gridstart – connect to a public 9p service grid

gridstart [ –t ] [ –m ]

gridstart is a startup script which connects to a set of public 9p services. By default it launches a subrio with several applications running. It can also make all connections via tls if desired.

The –t option requests tls service. The –m option specifies "mount only" behavior, in which the services are dialed and mounted but a subrio is not started and no applications are run.

The script begins by dialing and mounting an Inferno registry which lists the publicly available services. It then processes the index file to create a series of commands to dial and mount the services listed. The services are an irc–like chat provided by hubfs, an acme–editable wiki which can also be viewed (but not edited) via browser at, a publicly writable ramdisk, a read–only root fs, a shared plumber that can be used to send messages between clients, and a separate publicly–writable registry for users to share additional services. The wiki has documentation on these services.

The subrio launches the chat(1) client which prompts for a username and then connects to the default chat channel. It also starts acme with the wiki–editing command in a window, highlight the 'Wiki /mnt/wiki' command and middle–click to start the acme wiki viewing/editing program. Mothra(1) and page(1) are also opened, and will receive messages from the grid plumber, so plumbed weblinks or plumbed files uploaded to /n/gridram will be seen by all connected clients.


It took almost ten years to figure out how to make a useful public 9p service grid.