An Overview of the Advanced Namespace Tools and the ANTS farm Next-level use and control of Plan 9 from Bell Labs namespaces

The purpose of the antfarm sub-site is to provide demonstrations, tutorials, and explanations of the Advanced Namespace ToolS. There are many new things in ANTS and it isn't easy to understand how everything fits together without seeing it in action and using the system. These pages are based around the small 9worker vm image for Qemu, and a matching 9queen full install that can be generated with a script from a clean install from the Bell Labs .iso.

What ANTS has, is, and does

Purpose of the vm image and tutorials

The main purpose is to demonstrate the features of ANTS and how they can be used. The 9worker image is also independently useful as a micro-cpu server that delivers a lot of Plan 9 in a tiny package. The tutorials are not intended to show how ANTS is used in everyday use, but to illustrate the principles of creating and moving between namespaces and modifying them. In everyday use, I mostly use Plan 9 normally, and the underlying architecture doesn't affect this. The main notable difference in my user environment is my access to persistent shells on all machines via hubfs, but the hubfs software is independent of the other tools and modifications, although it is synergistic with them. However, the ANTS infrastructure is vital for how I keep my data backed up, how I administer my machines, how I cope with any technical difficulties that occur with hardware or the network, and how I add or remove machines from my grid. It also helps me use both Bell Labs and 9front versions of Plan 9 at the same time without conflicts.

Hopefully, the vm-based demonstrations will make the purpose and use of the tools clear enough that others will be able to receive benefit from them as well. In addition to these tutorials and pages, there is also extensive documentation and a full-length paper contained within the ants directory at