Fork of the Genode OS framework
You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.
 
 
 
 
 
 
genode/doc/news.txt

2155 lines
107 KiB

===========
Genode News
===========
Genode OS Framework release 16.02 | 2016-02-26
##############################################
| Genode 16.02 introduces the RISC-V hardware architecture to the framework,
| enables the secure pass-through of USB devices to virtual machines, and
| updates the Muen separation kernel and the seL4 microkernel.
In contrast to the feature-oriented previous release, the new version focuses
on diverse topics around low-level platform support. First, there is the
addition of a new hardware architecture. With the addition of RISC-V,
we anticipate future trustworthy open-source hardware platforms.
Second, as the major functional addition motivated by Genode's use as
day-to-day OS, the new version adds the ability to assign USB devices to
virtual machines in a dynamic yet secure way. This clears the way to cover
many typical desktop work-flows with a Genode-based system.
With respect to the framework's underlying kernels, we are happy to
announce the update of the Muen separation kernel to version 0.7 and the
update of the seL4 kernel to version 2.1. The new version of Muen comes with
welcome work-flow improvements. In fact, the separation kernel can now be
targeted by Genode's automation tools in the same uniform way as all the other
base platforms.
An in-depth coverage of these and many more improvements is provided by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/16.02 - release documentation of version 16.02...]
Road Map for 2016 | 2016-01-15
##############################
| We finalized the road map for 2016, which is primarily focused on extending
| the community of users.
After having passed the point where a few enthusiasts use Genode as
their day-to-day OS, it is time to extend the user base beyond
the inner circle of developers. The road map outlines the plan to make Genode
appealing to two target audiences, namely system builders and a narrow group
of privacy-considerate end users. Hence, the overall theme of 2016 is to
help a growing community to leverage the full potential of Genode.
The new road map is available at the [http:/about/road-map - road-map page].
Genode at FOSDEM 2016 | 2016-01-12
##################################
| There are four Genode-related talks scheduled at this year's FOSDEM,
| covering the USB Armory, seL4, the Nix package manager, and Genode
| as desktop OS.
[https://fosdem.org/2016 - FOSDEM] is the worlds biggest gathering of
open-source and free-software enthusiasts. It takes place during 30 and 31 of
January in Brussels. This year, Genode will show a strong presence again. On
Saturday, Emery, Martin, and Norman will contribute to the
[https://fosdem.org/2016/schedule/track/microkernels/ - microkernel devroom].
On Sunday, we have the opportunity to present the current state of Genode as
desktop OS at the desktops devroom. The summary of the Genode-related parts of
the FOSDEM schedule is as follows.
Saturday 10:40 *An exploration of the seL4 kernel from Genode's perspective*
_Microkernel devroom (K.4.601)_
[https://fosdem.org/2016/schedule/event/microkernels_genode_sel4/ - abstract...]
Saturday 14:10 *Porting Nix to Genode - Package management without a canonical file system*
_Microkernel devroom (K.4.601)_
[https://fosdem.org/2016/schedule/event/microkernels_genode_nix/ - abstract...]
Saturday 15:55 *Genode's TrustZone demo on the USB Armory*
_Microkernel devroom (K.4.601)_
[https://fosdem.org/2016/schedule/event/microkernels_genode_usb_armory/ - abstract...]
Sunday 10:20 *Genode as Desktop OS*
_Desktops devroom (K.4.401)_
[https://fosdem.org/2016/schedule/event/genode_as_a_desktop_os/ - abstract...]
The story behind Genode's TrustZone demo on the USB Armory | 2015-12-08
#######################################################################
| Our latest article provides a look behind the scenes of the
| development of Genode's support for the USB Armory platform.
The [http://inversepath.com/usbarmory - USB Armory] is a computer in the form
of a USB stick. It normally runs Linux. But thanks to the ARM TrustZone
capabilities of the device, it is possible to run Genode behind the back of
Linux. This is useful for shielding sensitive information like cryptographic
keys from Linux by exposing it to Genode only and thereby drastically reducing
the attack surface. Even in the event Linux gets compromised, e.g., by a
vulnerability in the USB stack, the secrets remain protected.
The article "The story behind Genode's TrustZone demo on the USB Armory"
presents the adventurous story behind enabling this scenario. The biggest challenge
was splitting the hardware platform into two worlds while maintaining the
full functionality of Linux. The article goes on to explain the interplay
between the secure world (Genode) and the normal world (Linux). Furthermore,
it provides all the pointers needed to reproduce the scenario.
[http:/documentation/articles/usb_armory - Read the article...]
Genode OS Framework release 15.11 | 2015-11-30
##############################################
| The primary focus of version 15.11 is the use of Genode as a desktop
| OS. It vastly improves the GUI and audio stacks, features the port of Intel
| KMS from Linux, extends the support for the USB Armory and Xilinx Zynq-7000,
| and introduces new file-system infrastructure such as a VFS server.
Whereas the previous release marked the point where the very first user adopted
Genode as day-to-day OS, we maintained the direction to create a Genode-based
desktop OS. Most improvements of the new version are related to this goal:
The GUI and audio stacks have become much more modular, dynamic, and flexible.
With a new copy-and-paste mechanism, we added a universally expected
desktop-integration feature in a unique way that mitigates the misuse of the
clipboard as a covert communication mechanism. Those higher-level features
are complemented with profound low-level device-driver improvements, most
noteworthy the addition of the Intel KMS driver. This driver allows us to
drive multiple displays and switch screen resolutions on the fly.
What high- and low-level components have in common, is the use of Genode's
uniform configuration concept, which solves a variety of configuration
problems with a single low-complexity mechanism. It allows us to modify
all kinds of system configurations - ranging from the wireless driver
to the style of window decoration - live by merely editing and saving
text files.
Even though the majority of improvements are attributed to the use of
Genode as desktop OS, the release also covers other areas.
Xilinx Zynq-7000 has been added to the supported platforms, TrustZone on
the USB Armory received a lot of attention, and a new VFS server makes
Genode's file-system infrastructure much more flexible.
These and many more topics are covered in detail by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/15.11 - release documentation of version 15.11...]
Genode OS Framework release 15.08 | 2015-08-31
##############################################
| Version 15.08 marks the starting point of Genode used as day-to-day
| operating system, which underlines the maturity and scalability of the
| framework. A further highlight is the ability to execute Genode on
| top of the Muen separation kernel.
Since the first release of Genode seven years ago, we dreamed of being able
to use our OS technology as the underlying platform for our day-to-day
computing needs. With the current version, the day has come: One of
Genode's core developers has made the switch and others plan to follow
soon. Hence, the use of Genode as day-to-day OS is the underlying
theme of most improvements seen in the new version. It addresses
long-standing deficiencies of the kernel-memory management of the NOVA kernel
and Genode's custom kernel platform, extends the framework's
system-monitoring and file-system abilities, and significantly improves the
integration of VirtualBox with Genode.
The second highlight of version 15.08 is the ability to execute Genode
system scenarios on top of the Muen separation kernel. Compared to
microkernels, Muen takes the ambition to reduce kernel complexity to an
extreme. Written in the safe implementation language SPARK and with a code
complexity of merely 5,000 lines, it lends itself to be high assuring about
its correct behavior. From Genode's point of view, Muen represents an
additional target architecture of the framework's custom base-hw kernel. The
component isolation enforced by base-hw and the static isolation boundaries
enforced by Muen represent two lines of defense for protecting
security-critical system functions from untrusted components.
More details about all the improvements are provided by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/15.08 - release documentation of version 15.08...]
Genode OS Framework release 15.05 | 2015-05-26
##############################################
| For the first time, a Genode release is accompanied by a book.
| Further highlights of the current release are vast improvements of our
| base-hw kernel, preliminary support for the seL4 microkernel, new
| device-driver infrastructure, and plenty of new device drivers.
With version 15.05, we equip Genode users with comprehensive documentation
in the form of the free book "Genode Foundations". The book covers the
architecture in great detail, assists developers with the explanation of the
development environment and system configuration, and provides insights behind
the scenes of the framework. Furthermore, the book contains the specification
of the framework's programming interfaces.
Besides the documentation, the second highlight of the release is the base-hw
kernel, which enables the execution of Genode without a 3rd-party microkernel.
Our kernel, originally designed for the ARM architecture, has become able
to run on the 64-bit x86 architecture, it received support for
kernel-protected capabilities, and its scheduler got much more flexible.
Even though we invest a lot of work in our custom kernel, the biggest
strength of Genode is its ability to leverage the benefits of different
kernels. With the current release, we introduce preliminary support to run
simple system scenarios on top of the seL4 microkernel. With seL4, there
is now the prospect of running Genode on top of a formally verified kernel.
At the framework's architectural level, we took the opportunity to
redesign the infrastructure for user-level device drivers. With this
release, device drivers become subjected to rigid access control with respect
to hardware resources. Along with this architectural change, there are
massive improvements of the device driver support. There is a new AHCI
driver, new audio drivers ported from OpenBSD, new SD-card drivers,
added platform support for i.MX6, and support for message-signalled interrupts
on x86-based machines.
A detailed description of all the improvements is provided by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/15.05 - release documentation of version 15.05...]
Genode's core running on the seL4 kernel | 2015-05-18
#####################################################
| In the third part of our seL4 article series, we describe the steps
| taken to run Genode's fundamental components on seL4.
The article "Porting the core component" builds upon the experience gained
from the first two articles to execute Genode-based systems on
top of seL4. As for the previous articles, it is full of technical insights
into both seL4 and Genode. Among the many challenges that had to be overcome
are the management of capabilities and memory, the synchronous RPC
communication between components, and the handling of page faults. As result,
simple Genode system scenarios can be readily executed on top of the seL4 kernel.
[http://genode.org/documentation/articles/sel4_part_3 - Read the article...]
All the steps described in the article can be followed in the
topic branch [http://github.com/nfeske/genode/commits/sel4] of the ongoing
development. Furthermore, the principle support for seL4 will be featured
in the upcoming Genode release 15.05.
An in-depth look into the ARM virtualization extensions | 2015-03-12
####################################################################
| Our new article explores the mechanisms of the ARM virtualization extensions
| and describes how Genode's custom base-hw kernel was turned into
| a microhypervisor.
