Urbit OS + Network
Our phones are cluttered with apps, ads, and notifications. Our laptops are basically just web browsers that connect us to services controlled by MEGACORP. Who knows where your messages, images, contacts, and connections live, let alone how long they’ll last or who is looking at them?
The digital world feels like a theme park built to maximize ENGAGEMENT — but we think it’s BORING. What happened to the vision of a computer as a tool that would expand and enrich our lives?
While the world has drifted into a fever dream, we built Urbit.
Your Urbit ID gets you a name, an address, and a crypto wallet — but what about when you want to connect with other people? That’s where Urbit OS comes in.
Urbit OS is everything that you need to build and run your own social software and compute with whomever you like. Create a pseudonymous chat group, edit a document together, then split a bar tab and later turn it into a syndicate and start investing. Eventually, maybe you’ll decide to become a microstate that funds everyone in Bitcoin — the possibilities are wide open.
Since we’ve got a decentralized identity system to build on and everyone runs their own OS, your social software is actually owned and operated by the collective of Urbit ID owners. You can (and should) do whatever you want.
We built Urbit OS from scratch. It’s a completely new computing stack. Without getting into the technical details (you can find those here), Urbit OS is built to do three things: be a compact and complete system (simple); run forever with no maintenance (durable); and be extensible by anyone (yours).
Urbit OS is a completely unified system with no external dependencies. In a single codebase, two orders of magnitude smaller than Linux, you have an entire programming language and operating system. We realize how crazy this is — but it means that a single person can actually understand the entire system. Who is the last person you met that actually understands their entire computer? Urbit OS is like the 1968 Porsche 911 of operating systems.
At the very bottom of the stack, Urbit OS is just a single, fixed function that we never change. Everything on top is upgradeable over the network. This means your Urbit OS can run forever without you ever having to do any maintenance. Put it on a USB stick, throw it in a drawer for ten years, and forget about it. When you plug it in again, it’ll upgrade itself automatically.
Since Urbit OS is completely sealed, it’s all run-from-source. All the code to run the system is yours to modify, tinker with, and extend. Build your own apps, modules, and user experience. Or customize Urbit OS to control your tractor. Even better: collaborate with others on the network to build the experience you’re looking for. It’s entirely up to you.
We build Urbit OS so we can finally have a dependable system that we can commit to and keep far into the future. The modern web already looks dated to us.