an open source x86_32 UNIX-like OS

one wheel at a time.

axle OS is a hobby UNIX-like OS. It has been in active development since April 2016, worked on nearly daily since then. axle OS's main features are a user-space Newlib port, ELF and Mach-O execution, a hypervisor. axle also features a compositing window manager with an animation server, alpha blending, and window clipping. axle's feature's also include:

axle desktop environment

Installation and Running Axle

Most times, you will be running axle in an emulator such as QEMU (the recommended emulator). While axle, like any OS, can be installed on real hardware, it is much less cumbersome and easier to use an emulator.

To run a pre-built image of axle OS, check the releases page and download an ISO. To execute the axle ISO with qemu, execute the following command:

qemu-system-i386 -net nic,model=ne2k_pci -d cpu_reset -D qemu.log -serial file:syslog.log -vga std -cdrom axle.iso

axle will log kernel debug info to a file called syslog.log which will be created in the directory you run axle in. If you use one of axle's debug keystrokes (such as ctrl+m or ctrl+p), the info will be logged to this file. Additionally, anything logged through printk() will be outputted to this file.

Subsystems of axle OS

kernel docs

graphics stack

axle window manager


Get involved

axle is a fully free and open source project, using the MIT license. If you would like to learn more or contribute to axle, don't hesitate to get in touch! The repo is hosted on github, and there's a slack for active contributors/discussion about axle. Feel free to submit a pull request/file an issue/ask to join the slack!