With the recently published
[http:/documentation/release-notes/15.02 - version 15.02], Genode received
support for ARM's virtualization extensions. While conducting this line
of work during the year of 2014, we took the chance to thoroughly document
the experience. The article "An in-depth look into the ARM virtualization
extensions" presents the overall virtualization architecture and goes into
detail about the virtualization of memory, CPU, interrupts, and time.
Furthermore, it covers a series of experiments with I/O protection mechanisms.
[http:/documentation/articles/arm_virtualization - Read the article...]
Exercising the seL4 kernel interface | 2015-03-10
#################################################
| The second part of the article series about Genode on seL4 goes into
| detail about the kernel mechanisms for synchronous inter-process
| communication and the management of virtual memory.
The article "Genode on seL4 - IPC and virtual memory" examines the most
important mechanisms of the seL4 kernel.
It covers synchronous inter-process communication between threads, the
delegation of capabilities, and the management of virtual memory.
Apart from presenting hands-on experience with using the kernel, it identifies
potential challenges for using it as Genode base platform.
[http://genode.org/documentation/articles/sel4_part_2 - Read the article...]
All the steps described in the article can be followed in the
topic branch [http://github.com/nfeske/genode/commits/sel4] of the ongoing
development.
Genode OS Framework release 15.02 | 2015-02-27
##############################################
| Version 15.02 extends the base-hw kernel with ARM-virtualization support,
| introduces a highly modularized tool kit for automated testing, adds
| support for the USB Armory platform, and improves the performance and
| stability of VirtualBox on Genode/NOVA.
Most of the previous releases were motivated by our desire for features that
we deemed as fundamentally important to use Genode as a general-purpose
system. Now that we have reached most of the feature set that we longed after,
the project adjusts its focus. According to our recently published
[http://genode.org/about/road-map - roadmap], the underlying theme of the
current development shifted towards the cultivation of the existing feature
set rather than the introduction of new functionality. The current release
perfectly reflects this change. It introduces a highly modular tool kit for
scaling up the project's automated testing efforts and comes with stability
and performance improvements all over the place. In particular, we are happy
to report substantial performance gains of our version of VirtualBox running
on NOVA.
As a second focus of the version 15.02, our custom base-hw kernel platform
received a lot of attention. The most prominent news is the added support
for virtualization on ARM. This line of work has been conducted and refined over
the time span of more than a year and took much of our prior experience with
the NOVA virtualization architecture and ARM TrustZone into account. This
experience resulted in a novel microhypervisor design with an extremely
tiny foot print with respect to the added complexity on the account of
virtualization support. In fact, less than 1000 lines of code had to be added
to the root of the trusted computing base. Besides virtualization
support, our kernel's scheduler got refined to take IPC relationships into
account while additionally gaining support for the USB Armory hardware platform.
These and many more improvements are covered in more detail by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/15.02 - release documentation of version 15.02...]
Road Map for 2015 | 2015-01-14
##############################
| After brainstorming Genode's mid-term future on our mailing list,
| we finalized our road map for this year.
The development during the past years was primarily driven by our desire for
features. With respect to the feature set, we have eventually reached a state
where Genode becomes viable as general-purpose computing platform.
That said, we are still not there yet, because apart from a list
of features, it is important how those features fit together and
how easy it is to use them. Therefore, the focus for 2015 will be
the consolidation and cultivation of the existing feature set.
Still, there will be room for new developments, i.e., the use of
Genode on the seL4 kernel.
The new road map is available at [http://genode.org/about/road-map].
Genode at FOSDEM 2015 | 2015-01-14
##################################
| With three talks, Genode will show a strong presence at this year's FOSDEM.
| The talks will cover an introduction of Genode, our line of work
| regarding VirtualBox on NOVA, and Genode's evolving GUI architecture.
Keeping up with our tradition to participate in the worlds largest
gathering of the open-source and free-software community, we are happy
to announce three talks to be held by Norman Feske at FOSDEM 2015:
Sunday 12:00 - 12:25 *Genode - OS security by design*
_Security devroom (AW1.120)_
Sunday 14:20 - 15:00 *Transplantation of VirtualBox to the NOVA microhypervisor*
_Virtualization devroom (UD2.120)_
Sunday 15:30 - 16:15 *Introducing a radically componentized GUI architecture*
_Microkernel devroom (K.3.201)_
More information about the talks (including abstracts) are
available at the [https://fosdem.org/2015/schedule/speaker/norman_feske/ - FOSDEM website].
Genode OS Framework release 14.11 | 2014-11-28
##############################################
| With the availability of the Intel wireless stack in version 14.11,
| we close one of the last functional gaps to use Genode on modern laptops.
| Further highlights of the new version are the trading of CPU resources
| between subsystems on top of our custom HW kernel, VirtualBox 4.3.16,
| a new dynamic linker, and networking on the Raspberry Pi.
Early on our long way towards the use of Genode as a general-purpose OS, we
identified wireless networking as a crucial functionality. For a long time,
however, we feared the topic because WiFi driver stacks are known to be
extremely complex. In spring this year, we have finally started to port the
Intel wireless stack from Linux to Genode. With the current release, we are
proud to present the outcome of this activity as a new component on Genode.
As the second major improvement of the new version, we added a new scheduler
to our custom HW kernel that allows us to trade CPU resources between Genode
subsystems, similarly to how memory is managed on Genode. Furthermore, the new
version comes with an upgrade of VirtualBox on NOVA to version 4.3.16 along
with profound stability improvements, a new dynamic linker with a complexity
of less than 20% of the old one, added networking support for the Raspberry
Pi, and new GUI components.
The story behind our work on the WiFi stack as well as detailed information
about all the other improvements are provided by the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/14.11 - release documentation of version 14.11...]
Article about building a simple seL4 root task | 2014-10-30
###########################################################
| As we have just kicked off our work on porting Genode to the seL4
| microkernel, we took the chance to document the process in the form
| of a series of articles. The first part covers the steps of creating
| a minimalistic root task.
The seL4 kernel is a modern microkernel jointly developed by NICTA and
General Dynamics. This summer, it was released under GPL, which makes it
intriguing as a potential base platform for Genode. Its biggest appeal
stems from the fact that there exists a formal proof of correctness of the
kernel code. But besides this assuring attribute, with solid kernel resource
management, support for capability-based security, and good performance, it is
attractive on technical merits too.
The article "Genode on seL4 - Building a simple root task from scratch" covers
the first steps of enabling Genode to run on seL4. It describes the
integration of the kernel code with Genode's source tree and the steps taken
to create a minimalistic root task that runs on the kernel. It is full of
hands-on information about the methodology of such a porting effort and
describes the experience with using the kernel from the perspective of
someone with no prior association with the seL4 project.
[http://genode.org/documentation/articles/sel4_part_1 - Read the article...]
All the steps described in the article can be followed in the
topic branch [http://github.com/nfeske/genode/commits/sel4] of the current
development.
Genode OS Framework release 14.08 | 2014-08-28
##############################################
| The central theme of version 14.08 is a new GUI architecture that maintains
| strong security yet scales to highly flexible and dynamic GUIs. Furthermore,
| the release comes with a port of OpenVPN, networking support for VirtualBox,
| updated DDE Linux, and vastly improved performance of our custom base-hw
| kernel.
The new GUI architecture introduced with the release puts security in the
front seat while aiming at highly customizable user experiences. In line with
Genode's philosophy, it does not come as a complete solution with a fixed
feature set but as a number of building blocks. Its flexibility stems from the
many different ways of how those building blocks can be combined. Because each
component uses well-defined interfaces, it becomes easy to customize the
look&feel and the behaviour of the user interface by replacing individual
components by alternative implementations.
Further highlights in addition to the GUI-related improvements are the added
support for networking in VirtualBox, multi-processor support for the Seoul
virtual machine monitor, pluggable file systems, and the added port of
OpenVPN. Many existing parts of the framework received attention as well. For
example, the environment for executing Linux device drivers (DDE Linux) on top
of Genode has been updated to Linux 3.14.5, we improved the integration of
Qt5, and the performance of our custom kernel for ARM hardware got a boost.
More background information about all the new features and improvements is provided in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/14.08 - release documentation of version 14.08...]
Genode OS Framework release 14.05 | 2014-05-29
##############################################
| Version 14.05 greatly improves the way 3rd-party software can be combined
| with the framework, VirtualBox on NOVA received guest-additions support,
| there is a new block-encryption facility, and our custom base-hw kernel
| became able to use multiple processors.
Genode-based system scenarios combine the software of up to 70 different
open-source projects, which presents the user with the challenge to keep those
software ports consistent with the framework. The new version comes with new
tools and build-system improvements, which make the porting and use of such
3rd-party software easier than ever and pave the ground to scale
Genode-based systems far beyond the current state.
The second focus of the release cycle was the enhancement of the platform
support for NOVA on the x86 architecture and for our custom
kernel on the ARM architecture. The latter received multi-processor
support and a new memory management concept. For NOVA, we enabled the use of
real-time priorities and continued our line of work with running VirtualBox
on this kernel by adding support for guest additions such as file systems
shared between Genode and the guest OS.
Furthermore, we added a new component for block-level encryption
based on NetBSD's cryptographic device driver and enabled USB 3.0 on
x86-based platforms.
More information about all the changes is provided in our detailed
[http:/documentation/release-notes/14.05 - release documentation of version 14.05...]
An Exploration of ARM TrustZone Technology | 2014-04-10
#######################################################
| A new article supplemented by a demonstration video presents our endeavour
| of combining Genode with the security features of ARM TrustZone.
ARM TrustZone technology has been around for half a decade. Even though it is
used on most ARM-based devices ranging from low-cost development boards to
mobile phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, there exists almost no public body
of knowledge around this technology. This prompted us to start a series of
experiments with ARM's security extensions. Our line of work ultimately led to
a demonstrable prototype where Genode is used as secure OS behind the back of
Android running on a FreeScale i.MX53 SABRE tablet. We share our experience
(and of course the full source code) in the form of the article
[http:/documentation/articles/trustzone - An Exploration of ARM TrustZone Technology...]
Genode OS Framework release 14.02 | 2014-02-28
##############################################
| The two highlights of the new release are VirtualBox running on
| top of the NOVA microhypervisor and the added support for NetBSD's file
| systems. Furthermore, the release comes with new or largely revised
| storage components such as a block cache.
During the release cycle for version 14.02, the development was focused on the
topics storage and virtualization, both considered as fundamental for using
Genode as general-purpose OS.
