[Oberon] Help in using an Oberon systems.

Jack Johnson knapjack at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 20:20:52 CET 2012

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM, Duke Normandin <dukeofperl at ml1.net> wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 22:06:53 +0530
> Srinivas Nayak <sinu.nayak2001 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Dear All,
> >
> > I am a Linux user. I am new to Oberon systems.
> > I tried running one Oberon system in Virtual Box, though slow, it
> > started. Now the big question is, I am hopeless in the UI.
> >
> > I found from net that, there used to be a book detailing user
> > manual. Now it is not available. How to know how to use this OS
> > (at least for me like novice)?
> > Do any body have a e copy of that material, or any sources of
> > similar user manual saying how to use this OS?

Hi Srinivas!

Oberon has a long history and your journey may depend on where you started.
For most of that history, your best bet is to go to the source:


Most people start with Project Oberon, both very technical and very


Unfortunately, it takes a holistic view of the system, and may not be the
best introduction to the OS as a user. Nearly every version of Oberon has a
Readme file that helps people navigate for the first time, and usually a
repository of local documentation in various text files that will help you
on your journey.

Project Oberon really starts with the traditional tiling interface. The end
of the book talks about System 3, which you may see either in one of the
Native Oberon flavors or via Active Oberon System (AOS, or A2 and friends).

For navigating AOS, it inherits some ideas from the older systems, but some
ideas are novel as well (including the zoomable user interface). I think
your best bet there is to start with the local Readme, which I believe
opens at boot.

You will likely face some idiosyncrasies with Oberon due to its history and
the ecosystem of the surrounding systems during the last 26 years (UNIX,
Linux, Mac, Windows). Oberon has been used mainly for instructional,
research, and industrial systems and is typical updated at a relatively
slow and methodical pace, and some aspects of modern computing environments
have yet to be implemented. Hopefully you'll find it good food for thought
on what a modern computing environment might be or might have been.

There is also good/fun info from the last Oberon Day, with videos of the
presentations here:


I strongly suggest "Ceres and Oberon, Then and Now" as well as the panel

> I would strongly suggest that you change your mind and walk away
> from Oberon!! It is a complete waste of time, IMHO.

Grow up, Duke. IMHO.

> BTW, it seems that before a person is able to productively use the
> Oberon OS, on top of Linux, you need to know what LEO is, AND how
> to use it!!!!  But there is nobody willing to divulge THAT secret,
> here.  So you will frustrated until the day you walk away. Better
> do it now!!!   LOL ....

LEO = ETH Oberon for Linux x86:

So sayeth Google.

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