Triops: 200 million years old and still kickin’.

The goal of this project is to produce a stable, well-designed OS and full suite of applications with a consistent user interface, all implemented in assembly language and runnable on 8086s or 286s.

Ultimately, I want to build a homemade 8086 system and port it to that, but for now I’m just running on old PCs.


  • Targets (and should run well on) 286 and older
  • Multitasks.
  • Text-based windowing system.
  • Consistent interface among programs.
  • Modular. (Multiple programs can share code in memory.)
  • Designed with the goal of eventually running on homebuilt hardware. (e.g., minimal reliance on BIOS; avoid hard-coded assumptions as much as possible; modular; scales down to single 64K segment.)
  • Built-in debugger.


As of 2004-04-21:

BootingThe bootsector works (borrowed from Linux) and the kernel boots. However, I still want to move some initializtion code into a throw-away module to regain memory after it’s booted.
SchedulerSchedules between tasks.
Video systemAbstracted out. Testing.
Windowing systemCan draw a window… on good days when the video cooperates.
DriversNone yet.
ApplicationsNone yet.


Design documents are included in the Documentation/ directory of the download.




Will post for download once I have the modularization work done.

Updated January 1, 2004