Helios Next Generation


The HeliosNG/Sköll logo was created & kindly provided by Lee Coscrove.

Welcome to the next generation of Helios!


This project is about reviving the UNIX-like OS for parallel computers called Helios, once created by a company called Perihelion, founded by Tim King.
Helios –not HeliOS- mainly ran on INMOS Transputers but was also ported to Texas Instruments TMS320C40 DSPs and the (early) ARM CPU Family.

Long version

As you might have seen/read on this page, Transputers and their ‘primary OS’ Helios (I don’t count OCCAM as an OS) are one of my main pet-projects.
The sources of Helios we available in the Web for quite some times since Ram Meenakshisundaram rescued them and had put them on his site.
Like most serious developments back in those days (1988-91) were made on serious systems, namely SUN boxes. To compile such ‘vintage code’ today, it’s wise to start with a similar ‘vintage setup’, i.e. same platform, not too-recent OS and a compiler suite suiting the era.

Duing the last months I was finally able to finalize the configuration of a proper Solaris 8 system and after some days of cursing and “men who stare at code” I finally managed – hold yer breath, drumroll – to compile the Helios 1.31 sources!

That explains the first release name: Sköll (or Skoll for those without umlauts) is a wolf that chases the sun in Norse mythology (wikipedia tells you more)… my 3rd name is Wolf(gang) and I indeed chased Helios as well as Sun(OS).

Before you ask: Yes, I got the permission from Tim King himself to “do whatever I like with the Helios sources” – so we’re perfectly legal here, there wasn’t any other company after Perihelion having rights attached to Helios.
Therefore I’ll proudly put Helios into open source under GPLv3 license.

The following chapters should give an outlook of what is being planned, done and should/could be done if there are enough people joining this project.