Concerning storage, we took the chance to redesign the existing block-level
components to work asynchronously. This way, block requests can be processed
in a pipelined fashion and even out of order, which is beneficial to hide
device latencies and to maximize throughput. Additionally, there are entirely
new storage components, most prominently a new block cache, FUSE-based
file-system services, and support for the file systems of the NetBSD kernel.
The latter was made possible by the use of so-called rump kernels, which allow
the execution of individual NetBSD kernel subsystems at user level. We use it
to execute NetBSD's file systems as Genode components.
Virtualization has become a popular use case for microkernel technology. Until
now, however, none of Genode's existing virtualization options such as L4Linux
on top of Fiasco.OC or the Vancouver VMM on top of NOVA could be considered as
compelling alternatives to commodity virtualization products. With the added
support for running VirtualBox on top of the NOVA microhypervisor, we combine
the benefits of microkernel technology and capability-based security in
particular with a product-grade virtualization solution. Compared to the
traditional host operating systems supported by VirtualBox, using VirtualBox
on top of Genode/NOVA reduces the trusted computing base for the security of
virtual machines by more than three orders of magnitude. For existing Genode
users, VirtualBox opens up the ability to run a wide range of unmodified guest
operating systems such as GNU/Linux and MS Windows side by side with regular
Genode components.
As is the case for every release, there are many additional improvements all
over the place, for example unified interfaces for graphics, support for POSIX
signals in the Noux runtime for Unix programs, and a new pseudo file system
for the interactive exploration and tracing of Genode's process tree. These
and more topics are covered by the detailed
[http:/documentation/release-notes/14.02 - release documentation of version 14.02...]
Slides and videos of our FOSDEM talks | 2014-02-10
##################################################
| We held two talks at FOSDEM 2014: Stefan Kalkowski presented Genode
| running on the secure side of ARM TrustZone whereas Norman Feske gave an
| overview of the project's efforts towards general-purpose computing.
The slides of both talks are available at the
[http://genode.org/about/publications - publications section].
Both talks feature several live demonstrations. E.g., Stefan presented
Genode running besides Android on an i.MX tablet. Norman showed off
VirtualBox on Genode among several other demos.
For the latter talk, there is a
[http://video.fosdem.org/2014/H2214/Sunday/Genode_as_generalpurpose_OS_progress_report_and_demonstration.webm - video recording]
available. A video for Stefan's talk will follow soon. Thanks to the video
crew at FOSDEM for their great work!
Guide for porting 3rd-party software to Genode | 2014-01-28
###########################################################
| Our new porting guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to
| port existing libraries, applications, and device drivers to Genode.
The comprehensive documentation is written in the style of a tutorial, taking
DosBox as a practical example to motivate the steps needed to port an existing
application to Genode. Furthermore, it gives valuable insights into
time-tested methodologies of porting libraries and device drivers.
[http://genode.org/documentation/developer-resources/porting - Genode Porting Guide...]
Road Map 2014 | 2014-01-17
##########################
| The updated road map outlines the major topics and schedule of the
| project for 2014.
In 2014, the development of Genode will be focused on the base-hw kernel
platform, a capability-based user interface, storage, and the scalability
of 3rd-party software support.
The updated road map provides a brief reflection of the last year's progress
before giving the rationale for the next steps the project will take. The
various topics include for example virtualization using ARM's virtualization
extensions, a novel user-interface, storage, VirtualBox on NOVA, and
3rd-party source-code package management.
[http://genode.org/about/road-map - Please refer to the official road-map for more details...]
FOSDEM 2014 | 2014-01-06
########################
| It goes without saying that Genode will participate in FOSDEM this year
| during February 1 - 2 in Brussels.
Like the years before, there will be a
microkernel devroom. This time, the devroom will be held on Sunday.
There will be two presentations at the devroom specifically related to
Genode:
09:55 - 10:40 *Genode as general-purpose OS - Progress report and demonstration*
_Norman Feske_
15:00 - 15:30 *Virtualization Dungeon on ARM*
_Stefan Kalkowski_
As usual, those presentations will be garnished with demonstrations.
Besides our contributions, the devroom will cover many other intriguing
topics related to the Open-Source microkernel community. The devroom
schedule for the whole day is available here:
[https://fosdem.org/2014/schedule/track/microkernel_based_operating_systems]
Genode OS Framework release 13.11 | 2013-11-28
##############################################
| In addition to evolving the Genode API to better accommodate dynamic
| workloads, version 13.11 comes with a host of new features such as
| Qt5 QML, the Linux TCP/IP as user-level library, file systems based
| on FUSE, and HDMI support for Exynos-5 and Raspberry Pi.
As follow-up to the inclusion of Qt5 in the previous release, the new
version principally enables the most distinctive feature of Qt5, namely QML.
QML parts ways with the classical QWidget approach and thereby makes the
development of visually appealing applications easier than ever.
Most of the development during the release cycle was dedicated to work
on protocol stacks. Thanks to the new implementation of the FUSE API for
Genode, FUSE-based file systems have become available to the whole range of
supported kernels. In addition, when using Genode on top of the Linux kernel,
a new file-system service allows the integration of (parts of) the Linux file
system with Genode. To improve the performance of gigabit networking, we
supplemented the existing lwIP stack with a fresh port of the Linux TCP/IP
stack that we call LXIP. Using LXIP, it becomes possible to execute one or
many networking applications, each linked to its own Linux TCP/IP stack.
In line with other releases, version 13.11 comes with improved device
drivers. This time, the framework gains HDMI and USB 3.0 storage support
for Exynos-5 SoCs as well as graphics and USB HID support for the Raspberry
Pi. The added drivers were the only missing pieces to run interactive
graphical system scenarios on both platforms.
Among the many further improvements are the switch to C++11, new protocols
for enabling dynamic resource balancing, new terminal services, and support
for ARM TrustZone on i.MX53.
For the full story, please refer to the detailed
[http:/documentation/release-notes/13.11 - release documentation of version 13.11...]
Genode OS Framework release 13.08 | 2013-08-15
##############################################
| We celebrate our 5th anniversary with the addition of three major features:
| Qt5 on all kernels, profound multi-processor support on the NOVA and
| Fiasco.OC kernels, and light-weight tracing of inter-process communication.
The availability of Qt has always been one of the features that made our
framework attractive to the microkernel community. We have closely followed
the development of Qt5 and greatly appreciate the direction the Qt developers
are heading to. Now that Qt5 has reached a stable state, the time is right for
Genode to make the switch from Qt4 to Qt5. With the fresh port of Qt version
5.1 to Genode, Qt becomes available on the entirety of kernels supported by the
framework.
Component-based systems use to pose the difficulty of getting a holistic view
on the system. The more complex the system scenarios become, the more
inter-component communication takes place. Finding performance bottlenecks in
such kinds of de-componentized systems tends to be much more challenging than
in the world of monolithic systems. To overcome this challenge, the new
version comes with tracing support deeply built into the framework. This
facility is able to capture the interactions of Genode components between each
other in a light-weight fashion with almost no side effects.
As the third major addition, version 13.08 comes with substantial support for
multi-processor systems, in particular for using Genode with the NOVA kernel.
Within the NOVA developer community, this controversial topic has been
discussed for several years. It seemed like NOVA's multi-processor model was
inherently contradicting with the design of the Genode API. However, we have
finally found a fairly elegant solution that makes multiple CPUs seamlessly
available for Genode users on NOVA.
Besides these highlights, the release comes with new SATA 3.0 and
power-management drivers for the Samsung Exynos-5 SoC, updates the Fiasco.OC
kernel and L4Linux, and introduces measures for verifying the integrity of
downloaded 3rd-party source codes.
Those and many more topics are presented in detail in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/13.08 - release documentation of version 13.08...]
Genode OS Framework release 13.05 | 2013-05-30
##############################################
| The highlights of version 13.05 are new tools for automated testing and
| benchmarking including a suite of networking benchmarks, added device drivers
| for the Samsung Exynos 5 and Freescale i.MX SoCs, and new components for
| the operation of headless systems.
The growing diversity of Genode base platforms, in particular the variety
of ARM-based SoCs, calls for quality-assurance measures that go beyond unit
testing and Qemu-based integration tests: Genode's base functionality
including device drivers need to be continuously tested and measured on real
hardware. To automate this task, version 13.05 introduces extensive tooling
support including a suite of networking benchmarks that operates on different
levels of the networking stack.
Speaking of broadening the hardware support, the new version enhances the
existing base of device drivers for ARM-based SoCs with support for SATA,
USB-3, eMMC, and networking on Samsung Exynos 5, as well as support for LCD
display and touch-screen devices on Freescale i.MX SoCs. Furthermore, it
features basic support for the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which is the heart of the
popular Raspberry Pi platform.
Apart from the extended pool of device drivers, there is a new facility for
capturing LOG data to files stored on a file system, a command-line based user
interface for managing Genode subsystems, and the addition of Linux/ARM as
Genode base platform.
The full story behind these and many more changes is detailed in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/13.05 - release notes of version 13.05...]
Genode OS Framework release 13.02 | 2013-02-28
##############################################
| The version 13.02 takes a major leap with supporting the NOVA hypervisor by
| fully embracing IOMMUs and NOVA's virtualization capabilities. Additionally,
| the framework enables the use of ARM Cortex A15, comes with a new audio
| interface, and introduces file-system notifications.
Following the tradition to focus the February release on platform improvements,
we dedicated the release cycle of version 13.02 to bringing the NOVA platform
to new heights, revisiting several framework internals, and exploring the
Exynos 5250 SoC based on ARM Cortex A15.
The work on the NOVA platform pursued three goals: Improving the kernel to make
it fit for Genode's highly dynamic work loads, leveraging the IOMMU support
provided by the kernel, and tightly integrating the Vancouver virtualization
solution with the Genode environment. These improvements combined turn NOVA
into an intriguing base platform for Genode on x86 machines. Besides the x86
architecture, the framework receives new support for ARM Cortex A15 CPUs in the
form of the Exynos 5250 SoC. We enabled Genode on this hardware platform using
both our custom kernel as well as the Fiasco.OC kernel.
Even though the current version is primarily focused on platform support, there
are noteworthy functional improvements as well. A few highlights are a
completely redesigned audio interface, added file-system notification
capabilities, and a new fault-detection mechanism.
These and many more improvements are described in elaborative detail in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/13.02 - release notes of version 13.02...]
Road Map 2013 | 2013-01-15
##########################
| The updated road map provides the background and rough schedule for the
| advances of the framework planned for 2013.
