project, which will probably not be your only reason to procure this computer.
The definition of appropriate depends upon the question of using virtualization. If you want to install Plan 9 on a computer without the benefit of virtualization underlying Plan 9, then any computer on which Plan 9 can be installed is adequate; however, if you only have one computer, you will be challenged to set up those aspects of the infrastructure that depend upon multiple computers. Also be aware that Plan 9 has not hardware support as deep and wide as that of any recent GNU/Linux distribution—perhaps the most important reason to use virtualization there is.
If a virtualizing computer is not an option, then all you need to consider to determine what is an appropriate computer can be found in the Supported PC Hardware and possibly Other Hardware pages at the Bell Labs' Plan 9 wiki website (but you will skip all the virtualization infrastructure recipes in this cookbook).
Otherwise, to go whole hog with this cookbook, you will modify the Supported PC Hardware guidelines already referenced to a subset that eliminates all the Other Hardware possibilities and considers the hardware restrictions of your chosen GNU/Linux hosting system. At this time the cookbook only has recipes for the Debian distribution of GNU/Linux, so its amd64 Installation Guide must be considered, especially the Supported Hardware section. The virtualization support must also be considered, and the Wikipedia article about X86 Virtualization is a good place to start understanding those requirements.
If you install Debian you will need to download at least 300 MB of files. Plan 9 itself will take about 100 MB.
You may need up to two USB-sticks: one of no more than 256 MB capacity to use for booting the Debian Installer; the second vfat unit needs just a couple MB of free space for four text files. Both can be repurposed once their contents are no longer needed.
The short statement is there are no lengthy, fine print EULAs or dire piracy warnings to be found in these parts; "Freely ye have received; freely give." To be specific:
Except where otherwise noted, content in this document is licensed under the standard Creative Commons Attribution–ShareAlike 4.0 International License (left-click on the icon to see the terms and conditions).
Source code (scripts) are licensed under GPLv2 the terms and conditions of which are included in this directory's LICENSE file.
In simple terms, they mean you may use, modify, and redistribute, possibly for profit, everything included in this document (technically the files in the vp9cb directory) as long as you maintain the attributions within and redistribute any changes and extensions you make under the same terms and conditions as the originals; otherwise, you will be in violation of the terms and liable to incur the corresponding penalities for doing that. So play nicely with others as you were taught in kindergarten.
Notice this document does not distribute the Plan 9 and Debian software and documentation you will use if you follow these recipes—those you will download, use, and possibly modify and/or redistribute according to their own IP licenses, conveniently described next.
Although it started out proprietary, in 2002 the source code for Plan 9 was liberated under the Lucent Public License v1.02, according to the License section of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs article at Wikipedia. The section further states the current copyright holder, Alcatel-Lucent, authorized distribution under GPLv2 in February 2014, as reported in this article at The Register. Look at the dated Licensing section of the Overview article at the Bell Labs' Plan 9 web site for additional information.
Because this project only requires packages from the main repository, all Debian software used herein is distributed under solid open source licenses. Anything in main may be reproduced and redistributed as long as the licenses and source code are included in the distribution. Visit the What Does Free Mean? web page at debian.org to start looking into the details of the licenses used for IP affiliated with the good folks at Software in the Public Interest that emerged out of early Debian organizational changes.
Italics are used for word emphasis, non-alphanumeric keynames, file paths, and names of things like buttons and icons. The keynames will be used as either a verb or a noun depending upon the context. Bold is used for alphanumeric and punctuation characters, enclosed in braces when they are to be typed (except when grouped in more than one line with each line understood to be terminated by Enter), or parentheses when they are not. Clickable links look like this.
Understand capturing screenshots for this document takes time so wallclock time portrayed in the screenshots will appear incoherent at times.