Ceres Workstation
DeveloperETH Zurich
ManufacturerETH Zurich
Product familyWirth
Release date1987; 37 years ago (1987)
MediaFloppy disk:
Ceres 1: 5.25 in (13.3 cm)
Ceres 3: 3.5 in (8.9 cm)
Operating systemOberon System
Memory2 MB DRAM + 256 KB video RAM[1]
Dimensions18.5 in × 7.5 in × 14.5 in (47 cm × 19 cm × 37 cm)
Marketing targetResearch
SuccessorCeres-2, Ceres-3

The Ceres Workstation was a workstation computer built by Niklaus Wirth's group at ETH Zurich in 1987. The central processing unit (CPU) is a National Semiconductor NS32000, and the operating system, named Oberon System is written fully in the object-oriented programming language Oberon. It is an early example of an operating system using basic object-oriented principles and garbage collection on the system level and a document centered approach for the user interface (UI), as envisaged later with OpenDoc. Ceres was a follow-up project to the Lilith workstation, based on AMD bit slicing technology and the programming language Modula-2.

On the same hardware, Clemens Szyperski[2] implemented as part of his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis[3] an operating system named ETHOS, which takes full advantage of object-oriented technologies. A Usenet posting by Szyperski says that Oberon/F, which was later renamed to BlackBox Component Builder, incorporates ETHOS ideas and principles.[4]



  1. ^ Eberle, Hans (1987). "Hardware Description of the Workstation Ceres" (PDF). Technical Reports D-INFK. 70. ETH Zürich. doi:10.3929/ethz-a-000402636.
  2. ^ Szyperski, Clemens Alden. "Clemens Szyperski". Microsoft Research. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Personal page.
  3. ^ Szyperski, Clemens Alden (1992). Insight ETHOS: On Object Orientation in Operating Systems (PDF) (Thesis). ETH Zurich. Electronic reprint.
  4. ^ Szyperski, Clemens Alden (2 April 1995). "Information on ETHOS". Google Groups. Usenet: comp.lang.oberon. Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)