The road map of 2013 encompasses four major topics: improving the
framework infrastructure, using Genode as a self-hosting environment,
tooling and optimizations, and hardware support.
Before going into detail about each of those topics, the updated road map
document takes the chance to look back at the outcome of 2012. Even though
the project largely maintains its main motivation of last year to turn Genode
into a real-world general-purpose OS, the planned work reaches out to
challenges that lie beyond this immediate goal, in particular multi-processor
scalability, support for IOMMUs, extended ARM SoC support, and improved
virtualization on x86.
[http://genode.org/about/road-map - Review our road-map for more details...]
Genode OS Framework release 12.11 | 2012-11-29
##############################################
| With version 12.11, Genode has become able to execute the Genode build system
| directly on microkernels, introduces audio drivers based on the Open Sound
| System project, and largely revisits the platform mechanisms used on Linux.
We are excited to report on a real break-through towards using Genode as our
day-to-day OS. The just released version 12.11 of the Genode OS Framework bears
the fruit of the extensive effort to enable the execution of the entire build
system within the genuine Genode environment. On the course of this work, we
improved the whole software stack ranging from the underlying kernels, over the
framework infrastructure, third-party libraries, up to the actual tool-chain
utilities. In the process, the official Genode tool chain has been updated
to GCC 4.7.2.
In addition to the primary topic of self-hosting Genode, the release largely
revisits and improves the existing base platforms. The Linux platform support
has been almost reinvented to accommodate the use of the framework as an
attractive middleware solution on Linux. Our custom kernel platform for ARM
hardware gained new SoC support for Freescale i.MX and Texas Instruments OMAP4.
The NOVA, Fiasco.OC, and L4ka::Pistachio kernels have been updated and improved.
With the addition of the new device driver environment for the Open Sound
System, Genode users on the x86 platform have a new option for driving popular
sound hardware. For users of the ARM-based OMAP4 platform, a new GPIO driver
clears the way towards building more sophisticated system scenarios.
To learn more details and background information about the current release,
please continue with reading the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/12.11 - release notes of version 12.11...]
How Genode came to the Pandaboard | 2012-11-23
##############################################
| In the just published experience report, the Genode developers
| provide insights into the process of porting the framework to
| a new hardware platform, namely the popular Pandaboard.
The new article
[http:/documentation/articles/pandaboard - "How Genode came to the Pandaboard"]
describes the steps to bring various peripherals such as HDMI output, networking,
and SD-cards to live. Additionally, the report takes the reader along the
long-winding road of performance optimizations. For those who are eager to
try out running Genode on the Pandaboard, the article presents a example
scenario that may serve as a good starting point.
Learn more about [http:/documentation/articles/pandaboard - how Genode came to the Pandaboard...]
Genode OS Framework release 12.08 | 2012-08-23
##############################################
| Version 12.08 introduces a way to execute the framework on bare ARM
| hardware without the need for a separate kernel, adds comprehensive
| device-driver support for the OMAP4 SoC, and revives NOVA as base platform.
Succeeding the feature-rich version 12.05 released in May, Genode 12.08 focuses
on enhancing the framework's platform support. With regard to the framework's
supported kernels, we are happy to announce a new base platform called base-hw
and the largely reworked support for the NOVA hypervisor. The new base-hw
platform enables the execution of Genode on bare ARM hardware without the need
for a separate kernel. Using this platform, the kernel's functionality is
integrated with Genode's core into one program, leading to a significant
reduction of software complexity at the root of the process tree. Among the
existing base platforms, the NOVA hypervisor has received plenty of love.
Motivated by NOVA's recent move to GitHub, we largely reworked the support for
this base platform, enabling x86_64, adding object integrity protection,
facilitating the use of process-local names only, and changing the way of how
kernel resources are allocated. These changes combined promote NOVA to a
first-class citizen among the supported kernels.
The second string of development contained in the current release is the
addition of comprehensive device drivers for the OMAP4 SoC. The new drivers
cover HDMI output, SD-card access, USB HID, and networking. With the new
device drivers in place, Genode can be leveraged on low-cost ARM platforms
such as the popular Pandaboard.
Besides low-level platform improvements, the current release comes with
new functionality in the form of custom components and ported 3rd-party
software. Among the additions are a FFAT-based file system service, the
principal ability for on-target debugging, and a way to host the genode.org
website on Genode.
These and many more improvements are described in detail in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/12.08 - release notes of version 12.08...]
NOVA Hypervisor supported on 64-bit x86 machines | 2012-07-27
#############################################################
| NOVA combines microkernel principles with capability-based security and
| virtualization technology. The updated version complements the existing
| x86_32 support with a new variant for x86_64.
NOVA is a so-called microhypervisor for the x86 architecture. It combines the
principles of microkernels with capability-based security and hardware-assisted
virtualization.
Genode supports NOVA as base platform since 2010. But because we used NOVA
solely for sporadic research activities and NOVA was lacking a regular release
schedule, Genode's platform support received only little attention. This has
changed now. NOVA's main developer Udo Steinberg moved from TU Dresden to Intel
Labs where he leads the development of NOVA as an Open-Source project. In fact,
the code is now being hosted at GitHub. [https://github.com/IntelLabs/NOVA - NOVA on GitHub..]
This ignited our renewed interest in promoting this platform to a first-level
citizen of our framework. The first significant improvement is the recently
added 64-bit support of NOVA. We enabled Genode to work with both variants of
the kernel - 32 and 64 bit.
We congratulate the NOVA developers to this new model of development and open
collaboration and look forward to work closely together!
Interview in Revista Espírito Livre magazine | 2012-06-20
#########################################################
| Issue 36 of the Brazilian Revista Espírito Livre magazine features a
| comprehensive interview with Norman Feske. _(update: english version)_
The Brazilian Revista Espírito Livre is a magazine dedicated to Free and
Open-Source software. With current issue 36, the Portuguese language magazine
explores controversial questions about Internet freedom, privacy, neutrality
among others. Genode seemingly represents a possible technical answer to some
of these questions. In the comprehensive interview starting at page 35,
co-founder of Genode Norman Feske talks about the background and motivation
behind the project, describes the current structure of the community, and
outlines his vision of the next generation of operating systems.
[http://www.revista.espiritolivre.org/lancada-edicao-n-36-da-revista-espirito-livre - Issue 36 of the Revista Espírito Livre...]
[http:/about/interview_rel36 - English version of the interview...]
Genode OS Framework release 12.05 | 2012-05-30
##############################################
| The highlights of version 12.05 are our new USB stack, added media replay
| capabilities, new support for dynamic system re-configuration,
| and the ability to run the GNU tool chain on Genode.
The just released version 12.05 is another corner stone for our plan to shape
Genode into a general-purpose OS for the everyday use by its developers. It
introduces numerious features that are crucial for this goal, in particular the
groundwork for the use of file systems, the ability to execute the GNU tool
chain directly on a Genode system, and a way to flexibly adapt the behaviour of
operating-system components at runtime.
In addition to working on the functionality outlined above, several of the
framework's base platforms have received close attention. We profoundly
revisited the platform-specific code for the Fiasco.OC kernel to fully leverage
the kernel's capability concept. To facilitate the use of Genode as component
framework on Linux, we extended the possibilities to use Linux-specific
mechanisms, in particular chroot, in a way that is easy to use and coherent
with the framework's architecture.
For the full story behind all the new features and improvements, please
refer to the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/12.05 - release notes of version 12.05...]
Genode participation at GSoC 2012 | 2012-04-25
##############################################
| Tobias Börtitz steps up to the challenge of combining the HelenOS kernel
| with the Genode userland.
Google has announced the list of scholarships accepted for this year's Google
Summer of Code program. Thanks to HelenOS being an accepted mentoring
organization, we are happy to announce the project of Tobias Börtitz, who will
bring the worlds of HelenOS and Genode closer together:
:[http://trac.helenos.org/ticket/419 - HelenOS as a Genode platform]:
Genode Labs will support Tobias on his quest. His mentor will be long-time
Genode developer Stefan Kalkowski. We are looking forward to working together
on this intriguing topic!
New dynamic run-time configuration support | 2012-04-11
#######################################################
| A new mechanism for re-configuring subsystems at run-time paves the way
| to sophisticated general-purpose usage scenarios.
Genode's approach to system configuration facilitates a unified way for
supplying parameters to individual components as well as to entire subsystems.
Thanks to the recursive nature of Genode, complex system-integration problems
can be segregated into multiple problems of low complexity whereas each partial
problem retains to be individually testable. Thereby, this solution greatly
mitigates the manual labour of system integration even for highly complex
scenarios.
However, until now, the mechanism was limited to supplying
configuration parameters at the creation time of components. Once
a component is running, it was expected to adhere to a fixed predefined policy.
With Genode's move towards general-purpose computing, many use cases are
popping up where this limitation becomes a hindrance, for example the
dynamic changing of screen resolutions, mixer settings, user-input calibration,
and GUI policies.
To accommodate such use cases, we have extended Genode's configuration
concept with support for re-configuring components at runtime. The
new feature has landed in the master branch just now:
:[https://github.com/genodelabs/genode/commit/9a00ad7ae3ac8e4fd4867555db7671df34aac882 - Commit introducing dynamic re-configuration]:
In addition to alleviating the problems mentioned above, the new mechanism
enables many new opportunities to use Genode's slave pattern in creative
ways. To illustrate how this is supposed to work, the commit contains
examples for dynamically generating configuration data by a separate
service as well as by the master of a slave component.
GSoC 2012 application rejected | 2012-03-17
###########################################
| Unfortunately, Genode Labs was not accepted as mentoring
| organization for this year's Google Summer of Code program.
We just received the following notification from Google:
: <pre>
: Thank you for submitting "Genode Labs" organization application to
: Google Summer of Code 2012. Unfortunately, we were unable to accept
: your organization's application at this time. We received many more
: applications for the program than we are able to accommodate, and
: we would encourage you to reapply for future instances of the program.
:
: Best regards,
:
: Google Open Source Programs
: </pre>
Google Summer of Code 2012 | 2012-03-08
#######################################
| Genode Labs applies as mentoring organization at the Google
| Summer of Code 2012 program.
If you are a student interested in working on a Genode-related topic during
the summer, the application of our project to this year's Google Summer
of Code (GSoC) program may provide you with the perfect opportunity. If accepted,
you will be able to work on one of a wide range of intriguing topics, get
hands-on experience with advanced OS technology, and learn from the
methodologies of long-term systems architects and developers mentoring
your work.
