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Operating Systems

Multi-Server Microkernel OS Genode 12.11 Can Build Itself 102

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the and-they-say-microkernels-won't-work dept.
An anonymous reader wrote in with a story on OS News about the latest release of the Genode Microkernel OS Framework. Brought to you by the research labs at TU Dresden, Genode is based on the L4 microkernel and aims to provide a framework for writing multi-server operating systems (think the Hurd, but with even device drivers as userspace tasks). Until recently, the primary use of L4 seems to have been as a glorified Hypervisor for Linux, but now that's changing: the Genode example OS can build itself on itself: "Even though there is a large track record of individual programs and libraries ported to the environment, those programs used to be self-sustaining applications that require only little interaction with other programs. In contrast, the build system relies on many utilities working together using mechanisms such as files, pipes, output redirection, and execve. The Genode base system does not come with any of those mechanisms let alone the subtle semantics of the POSIX interface as expected by those utilities. Being true to microkernel principles, Genode's API has a far lower abstraction level and is much more rigid in scope." The detailed changelog has information on the huge architectural overhaul of this release. One thing this release features that Hurd still doesn't have: working sound support. For those unfamiliar with multi-server systems, the project has a brief conceptual overview document.
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Multi-Server Microkernel OS Genode 12.11 Can Build Itself

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  • by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @01:30PM (#42161865)

    There are no mid-range 6-core systems.
    Mid-range is dual core with hyperthreading.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2012 @01:31PM (#42161871)

    I'd rather concentrate on getting server code running natively no matter the toolchain used.

    "We have a microkernel that can compile with LLVM" is not as cool as "run your apache pg and php/java/whatever in a microkernel built with security and accountability in mind".

  • by FrangoAssado (561740) on Monday December 03, 2012 @03:03AM (#42166395)

    a kernel mode component can crash the system and leave no trace of what did it. Like pre X MacOS or DOS.

    ... and Linux, NT, and the Mac OS X kernel (XNU).

    NT and the Mac OS X kernels are interesting cases: they started as microkernels, but soon moved on to "hybrid" approaches that keep a lot of drivers inside kernel space.

    Everybody knows mircrokernels are slower. They are more stable. Misbehaving drivers are identified quickly. They usually have fewer issues and the issues they have don't take the whole system down.

    That sounds great in theory, but if a disk or network driver crashes on a production server, how much do you care that the rest of the system is still working? These things must not crash, period -- if they do crash, the state of the rest of the system is usually irrelevant.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown