Sonify your Operating System

The modern personal computer is capable of executing many millions of instructions per second. Some of these instructions may cause the computer to slow down, expose security vulnerabilities to the outside world, or cause other undesirable behavior. It is impractical and unwieldy to regularly probe the operating system’s kernel and analyze enormous text files for detecting anomalous behavior. Yet the operating system is a real-time agent that often exhibits identifiable activity patterns. Under the right conditions humans are good at detecting temporal-acoustic patterns. We therefore suggest a framework for sonifying important aspects of the operating system. Our architecture is lightweight, generalizable to Unix-like systems, and open sourced. The system is built using the ChucK sound synthesis engine and DTrace dynamic tracing library yielding musical expressivity over operating system sonification.

More info can be found at (Sarroff, Hermans, & Bratus, 2013) and source code is located on github.

  1. Sarroff, A. M., Hermans, P., & Bratus. (2013). SOS: Sonify your operating system. In Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (pp. 726–733). Link. Details