Similar Projects to SandboxOS

When I started working on SandboxOS, I was somewhat in disbelief that nobody was doing this already. Since then, I have discovered a handful of projects with similar goals, but as far as I can tell, it is still unique enough to continue pursuing.

JavaScript Contenders

There are a handful of JavaScript-related projects with similarities.

node.js + io.js

Node.js, and by extension io.js, are essentially another runtime environment similar to those of Perl, Python, and Ruby.

node.js popularized using JavaScript outside of the web browser, especially web server-side, allowing web application to be built completely in JavaScript. But ultimately node.js and io.js compete in an already overpopulated niche.

SandboxOS is different, because it introduces a security model and an application model.


node-os is an operating system built from node.js running on a Linux kernel.

This seems to be the result of taking the package manager from node.js, npm, to its extreme and using it for managing all system files.

There is not really much comparison with SandboxOS. It is just another interesting projects in the same area.


Runtime.JS is an operating system kernel built using V8 and JavaScript.

It is an attempt at eliminating one layer of the stack commonly present in node.js applications.

SandboxOS, for better or worse, adds another layer.

Linux Container-based Contenders

I am not especially familiar with recent developments in Linux containerization. I've gather that it is a step beyond virtualization, allowing some amount of isolation without sacrificing performance.

SandboxOS different from all of them in that it attempts to make it easy to host web applications on all sorts of devices - anything where web browsers are found. While I have yet to measure the performance implications, the goal is to move toward having many more servers with many fewer (often just one?) users.

Docker / Rocket

Docker is the current dominating presence in this area. It appears to be tailored primarily toward sysadmins.

Rocket is an alternative being built for CoreOS.


Sandstorm is the first project that actually concerned me that I might be stepping on somebody's toes. Their goals are very much aligned with mine, but they're taking a completely different approach, using Linux containerization. Interestingly, Sandstorm does a good job explaining why containers are great, but they don't solve enough of the problem.

They aim to make it trivial to run servers and make a better future for open source webapps, and I wish them luck.

Editing Apps

It may just be because programmers like strange loops, but being able to edit applications from an application which is itself editable is a fundamental assumption in SandboxOS.

SandboxOS targets the most devices by far.

OLPC Develop Activity

I think I first heard such a goal proposed for the One Laptop per Child project. Their Develop activity seemed to be down-prioritized pretty quickly, but it was a neat concept and it is a neat project.

Wiki OS

I'm not clear on the origins of Wiki OS, but it seems to be an attempt at reproducing a traditional desktop environment on the web on devices where Silverlight can be run, and it allows modifying applications with an interface that I would compare to Visual Basic.

Android AIDE

I encountered AIDE while in the middle at marveling at how seemingly unnecessarily difficult mobile development is made by the available toolchains. That project puts all of the tools necessary to build Android applications on-device.


One final theme I am watching for activity on is decentralization.

This recent article hints at future tech to decentralize web applications "like BitTorent does" without any information on how that can work.

Unhosted web applications are another trend of building web applications without a server component altogether.


There is a lot of activity in this area. So far, SandboxOS seems to be going in the right direction and not stepping on anybody's toes, so I'm going to charge forward with it!

  • Posted: 2015-01-11 17:06 (Updated: 2015-01-11 17:30)
  • Categories: code internet

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