# Introduction to Collapse OS
Collapse OS is a minimal operating system created to preserve
the ability to program microcontrollers through civilizational
collapse. Its author expects the collapse of the global supply
chain means the loss of our computer production capability. Many
microcontrollers require a computer to program them.
Collapse OS innovates by self-hosting on extremely tight resour-
ces and is thus (theoretically thus far) able to operate and be
improved in a world without modern computers.
This OS is a Forth. It doesn't adhere to any pre-collapse stand-
ard, but is pretty close to the Forth described in Starting
Forth by Leo Brodie. It is therefore the recommended introduct-
ory material to learn Forth in the context of Collapse OS.
If you don't have access to this book and don't know anything
about Forth, learning Collapse OS could be a rough ride, but
don't despair. There's a Forth primer in primer.txt.
# Documentation and self-hosting
Collapse OS is self-hosting, its documentation is not, that is,
Collapse OS cannot read this document you're reading. Text
blocks could, of course, be part of Collapse OS' blocks, but
doing so needlessly uses blocks and make the system heavier than
This documentation is expected to be printed before the last
modern computer of your community dies.
# Where to begin?
If you're reading this and don't know where to begin, you're
likely to have access to a modern computer. The best place to
begin is to build the C VM of Collapse OS in /cvm. You can then
begin playing with it with the help of usage.txt and impl.txt.
When you're ready to move to real hardware, read hw/intro.txt.
# Other topics in this documentation
* Frequently asked questions (faq.txt)
* Dictionary of core Forth words (dict.txt)
* Editing text (ed.txt)
* Assembling binaries (asm.txt)
* Programming AVR chips (avr.txt)
* Bootstrap Collapse OS to a new system (bootstrap.txt)
* Cross-compilation mechanisms (cross.txt)
* Protocols (protocol.txt)