Learn more about Genode's aspired participation in GSoC 2012
at our dedicated [http:/community/gsoc_2012 - Google Summer of Code 2012 website...]
Genode OS Framework release 12.02 | 2012-02-28
##############################################
| Version 12.02 comes with a new API for MMIO access, a new ACPI driver,
| fork support for the Noux runtime, Qt version 4.7.4, and special support
| for using Genode as application framework on Linux.
We took the current release cycle as opportunity to carry out our plan to
open up our development process. Because carrying out such a fundamental
change of our work flows and tools bears many risks, we were curious about the
outcome of this undertaking. We can happily report that the transition went
actually better than expected. Genode 12.02 is the first version conducted
under a completely open development model.
The new version contains the first steps towards the goal of using Genode as
general-purpose OS for the daily use by its developers. The Noux runtime
environment has been enhanced with support for the fork system call, which
enables us to run the bash shell and coreutils natively on various
microkernels. A new ACPI driver paves the ground for using the whole feature
set of Fiasco.OC and NOVA on recent x86-based hardware platforms. Furthermore,
you can find the first bits of a new device-driver manager.
The framework's base API has been enhanced to foster code reuse and robustness.
For example, we introduced a new API for accessing memory-mapped I/O resources,
which facilitates the use of the C++ type system to simplify device drivers.
Another example is the added API support for the common pattern of reusing
existing components as sandboxed libraries.
These and many more changes are described in full detail in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/12.02 - release notes of version 12.02...]
Slides of our talks at FOSDEM 2012 | 2012-02-14
###############################################
| The slides for both Genode-related talks at FOSDEM 2012 are available.
At this year's FOSDEM, the Genode project was present with two talks and the
participation in a panel discussion at the microkernel developer room.
Norman Feske held an introductory talk, presenting Genode's architecture and
demonstrating several use case live:
:[http://genode-labs.com/publications/nfeske-genode-fosdem-2012-02.pdf - Introducing Genode]:
Stefan Kalkowski presented his experience with supporting many different
kernels as base platforms of Genode:
:[http://genode-labs.com/publications/skalkowski-diversity-fosdem-2012-02.pdf - The agony of choice - the diversity of microkernels in Genode]:
The abstracts of both talks are available at the updated
[http:/about/publications - publications section].
Source code moved to GitHub | 2012-01-17
########################################
| GitHub has become the central place for Genode's mainline development.
Moving Genode's code base to the new public GitHub repository represents
the final step on our agenda to open up our development process. From now on,
the 'genodelabs/genode' repository is where the current development happens:
:[https://github.com/genodelabs - Genode Repository at GitHub]:
To follow the development of the master branch, you may like to subscribe
to the corresponding
[https://github.com/genodelabs/genode/commits/master.atom - Atom Feed].
In addition to having moved the code over to the new repository, our
documentation and website underwent several changes. First, the genode.org
website has been migrated away from the original Plone CMS to an entirely
static custom-made CMS that fetches its content from the 'genodelabs/genode'
repository. Thereby, most of the web-site content has been incorporated into
the repository and will be managed through Git. Second, the Wiki is no more.
Its content has been moved to the normal documentation section. By using Git
for the documentation, the process of contributing to the documentation is
streamlined with the way of how code contributions are handled. The steps
of this process are described in the updated
[http:/community/contributions - how-to-contribute] guide.
So far, our experience with using GitHub for hosting the Genode development
has been a smooth and overly enjoyable ride. We hope you will appreciate the
greatly liberated development process as much as we do.
Genode at FOSDEM | 2012-01-04
#############################
| Meet us at FOSDEM 2012, to be held on 4-5 February in Brussels.
FOSDEM is one of the world's largest events of the Free-Software and
Open-Source-Community.
:[http://fosdem.org/2012 - FOSDEM 2012, 4-5 February, Brussels, Belgium]:
This year, it will feature a dev room specifically dedicated to multi-server
and microkernel-based operating systems. The list of participating projects
include HelenOS, MINIX, GNU Hurd, and Genode. The dev room will host talks,
discussion sessions, and demonstrations. Among the talks, there will be an
introduction of the Genode OS Framework presented by Norman Feske:
:Abstract:
_Today's operating systems try to find a balance between seemingly_
_conflicting goals. Ease of use is traded against security, resource_
_utilization is traded against resource accountability, and system_
_complexity is traded against scalability. For example, SELinux is ill_
_famed as hard to use and consequently remains widely unused. As another_
_example, isolation kernels minimize the complexity of critical system_
_software but at the cost of limiting these solutions to static applications._
_The Genode OS architecture shows how these apparently inherent conflicts_
_can be solved by operating-system design. By combining a recursive_
_system structure with capability-based security, mandatory access_
_control becomes easy to deploy. At the same time, the trusted computing_
_base can be minimized for each application individually such that the_
_attack surface for security-critical system functions gets reduced by_
_orders of magnitude compared to existing approaches. Furthermore, a_
_concept for trading physical resources among processes allows for_
_dynamic workloads while maintaining quality of service. That is not just_
_theory - the system is ready for demonstration and its developers are_
_planning to use it as development environment by the end of 2012._
_After a brief introduction of where Genode comes from, the main part of_
_the talk will be focused on the OS architecture and give a glimpse at_
_the implementation via live demonstrations. Finally, the talk will_
_briefly discuss the planned steps towards using Genode as_
_general-purpose OS._
For everyone interested in operating systems in general and microkernel
technology in particular, this year's FOSDEM is a great opportunity to
get in touch. We are looking forward to meeting you in Brussels!
Road Map 2012 | 2012-01-02
##########################
| The road map for 2012 envisions the use of Genode as everyday development
| platform.
The overall theme for Genode in 2012 will be the practical use of our
OS technology for carrying out regular development work. We see this as
the best way to proof the maturity of the framework. Furthermore, by eating
our own dog food, we generate a strong incentive for ourself to address
topics that would otherwise be deferred.
For assembling the road map, we introspected ourselves and identified
a list of functionalities that we could not live without, ranging from
a Unix-like command-line interface, over the support for specific
PC hardware, to fancy features such as a tiled window manager.
We plan to publish four releases at our quarterly release cycle. So the
list of desired functionalities are spread throughout those releases.
However, each release will have a different emphasis.
Version 12.02 will be geared towards the usage scenarios that we are
going to present at our next Live CD scheduled for March. For version
12.05 we are planning a major rework of our arsenal of Linux-based
device drivers. The release 12.08 will be the tipping point for making
the initial switch to Genode by including Intel wireless drivers and
a tiled window manager. Towards the end of the year, we will take the
opportunity of version 12.11 to optimize the support for our beloved
Lenovo Thinkpads and bring additional tools such as emacs to the table.
[http://genode.org/about/road-map - Review our road-map for more details...]
New issue tracker at Github | 2011-12-20
########################################
| To promote open development, the new issue tracker replaces both the public
| tracker at Sourceforge and the tracker formerly internal to Genode Labs.
As promised earlier, Genode has got a new issue tracker at Github:
:[http://github.com/genodelabs/genode/issues]:
Please use this tracker to report and discuss Genode-related issues from now
on. The old public tracker at Sourceforge is still there but all issues have
been either closed or migrated to Github.
Steps towards an open development process | 2011-12-05
######################################################
| Genode is going to embrace an open and transparent development process.
Posted by Norman Feske at the Genode mailing list:
Over the past four years, the Genode OS Framework has seen rapid progress.
Skimming over the release notes of the past releases makes me very proud. It is
clear that the project's development is going stronger than ever. However, at
the same time, I recognise that progress on a technical level is only one part
of a successful Open-Source project. A certainly even more important part is
the participation of a diverse community. This is where our project is vastly
underdeveloped. By continuing the development at status quo, Genode will
continue to steadily improve but it will not be able to capture a significant
position in the operating-systems world. Instead, it will possibly remain a
curiosity. Therefore, we Genode developers regard the transition of our work to
an open and transparent development process as the next big challenge we want
to tackle.
Review of the situation
=======================
Even though Genode is an Open-Source project, its development has been pursued
largely behind the closed doors of our company Genode Labs. The planning of the
road map, most technical discussions, issue tracking, and revision management
are used to be done within the company. There had been two reasons for this
policy namely the preservation of exclusivity and the efficiency of
coordination.
Regarding the first reason, when we started our business, we desired to
preserve a certain degree of competitive advantage to ourselves by keeping some
information "protected" from the public eye. For example, revealing the
detailed history of the over 5000 source-code revisions of the project would
enable any outsider or competitor to deeply analyze the way of how our company
works. These concerns had been acknowledged by other startup companies with
statements in the line of "Open-Source has hurt our business".
The second reason is the way of how humans intuitively work together in a
non-distributed environment such as a our small company. Instead of discussing
technical matters on a mailing list, it appears to be much easier and
presumably more efficient to engage in face-to-face conversations. The writeup
of our releases notes at regular intervals served us as an instrument to
recapture the rationale behind our discussions and document it. This worked
exceedingly well. In comparison, discussing every detail on a mailing list
seems to be inconvenient.
Why do we desire a change?
==========================
The answer to this question can be put quite simply as "to make the project
relevant". But it goes deeper than that. First, we see ourself as Free-Software
AND Open-Source advocates. I wholeheartedly disagree with statements that
suggest that Open Source is incompatible with having a business. For us, the
contrary is true. Without Free and Open-Source Software, there would be no
Genode Labs. The great wealth of the GNU software stack forms the basis of all
the tools we use every day and it plays a significant role for our passion to
develop software. Furthermore, Genode would not be of much value without all
the great building blocks in the form of existing Open-Source code that we
reuse in our context. Hence, it is our personal desire to contribute to the
Free and Open-Source software world and to intensify the collaboration with
other projects with the same spirit.
We still see the preservation of a certain degree of exclusivity as important
for our dual-licensing business model. If we made Genode available under the
BSD license, there would be not point in pursuing this model. However, hiding
the development process from the public is not only poor-spirited but it
creates an artificial barrier for people who want to participate. The book
"Producing Open Source Software" (http://producingoss.com) by Karl Fogel was an
eye opener to us.
Regarding the efficiency of collaboration, I have to admit that the statement
above about how great the current way works is really not well-founded - simply
because we haven't tried the alternative to discuss everything in public, yet.
