Xelix kernel

Xelix is a hobby POSIX kernel and operating system for x86. It has a largely GNU-based userland and can run many common *nix programs.


  • Preemptive multitasking with privilege and memory separation
  • POSIX process API with fork/execve/wait and signal handling
  • VFS with support for dynamic mount points, poll, pipes, and in-memory file trees
  • Read/write ext2 implementation, IDE and virtio-block drivers
  • BSD socket API for TCP/IP support using the PicoTCP network stack
  • Terminal framework with support for multiple TTYs, pseudo terminals & ECMA48 escape sequences



Xelix is unstable pre-alpha software. Don’t use it on computers that store any data you might want to keep. Make liberal use of fsck.ext2.

Version Release Download New software
0.2.0 2020-01-26 QEMU qcow2 image dash, dialog, flac, gdbm, libedit, nano, openssl, tar, which, xz, bash, coreutils, freetype2, gettext, libtextstyle, mpc, pciutils, vim, binutils, darkhttpd, e2fsprogs, gmp, less, libxml2, mpfr, pcre2, wget
0.1.0 2019-01-26 QEMU qcow2 image busybox, xshell, bzip2, zlib, ncurses, diffutils, grep

You should be able to run it using any common x86 emulator/hypervisor. QEMU/KVM, Bochs, VirtualBox and VMWare Player are known to work, with the latter two offering the best performance (Most testing is done on QEMU/KVM however).

Sample QEMU invocation:

qemu-system-i386 -accel kvm -vga qxl -m 1024 -cpu SandyBridge -soundhw ac97 -drive file=xelix-0.2.0.qcow2,if=ide -netdev user,id=mnet0 -device virtio-net,netdev=mnet0