“Vita Nuova” and “Inferno”: a Compact Operating System for Building Cross-Platform Distributed Systems


“People often ask where the names Plan 9, Inferno, and Vita Nuova originated.
Allegedly, Rob Pike was reading Dante’s Divine Comedy when the Computing Science Research Group at Bell Labs was working on Inferno. Inferno is named after the first book of the Divine Comedy, as are many of its components, including Dis, Styx and Limbo.
The company name Vita Nuova continues the association with Dante: his first work, a book of poetry about his childhood sweetheart Beatrice, was called La Vita Nuova. The literal translation of Vita Nuova is ‘New Life,’ which in the circumstances is surprisingly prophetic.
Plan 9 is named after the famous Ed Wood movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. There are no other connections except that the striking artwork for the products is a retro, 60s SciFi image modeled on the Plan 9 movie poster.’    —Vita Nuova


Contributed by Kavi Montanaro