Obviously, we are risking to spoil our presumed efficiency by changing the mode
of collaboration. On the other hand, by documenting the process of solving each
problem in the form of public mailing-list postings, we give everyone the
chance to contribute to and to learn from our findings.
The next steps
==============
We take the current release cycle as opportunity to execute our plan to open
the development process. Our coarse schedule is to migrate our internal issue
tracker to the public until mid of December. From this day on, all issues will
be tracked publicly. The place for all technical discussions will be the Genode
mailing list. Until mid of January, we will prepare a new public source-code
tree in the form of a Git repository that we will then use as mainline
development tree.
As a further change of policy, we plan to include all documentation as found on
the website in the mainline repository and remove the Wiki. This way,
contributions to the documentation will be handled in the same way as code
contributions.
I hope that our designated change is in the interest of all of you and I look
forward to see how it will impact the further progress of Genode.
Best regards
Norman
Genode OS Framework release 11.11 | 2011-11-29
##############################################
| With version 11.11, we explore a plethora of options of combining Genode with
| virtualization techniques.
The overall theme of Genode 11.11 is the exploration of various levels of
virtualization, ranging from faithful virtualization, over paravirtualized
Linux, to custom variants of OS-level and application-level virtualization. The
latter approach is particularly related to Genode and provides us with a novel
approach to user-level debugging.
Each of the experiments were conducted with concrete goals. The goal for
enabling faithful virtualization was to integrate the high-performance
Vancouver virtual machine monitor (VMM) into Genode. This VMM implementation
used to be tied to a NOVA-specific user land. With Genode 11.11, it becomes
apparent how this virtualization technology and Genode's component framework
can cross-fertilize.
Our work on paravirtualized Linux was motivated by the goal to execute Android
as a node in Genode's process tree. Based on the L4Android project and L4Linux,
our work comprised the implementation of Genode-specific stub drivers for
L4Linux. This way, L4Linux can be tightly integrated with Genode interfaces for
block devices, framebuffer, input, UART, and network.
With Noux, Genode brings along a custom OS-level virtualization approach aiming
at the execution of unmodified command-line based GNU software on Genode. The
immediate goal for this release was to develop Noux to a level that enables us
to run VIM as Genode sub system. This work involved extending the Noux runtime
as well as creating a terminal emulator.
For the highest abstraction level of virtualization on Genode, we coined the
term application-level virtualization. Enabled by the sandboxing inherent to
Genode's architecture, we implemented a solution for user-level debugging via
the GNU debugger. The solution fits perfectly with the Genode architecture and
provides powerful debugging facilities without compromizing the security of the
system.
To learn more about those and many other improvements, please read on the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/11.11 - release notes of version 11.11...]
Android on top of Genode | 2011-09-27
#####################################
| With the new support for L4Android, the Android software stack can be used as
| Genode sub system.
As of today, Google's Android OS is apparently one of the hottest topics in the
world of smartphones and tablets. Among the users of Genode, we recognise a
general interest in combining the framework with the Android platform. With <a
class="external-link" href="http://l4android.org">L4Android</a> there already
exists a special variant of the L4Linux kernel that is able execute the Android
software stack on top of the Fiasco.OC kernel.
Our port of L4Linux to Genode in May has shown that L4Linux works well with
Genode. Since L4Android is derived from L4Linux, we were confident that we
could adapt L4LAndroid to Genode in a similar way. We are happy to report that
this feature has now become available at our subversion repository. With the
new support of L4Android on Genode, Android can be used on Genode on the
Fiasco.OC kernel on the IA32 architecture. For those of you who are eager to
experiment with L4Android on Genode, please find further information at the
top-level
[http://genode.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/genode/trunk/ports-foc/README - README]
file of the 'ports-foc' repository and share your results with us at the
[http:/community/mailing-lists - Genode mailing list].
Genode OS Framework release 11.08 | 2011-08-17
##############################################
| Version 11.08 introduces a unified workflow for dealing with all microkernels
| supported by the framework. This way, application scenarios can be ported
| from one kernel to another in an instant.
The Genode OS Framework aspires to provide a common ground for creating
microkernel-based operating systems, relieving developers from wasting efforts
in duplicating other people's work such as implementing basic device drivers,
tools, and application runtimes. Because in the microkernel domain, each
development poses different requirements, there is no single microkernel that
fits all purposes. Instead, there exist a plethora of different kernels, each
focused on different use cases. By supporting as many as 8 different kernels at
API level, Genode allows users of the framework to develop an application once
while preserving the freedom to pick the kernel that fits best with the use
case at hand. Still, each kernel uses to come with different tools,
configuration mechanisms, and boot concepts. Even though Genode programs can be
developed in a kernel-independent way, the deployment of such programs still
required profound insights into the peculiarities of the respective kernel. The
new version 11.08 of the framework addresses these concerns by providing a
unified workflow for all supported kernels. Downloading and using a different
kernel has become a matter of a few minutes and requires no prior knowledge
about the kernel.
In addition to the new tooling support, the current release advances the
framework's block-device infrastructure and extends the support for ARM
platforms. There are several new drivers for peripheral devices such as AHCI,
SD-card, and IDE, a new block-partition service, and libc support for accessing
VFAT partitions. The ARM support has been extended to cover both L4Linux (on
Fiasco.OC) and Qt4 (ARMv6, ARMv7). Furthermore, the new version is accompanied
with a comprehensive documentation update.
Read [http:/documentation/release-notes/11.08 - the full story]
about the various improvements that come with the version 11.08...
Genode OS Framework release 11.05 | 2011-05-26
##############################################
| The Genode version 11.05 advances the Fiasco.OC platform support to the same
| level as the other fully-featured base platforms, enables the use of L4Linux
| with Genode, and introduces a brand new API for inter-process procedure calls.
Fiasco.OC is a modern microkernel developed at the OS Group of the University
of Technology Dresden. It is highly regarded for two reasons, its comprehensive
support for different CPU architectures and the user-level variant of the Linux
kernel called L4Linux. Now, those advantages have become available to the users
of Genode. Thereby, new usage scenarios can be realized by combining the
L4Linux virtualization solution with Genode's rich set of components such as
Qt4, lwIP, and a growing number of device drivers.
Our custom kernel implementation for MicroBlaze-based SoCs has undergone a
major upgrade to enable the implementation of user-level device drivers. To
make this platform easy to explore, the release is accompanied with a reference
SoC that is ready-to-use on the Xilinx Spartan3A Starter Kit.
The most significant API-related change of the framework is a brand new API for
implementing remote procedure calls across process boundaries. The new RPC API
takes our experience during last 5 years of Genode development into
consideration and alleviates long standing shortcomings of the original
inter-process communication API.
To pave the way towards the use of Genode for productive use, we have started
to explore ways to make standard debugging solutions available to Genode. Our
new GDB monitor implementation speaks the GDB protocol over TCP/IP and thereby
enables the GNU debugger to inspect a user-level Genode process via a remote
connection.
Read the complete story about these and many more changes in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/11.05 - release notes of version 11.05...]
Exciting challenges ahead | 2011-03-24
######################################
| Explore more than 30 new Genode-related project proposals at our challenges
| wiki page
With each new Genode release, the scope of feasible use cases for the framework
grows and motivates us to reach out for new ambitious goals. There is a
dedicated [http:/community/wiki/Challenges - Wiki page] for collecting those
ideas. After having released the version 11.02 of the framework, we took the
chance to reiterate the many ideas that popped up recently, ideas ranging from
the support of diverse potential base platforms, over creative combinations of
Genode with other Open-Source projects, to novel tools and applications.
So if you are curious about what kinds of projects we have in mind in the mid
term, have fun browsing through the project proposals. If one of these topics
catches your interest, we'd be happy about you joining in with the development
or discussing those ideas at our [http:/community/mailing-lists - mailing list].
Also, if you have additional ideas, please do not hesitate to tell us more.
Discover the Wiki page about our
[http:/community/wiki/Challenges - future challenges...]
Norman Feske introduces Genode on YouTube | 2011-03-10
######################################################
| Bas de Lange has published the footage of Norman Feske's talk at the Software
| Freedom Day 2010 in Amsterdam
In his talk, Norman Feske sheds light on the background behind the company
Genode Labs, introduces the Genode OS architecture, and demonstrates the
concepts live. The talk was recorded at the
[http://www.softwarefreedomday.eu - Software Freedom Day 2010] event in
Amsterdam. Thanks to Bas the Lange for publishing the material.
: <object height="385" width="480">
: <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Z1IMV3FJO7Q" />
: <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />
: <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" />
: <embed width="480" height="385" allowfullscreen="true"
: allowscriptaccess="always"
: type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
: src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Z1IMV3FJO7Q">
: </embed>
: </object>
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1IMV3FJO7Q - Visit the YouTube page...]
Genode OS Framework release 11.02 | 2011-02-24
##############################################
| Version 11.02 of the framework adds support for the Fiasco.OC and NOVA v0.3
| kernels as well as a new custom kernel platform targeted at softcore CPUs.
| Furthermore, we introduce the Noux execution environment for using GNU
| software natively on Genode.
The Genode project takes another leap forward regarding the use of different
kernels as base platforms for using the framework. The new supported Fiasco.OC
kernel offers a rich feature set that is unmatched by any other open-source
microkernel. It works with the x86_32, x86_64, and ARM architectures, features
capability-based security, scales to multiple CPUs, and provides special
optimizations for running virtualized operating systems on top. Genode can now
leverage the advanced features of this kernel, in particular those related to
enforcing strict security policies.
With NOVA and Fiasco.OC, there have now become two kernels available that are
capable of enforcing Genode's security architecture at kernel level. Speaking
of NOVA, we are happy to report to have upgraded Genode's NOVA support to
version 0.3 of the kernel. This version was released earlier this month and
brings many of the features we desired, the most important being the revocation
of resources. With the new version, NOVA has now become a base platforms that
supports the entire Genode API without compromises.
In addition to broadening the support for existing kernels, we have started to
reach out into kernel land for running Genode on softcore CPU as found in
FPGA-based SoCs. Our custom kernel architecture achieves a further reduction of
TCB complexity by consolidating kernel functionality with Genode's user-level
core. The current implementation is able to run core and multiple instances of
nested init processes on the Xilinx MicroBlaze CPU.
