DragonFly is an operating system and environment designed to be the logical continuation of the FreeBSD-4.x OS series. These operating systems belong in the same class as Linux in that they are based on UNIX ideals and APIs. DragonFly is a fork in the path, so to speak, giving the BSD base an opportunity to grow in an entirely new direction from the one taken in the FreeBSD-5 series.
It is our belief that the correct choice of features and algorithms can yield the potential for excellent scalability, robustness, and debuggability in a number of broad system categories. Not just for SMP or NUMA, but for everything from a single-node UP system to a massively clustered system. It is our belief that a fairly simple but wide-ranging set of goals will lay the groundwork for future growth. The existing BSD cores, including FreeBSD-5, are still primarily based on models which could at best be called 'strained' as they are applied to modern systems. The true innovation has given way to basically just laying on hacks to add features, such as encrypted disks and security layering that in a better environment could be developed at far less cost and with far greater flexibility.
We also believe that it is important to provide API solutions which allow reasonable backwards and forwards version compatibility, at least between userland and the kernel, in a mix-and-match environment. If one considers the situation from the ultimate in clustering... secure anonymous system clustering over the internet, the necessity of having properly specified APIs becomes apparent.
Finally, we believe that a fully integrated and feature-full upgrade mechanism should exist to allow end users and system operators of all walks of life to easily maintain their systems. Debian Linux has shown us the way, but it is possible to do better.