Frequently Asked Questions
return to home

What is Exelyx?

Exelyx (Personal Computer Operating System) aims to be a stable, efficient, compact OS which will run on any IBM compatible computer. Although it is technically a 'shell' program, don't let that fool you. Exelyx is unlike any shell you've probably ever used. It will, in its completed form, combine the stability of Linux, the speed of DOS, and the user-friendliness of the MacOS.

Since it's a shell, Exelyx probably isn't that useful, right?
Not necessarily. Exelyx is in fact a shell, but if you didn't already know that you probably wouldn't have noticed just by using it. Exelyx works with your computer's hardware on a fundamental level to provide many features found only in 'high-end' operating systems.

What kind of features does Exelyx offer?
Here's a short list:
preemptive multitasking
protected memory
virtual memory support - limited only by the size of your hard drive!
XMS support up to just under 3 GB with the standard HIMEM.SYS XMS driver - meaning programs can run while loaded into XMS, unlike MS-DOS
SVGA and XGA support through use of VESA routines
access to the kernel's internal routines, providing an API for developers
inter-application communications
file system security (files associated to a specific user can be locked to only be opened and/or modified by that user being logged in with their password
Windows-compatible long filename support
built in APM power management support

How user friendly is Exelyx?
A variety of user interfaces will be available for the Exelyx kernel. Among those are a command prompt interface which can be easily used by anyone familiar with traditional DOS commands, but it will also support a handful of new commands which make use of the Exelyx kernel's enhanced features which were unavailable in DOS. A graphical interface will be released too, which will offer many different 'skins' (a'la Linux's variety of window mangers) the first of which will be modeled after the "Apple Grayscale" look used in the classic MacOS 8 series.

Where do I buy software for Exelyx?
Initially, the only place to get programs for Exelyx will be to download them from this site. The project is always needy of cool new applications, games, and utilities, however, so if you have a knack for programming and think you may want to contribute a program to the project, you are more than welcome to visit the How to Contribute section.

Do I get any software with the OS?
Not at this time. All software available for Exelyx will be able to be downloaded separately from the Downloads section. Exelyx Package 1, when released, will be bundled with a collection of applications and accessories.

Do I need to dedicate my entire computer to Exelyx?
No, you will be able to use whatever operating system you currently use, as long as it can run DOS-based programs in their full capacity, and run Exelyx only when needed, or run it through a DOS emulator. DOSBox does a top-notch job of simulating the DOS environment. So much so, we use it during development of Exelyx. Also, if you're so inclined, you may make it the only OS on your system under just about any flavor of DOS to allow it to run at its full potential.

When will it be done?
As of yet, that's very uncertain. Development continues to push on, in the team's free time - which seems to become more and more of a limited resource. The kernel is as near as it's ever been to completion, with more features being added. Every version available for download now on this website is a beta version, up until version 2.00, which will be the official first release of Exelyx.

How are the different version numbers of Exelyx significant?
The average version number is made up of two main parts, the major version and the minor version. As with most other software packages, the major version only changes when there's a major overhaul to the underlying system structure. The minor version changes whenever bugs are fixed, or sometimes when small features are added. There is another part to the version numbering scheme, though, and that is the revision number. The revision number changes similarly to the minor version number, but when the bug fixes or features are extremely minor, and do not warrant changing the existing version status of the release.

What are the system requirements for Exelyx?
Exelyx is a lightweight platform when it comes to system resources. The current requirements for the PC running the series 1 kernel are as follows:
-a DOS environment [either true DOS or an emulator will do]
-an Intel 80386 or better / equivalent
-a math coprocessor [e.g. an Intel 8087 or better / equivalent]
-some available XMS, and an associated driver [e.g. himem.sys]
-enough disk space to store the programs you'll be running

These are the minimums only, of course, so if you have a better system Exelyx will just run that much smoother.