The most significant functional addition to the framework is a new execution
environment called Noux that enables running unmodified GNU software on top of
Genode. Even though in an early stage, Noux is already able to execute GNU
coreutils without requiring manual porting work.
Read on about further details regarding the new kernel platforms, the vision
behind Noux, and many more improvements of the framework in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/11.02 - release notes of version 11.02].
Genode OS walk-through on YouTube | 2010-12-22
##############################################
| Check out our new screencast presenting the Genode Live CD 10.11.
For those of you who like to get a glimpse of our recently released
Live CD but hesitate to download and boot the ISO image, we have
prepared the following screencast with a guided walk-through. Enjoy!
: <object height="385" width="480">
: <param name="movie"
: value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CJdWOmajo_8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" />
: <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />
: <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" />
: <embed width="480" height="385"
: src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CJdWOmajo_8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"
: type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always"
: allowfullscreen="true">
: </embed>
: </object>
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJdWOmajo_8 - Visit the YouTube page...]
[http:/download/live-cds - Download the real thing...]
Genode OS Framework release 10.11 | 2010-11-30
##############################################
| With version 10.11, Genode has become able to run network drivers of the gPXE
| project, employ user-level on-demand paging, and use advanced graphics with
| the nitpicker GUI server.
With the [http:/download/live-cds - recently published Live CD], the Genode
project has reached a new stage by integrating advanced device drivers, complex
protocol stacks, and real-world applications into one dynamic setup. The new
Genode release 10.11 bears fruit of the intensive effort that went into this
important milestone. There are improvements and functional additions all over
the code base. To highlight a few, we enhanced the Nitpicker GUI server to
support alpha blending, added an execution environment for running network
drivers of the gPXE project, completed the implementation of Genode's concept
for user-level page-fault handling, and further advanced the integration of the
paravirtualized Linux kernel with Genode's native interfaces for networking,
block-device access, graphics, and audio.
Furthermore, the release comes with a number of new components such as a
virtual network bridge and a http-based block server, which can be combined
with the existing components to open up new use cases of the framework.
Please enjoy the [http:/documentation/release-notes/10.11 - full description]
of all the improvements that come with version 10.11.
Genode Live Demonstration 2010-11 | 2010-11-16
##############################################
| The new Genode Live CD showcases the vast functional progress during the past
| year in a selection of five demos ranging from native Qt4/Webkit support to
| hardware-accelerated 3D graphics.
Since the release of the previous Genode Live CD in September 2009, we focused
our development work on supporting native Qt4/Webkit applications, user-level
Linux, sound support, Mesa/Gallium3D, block drivers, and a networking stack.
Furthermore, we paid special attention to tightly integrate existing software
with native Genode features. Two prominent examples are the seamless
integration of a virtualized Linux desktop and the support for running complete
Genode subsystems as plugin in the Arora web browser. In response to several
requests to complement our regular source-code releases with a new bootable
live CD, we have now published a new version.
You can now test drive the current version of Genode on your PC (or virtual
machine) to get an idea about where the development of the framework is
heading.
[http:/download/live-cds - Download the new live CD]
featuring five setups showcasing our efforts of the past year.
Genode OS Framework release 10.08 | 2010-08-11
##############################################
| With Gallium3D, MadWifi, and a new block-driver infrastructure, the release
| 10.08 takes Genode's device-driver support to the next level.
Wireless networking and hardware-accelerated graphics are commonly regarded as
two of the most sophisticated domains when it comes to device-driver support in
operating systems. We are proud to have taken the challenge to support these
device classes in the Genode OS Framework. The just released version 10.08
comes with support for the Gallium3D software stack alongside the Intel
graphics execution manager, which enables Genode applications to perform
hardware-accelerated 3D graphics on Intel GMA platforms. Our port of the
MadWifi wireless stack pushes the limits of what can be done with our Linux
device-driver environment. Furthermore, we extended our device-driver-related
activities to block devices, resulting in a new block-device interface and an
ATAPI driver accompanied with an ISO 9660 file system. Apart from device
drivers, there are numerous other improvements such as the upgrade to Qt4.6.3
and support for dynamic linking on platforms using ARM EABI.
Please find more in-depth information in the detailed
[http:/documentation/release-notes/10.08 - release notes of version 10.08...].
Genode OS Framework release 10.05 | 2010-05-27
##############################################
| The new version 10.05 adds support for mandatory access-control policies,
| introduces audio playback, and improves the integration of the paravirtualized
| OKLinux kernel with the framework.
With the current release, we focused on functionality to broaden the
application area of the framework. The infrastructure of the framework has
advanced to a point that allows running a steadily growing number of typical
general-purpose applications directly on Genode. This is best illustrated by
the fully functional Arora web browser running as a native Genode process.
Still, there are a large number of usage scenarios that rely on Linux
applications. For this reason, we further improved the integration of the
paravirtualized OKLinux kernel with Genode. The new version adds support for
seamlessly integrating the X Window System running on OKLinux with the native
nitpicker GUI. For Genode developers, there is a new build system, which
significantly improves the build performance on multi-processor systems.
Read on about these and many more improvements detailed in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/10.05 - release notes of version 10.05...]
Adaptation to Codezero kernel v0.3 | 2010-04-06
###############################################
| The just released version 0.3 of the Codezero kernel adds support for the
| latest ARMv7 CPUs. The Genode OS Framework is now ready to be used with this
| new kernel version.
Since version 10.02, the Genode OS Framework officially supports the version
0.2 of the [http://l4dev.org - Codezero microkernel] developed by
[http://b-labs.com - B-Labs]. The road map of this kernel promised
support for the latest ARM CPU cores. With the just released version 0.3, which
added support for ARMv7 CPU cores, the project lives up to this promise. In
addition to the extended CPU support, the new release adds important
functionality regarding device I/O, which prompted us to adapt Genode to the
new version. The adaptation to Codezero version 0.3 is now available at our
Subversion repository. To facilitate the use of Genode with Codezero, we
created a dedicated [http:/community/wiki/GenodeOnCodezero - Wiki page],
which provides up-to-date documentation about building and using Genode on this
kernel.
Thanks to the Codezero developers for being extremely responsive to our
questions and feature requests!
Learn more about
[http:/community/wiki/GenodeOnCodezero - using Genode with Codezero...]
Genode OS Framework release 10.02 | 2010-02-24
##############################################
| Among a variety of platform-related improvements, the release 10.02 adds
| support for the NOVA and Codezero kernels and introduces a new concept for
| managing real-time priorities.
Succeeding the previous feature-rich release, the Genode project took the
chance to focus on extending the base-platform support of the framework. We are
happy to report that we were able to complement the already broad range of
supported kernels by two new modern microkernels namely NOVA and Codezero, both
first released in 2009. Thereby, Genode provides a unified user-level
infrastructure that runs directly on those kernels as well as on Linux (32 bit
and 64 bit), OKL4v2 (x86 and ARMv4), L4/Fiasco, and L4ka::Pistachio. For
developers creating microkernel-based applications, the framework hides the
intricacies of the respective kernel. But it also strives to make the unique
capabilities of each base platform accessible to the user. For example, with
the new release, we made the real-time scheduling of OKL4 and L4ka::Pistachio
available to Genode applications.
Read on the full story about our experiences with the new kernels and the many
[http:/documentation/release-notes/10.02 - improvements of the release 10.02...]
[http:/download/latest-release - Download the latest release...]
Road map 2010 | 2010-01-04
##########################
| We have updated our road map with the planning of the year 2010.
With the start of the new year, its time to pause for a moment, looking back
the progress we made during 2009, and planning the next steps. The overall
theme of 2009 was the creation of fundamental base functionality to make the
framework usable for practical applications. We are proud when revisiting the
long list of achievements introduced with the four releases of the past year:
Support for the OKL4 and l4ka::Pistachio kernels, Linux device-driver
environment, networking, USB input and storage, dynamic linking, Qt4 including
Webkit, and support for a paravirtualized Linux kernel. With this strong
foundation in place, its time to raise the bar again.
[http:/about/road-map - Please read on about our updated road map for 2010...]
Genode OS Framework release 9.11 | 2009-11-25
#############################################
| With release 9.11 Genode gets Webkit, USB storage, TCP/IP stack, support for
| ARM, OKLinux and more ...
For the project, the current release is a major leap towards the goal of Genode
to become a general-purpose OS platform. The addition of OKLinux - a
paravirtualized Linux kernel - to the distribution makes it possible to run
security-sensitive native Genode applications side by side with unmodified
Linux binaries. This particular version of Linux has no direct hardware access
but rather uses native Genode services as virtual hardware devices. With
respect to available device classes, we extended Genode's support to cover USB
storage and networking drivers. Moreover, the porting of the Light-weight IP
stack and Q4/Webkit now enables developers to create web applications on top of
Genode. Beside the new functionality, Genode's platform scope was broadened by
initial support of the ARM architecture.
Read on about these and all additional changes in more detail in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/9.11 - release notes for Genode 9.11...].
Genode Live Demonstration 2009-09 | 2009-09-02
##############################################
| The latest release of the ready-to-boot Live CD image is available.
The Live CD features the graphical demonstration of the Genode architecture,
known from the last Live CD. But this time it doesn't run on L4/Fiasco only. It
also can be started on top of the L4 microkernels OKL4 and Pistachio. Moreover,
it features QT4 application support and a para-virtualized Linux version
running on top of Genode. The Live CD runs directly on PC hardware and has been
tested on Qemu/KVM and VirtualBox.
_Edit: We have further improved the performance of the L4/Fiasco and_
_L4ka::Pistachio demos, and refined the presentation of the Qt4 demo._
[http:/download/live-cds - Download the updated Live-CD image...]
Genode OS Framework release 9.08 | 2009-08-19
#############################################
| The release 9.08 advances the portability of the operating-system framework
| to a new level.
We have released the version 9.08 of the Genode OS Framework. The general theme
of this release has been refinement. We are particularly happy for having
resolved long standing concerns about our locking and signalling
implementations. The actual focus of our work during the last three months was
the unification of all supported base platforms resulting in many
generalizations of former platform-specific code. We managed to bring the code
for the Linux version very much in line with the supported L4 platforms,
reducing platform-specific source-code complexity and maintenance costs.
Feature-wise, the most important news are the port of the dynamic linker from
FreeBSD, the added support for thread-local storage, a much improved timer
service, and core extensions for running Linux on the OKL4 version of Genode.
Read on about all the changes in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/9.08 - release notes for Genode 9.08...]
