AtomOS (Just a crazy idea...)


Some people consider Emacs as an operating system itself, and also they have it as system shell (or it’s said this…). Atom could be considered as a “programmer’s shell” in a similar way to FirefoxOS Gaia or ChromiumOS Aero, so since this are build on HTML as Atom does, why don’t use Atom as an OS shell? :slight_smile:

We can have here some alternatives: a Ubuntu session launching Atom fullscreen (some managed to do this with Aero, and it’s a similar way how SteamOS works), or replace the shell of FirefoxOS or ChromiumOS. Main problem I see here would be regarding to the underlying Node.js runtime, but it would be a good experiment.

What do you think? Feasable? Useful? What would be required/left to do it? Comments, please… :smile:


Not sure if it was around when you wrote this. But there’s definitely something called Atom Shell. Check it out if you haven’t already :smile:


Yes I know it, in fact Atom is build on top of Atom Shell :smile:


The name “Atom Shell” is quite fascinating. When I first saw the name, I thought it would allow me to run Atom from a tty. (I thought that Atom had an editor core and would allow access to it from various different GUIs.)

Now you’re thinking that Atom Shell can help with building a shell (in the sense of bash or the Windows Explorer kind of shell – the portion of the OS that interacts with the user).

But actually, it’s quite different…


I think you would be interested on Slap:wink:


Fascinating. Yeah, interesting project. I will look into it.

However, note how NeoVim is working on offering a backend with various front-ends – some graphical, some text based. As I understand it, I can even invoke a backend and then edit the same files from both a graphical UI and a text UI at the same time.

Of course, given what Atom offers to us, we’d have to implement a text mode web browser basically. And while that has been done, I feel it’s going to be pretty tough to get it right…


If Atom could have splitted its core in a UI independent package that would be awesome, specially attached to a HTTP web server so you can connect several clients to it both local and remotelly… :smiley: In fact, that’s the architecture we are trying to promote on NodeOS for GUI apps, a headless core that can be accessed by remote clients using HTTP REST requests or a WebSocket connection :smile:


Back to the original subject, I have been thinking Atom could replace the UI of my desktop. It already has for a lot of functions. I use the built-in web browser more than I use the desktop one now. It is somehow convenient to stay in one set of tabs instead of switching windows.


If I had Atom running in my chromebook it could be the whole UI. I could then do development on the chromebook which I would kill for.

I wish I knew linux development better. Apparently linux runs well on a chromebook. And Linux could provide the support for running Atom full-screen.

Of course Atom would need to mature a lot, Especially in the replacement of other desktop apps. But I’m in no rush.


What I need most is a fast and effective plain-text system like Org for Atom. In addition, it is important to have an advanced message reader like Gnus.