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The Cat's Eye Technologies Platform

Hey, if Haskell can have a Platform, why can't we? It's only fair.

This is version 0.5 of The Cat's Eye Technologies Platform, a NetBSD-based, shelf-powered, Funicular-built "distro" containing almost all of Cat's Eye Technologies' software distributions. It is an "executable anthology" of our work in a stand-alone format: a bootable disk image.

The current released version of The Cat's Eye Technologies Platform is version 0.5. It can be built with Funicular version 0.6 and uses shelf version 0.7 as its "packaging system". Its source can be found at the tag 0.5 in the repository, for example on Codeberg here.

If you want to download a pre-built disk image of The Platform, it is available on the Internet Archive here:

You can also download it via this torrent:

If you already have a copy of the pre-built disk image, and you want to know how to use it, see this document:

If you wish to build a disk image of The Platform from source files, or if you simply want to know more about its internals, read on.


Each version of The Cat's Eye Technologies Platform can be thought of as a "versionset" on a collection of software distributions, "frozen" at points in their development where they are all mutually compatible.

Picking a fixed version of an operating system means that, once the versions of the supporting software and the versions of our software have been picked, it will all build and work consistently (and, we can only hope, correctly.)

Since it is not intended to be connected to a network, the need for upgrades due to security, hardware support, and "new hawtness" is diminished. Establishing a platform in this way is to bitrot what canning food is to spoilage. It also answers the question "What is a minimal set of software that'd be needed to run almost everything from Cat's Eye Technologies?"

All of the pieces of software that make up The Platform are interoperable; that is, every piece builds successfully on NetBSD 6.1.5, and those with test suites pass all of their relevant automated tests. The pieces are not, however, thoroughly tested manually.

Further Reading

  • CONTENTS — what's included?
  • BUILDING — how to build The Platform from parts
  • USAGE — how to use a built copy of The Platform
  • HISTORY — log of major changes to The Platform over time
  • TODO — notes for further development