The Sprite Operating System

Sprite is a research operating system developed at the University of California, Berkeley, by John Ousterhout's research group.

Sprite is a distributed operating system that provides a single system image to a cluster of workstations. It provides very high file system performance through client and server caching. It has process migration to take advantage of idle machines. It was used as a testbed for research in log-structured file systems, striped file systems, crash recovery, and RAID file systems, among other things.

The Sprite project has now ended, although Sprite is still running on a few machines. If you have a DECstation 5000/200 or a SparcStation 2, you could try running Sprite off the Sprite CD-ROM.

John Ousterhout has a retrospective on the Sprite project.

Sprite papers

There are many papers on Sprite.


Sprite files are available by ftp, including the source code. Brent Welch has a Sprite ftp site.

Sprite network traces (SOSP 91)

The Sprite group traced network file system operations for our SOSP '91 paper Measurements of a Distributed File System. Information on accessing the trace data and information on the traces.

Sprite CD-ROM

Information on on purchasing the Sprite CD-ROM. This CD-ROM contains Sprite source code, documentation, and a bootable version of Sprite. You can get a listing of the cdrom contents (long). Brent Welch has notes on booting Sprite from the CD-ROM and a bug list.

Other OS links

References to other operating systems

Frequently asked questions from comp.os.research

Home pages of Spriters

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Ken Shirriff