Document about Genode's native Qt4 port available | 2009-07-06
##############################################################
| The document "Portierung von Qt auf Genode" (german) describes the
| undertaking of making the Qt4 framework natively available on Genode. Among
| many technical insights, it provides an overview about the integration with
| Genode's GUI, and explains how Qt4's low-level interfaces are mapped to
| native Genode functionality.
Qt4 is a popular and versatile C++ framework for developing
platform-independent GUI applications. In addition to GUI-related
functionality, Qt4 covers a comprehensive library of data structures and
platform abstractions. It is widely used for both commercial and open-source
applications, most prominently, it serves as the foundation of the KDE project.
Since the release 9.05, the official distribution of Genode supports Qt4 as a
regular feature. The document "Portierung von Qt auf Genode" _(german)_
describes the challenging endeavor of porting this high-complexity C++
framework to Genode. Major problems to overcome had been the missing C libary
(at the time when the project started), the integration of the Qt4 project
files with Genode's build system, the adaption of Qt4 to the basic primitives
provided by Genode, and the integration of Qt4 with Genode's GUI. In addition
to the mentioned technical insights, the document evaluates the achieved
solution with respect to compatibility and maintainability.
[http://www.genode-labs.com/publications/qt4-on-genode-de-2009.pdf - Download the PDF...]
Genode OS Framework release 9.05 | 2009-05-27
#############################################
| With the release 9.05, we introduce the first fragments of USB support,
| update Qt to version 4.5.1, and add the OKL4 kernel as supported base
| platform.
The new release continues the general theme to enhance our potential user base
by broadening the base-platform support and, at the same time, extending the
functionality of the framework. We have now added the OKL4 kernel to the
supported base platforms. OKL4 is a commercial-grade kernel developed by
[http://www.ok-labs.com - Open Kernel Labs] and primarily targeted at embedded
systems. Along with this integration work, we were able to further advance the
portability of Genode by generalizing much of former platform-dependent code.
On the feature side, we introduced the first parts of a USB stack, making
Linux' USB host-controller drivers and a human-interface device driver
available on Genode. As outlined in the release notes, there is also good
progress on executing Linux as a sub system of Genode. Furthermore, we have now
seamlessly integrated the support for the Qt application framework into the
Genode source tree and bumped the version to 4.5.1.
Read on about the new features described int the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/9.05 - release notes...]
[http:/download/latest-release - Download the release 9.05...]
[http:/about/road-map - See our updated road map...]
Bringing Genode to the OKL4 kernel | 2009-05-06
###############################################
| We have enhanced the range of supported kernel platforms by bringing Genode
| to the OKL4 kernel developed by Open Kernel Labs.
With the port of Genode to the OKL4 kernel, we have taken another step to reach
a broader user base of the framework.&nbsp; In contrast to the already
supported microkernels L4ka::Pistachio and L4/Fiasco, the OKL4 kernel developed
by [http://ok-labs.com - Open Kernel Labs] is largely deployed in commercial
settings. Even though being a member of the L4 family of kernels, OKL4 has a
much modernized kernel API that fits quite well with the Genode architecture.
For example, OKL4 does not rely on an in-kernel mapping database, frees the IPC
operation from wall-clock timeouts, supports asynchronous notifications, and
provides kernel support for user-level synchronization.
In the process of porting Genode to OKL4 version 2.1, we took the chance of
generalizing a lot of former L4-specific code such that the remaining
platform-specific code is now in the order of less than 2,000 lines of code for
each kernel platform. To ease future ports of the frameworks to other kernels,
we have documented our work in detail. If you are interested in learning more
about the OKL4 kernel from our perspective, or if you like to dive right into
the inner parts of the Genode OS Framework, read on about
[http:/documentation/articles/genode-on-okl4 - Bringing the Genode OS Framework to the OKL4 kernel...]
The OKL4 version is available at our subversion repository and will be included
in the upcoming release 9.05. For further information about building and using
Genode on OKL4, please refer to the new
[http:/community/wiki/GenodeOnOKL4 - Genode on OKL4 Wiki page...]
Genode on 64-bit Linux kernels | 2009-04-17
###########################################
| Genode can now use both 32-bit as well as 64-bit versions of the Linux kernel
| as base platform.
From the ground up, Genode was co-developed supporting Linux and L4 as base
platforms but the both versions were restricted to the 32-bit x86 architecture.
We have now expanded the Linux support to 64 bit. Because most of the adaptions
of Genode to 64 bit took place in generic code, we are now well prepared to
support future 64-bit versions of L4 kernels as well. The patch for adding 64
bit support supplied by Christian Prochaska is now included in the current
version of the Genode subversion repository.
[http:/download/subversion-repository - Access the Genode subversion repository...]
Christian Prochaska joins our project as regular developer | 2009-04-08
#######################################################################
| The developer of the Qt4 port for Genode joins Genode Labs to bring forward
| his Genode-related projects.
As the original developer of the Qt4 port for Genode, Christian Proachaska has
gained long-time experience with running complex software on top of Genode. In
the future, he will leverage his skills to further advance his Qt4-related
work. Furthermore, he strives to improve the framework towards general-purpose
computing. Currently, he is working on adding 64-bit support to Genode.
Genode OS Framework release 9.02 | 2009-02-26
#############################################
| The version 9.02 of the Genode OS Framework introduces support for
| L4ka::Pistachio as base platform, a port of the Qt4 application framework,
| and networking.
Whereas the focus of the previous release 8.11 was the refinement of Genode's
base API and the creation of the infrastructure needed to build real-world
applications, the new release 9.02 is focused on functional enhancements in two
directions. The first direction is broadening the number of possible base
platforms for the framework. At present, most microkernels bring along a custom
user land, which is closely tied to the particular kernel. Our vision is to
establish Genode as a common ground for developing applications, protocol
stacks, and device drivers in such a way that the software becomes easily
portable among different kernels. This release makes Genode available on the
L4ka::Pistachio kernel. Hence, software developed with the Genode API can now
run unmodified on Linux/x86, L4/Fiasco, and L4ka::Pistachio. In the second
direction, we are steadily advancing the functionality available on top of
Genode. With this release, we introduce a basic networking facility and support
for native Qt4 applications as major new features. Thanks to Genode's
portability, these features become automatically available on all supported
base platforms.
Read on about the new features described in the
[http:/documentation/release-notes/9.02 - release notes...]
[http:/download/latest-release - Download the Genode release 9.02...]
Port of libSDL to Genode | 2009-01-23
#####################################
| As announced on the Genode mailing list, the popular Simple Directmedia
| Library is being ported to Genode. A first version of the port and a demo
| application are already available.
The [http://www.libsdl.org - Simple Directmedia Layer library] (libSDL) is a
very popular cross-platform media library that provides hardware abstractions
for graphics, input devices, and sound. It is often used as back end for games,
emulators, and media players. Also the Linux version of Genode relies on the
hardware abstractions provided by libSDL.
As [http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=21406424 - announced on the Genode mailing list],
libSDL has been ported to Genode. At the current stage, the port supports
the video subsystem and the input handling for mouse and keyboard. With
libSDL now becoming available for Genode, it becomes much easier to make the
wealth of libSDL-based applications available on our platform.
[http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=21406424 - Read the announcement...]
Genode on the L4ka::Pistachio kernel | 2008-12-18
#################################################
| The new L4ka::Pistachio version of the Genode OS Framework makes the unique
| features, performance, and stability of the L4::Pistachio kernel available
| for Genode's software stack.
L4ka::Pistachio is the reference implementation of the L4 API version x.2 (also
referred to as version 4). With the port of Genode to L4ka::Pistachio conducted
by Julian Stecklina, this kernel has become available as a base platform for
Genode. The choice of leveraging the special characteristics of
L4ka::Pistachio, the Linux kernel, or L4/Fiasco has become just a matter of
recompilation. This way, software written against the Genode API can benefit
from the long-year research and development invested into L4ka::Pistachio by
the L4ka group at the University of Karlsruhe and the DiSy group at the
University of New South Wales. We have made the L4ka::Pistachio version of
Genode available at our public subversion repository. It will become a regular
part of Genode with the upcoming release as scheduled for February. The
instructions for building and using Genode with the L4ka::Pistachio kernel are
provided at our Genode-on-L4ka::Pistachio wiki page.
[http:/community/wiki/GenodeOnL4kaPistachio">Learn more about Genode on L4ka::Pistachio...]
Public bug tracker available | 2008-12-12
#########################################
| Because we received several requests for a public bug tracker, we have now
| enabled the public tracker of our Sourceforge project.
With the new bug tracker, we want to simplify the sharing and solving of issues
related to Genode in a coordinated fashion. If you discover things you like to
see improved in our code or documentation, please do not hesitate to share your
experiences and ideas by posting a bug. [http:/community - Community resources...]
Genode OS Framework release 8.11 | 2008-11-21
#############################################
| We are pleased to announce the release 8.11 of the Genode OS Framework
| introducing a new device-driver API, a C runtime, support for asynchronous
| notifications, and many improvements of the base API.
With the new release 8.11, we are aiming at enabling Genode for real-world
applications that require custom device drivers and the reuse of existing
code.&nbsp; Among the major improvements are a new device driver API that eases
the reuse of existing device drivers and a C runtime that facilitates the reuse
of a wealth of existing C library code on Genode. Furthermore, we extended the
base API by a number of exciting feature such as support for asynchronous
notifications, capability typification, and managed dataspaces.
Learn more about all the new features and changes described in our comprehensive
[http:/documentation/release-notes/8.11 - release notes...]
[http:/download/latest-release - Download the release 8.11 of the Genode OS Framework...]
Ready-to-boot Live-CD image available | 2008-10-21
##################################################
| As a teaser for the upcoming release 8.11, we have compiled a Live-CD image
| showing off the current state of the Genode OS Framework.
The Live CD features a fully graphical demonstration that presents the
fundamental concepts of the Genode architecture in an interactive fashion. It
runs directly on PC hardware and has been tested on Qemu and VirtualBox.
[http:/download/live-cds - Download the Live-CD image...]
New and exciting challenges ahead | 2008-09-19
##############################################
| To foster the involvement of developers interested in working on Genode, we
| have enhanced the compilation of future challenges in our Wiki by a number of
| interesting Genode-related projects to pursue.
The Genode architecture inspires a large number of topics for research,
experimentation, and development. The
[http:/community/wiki/Challenges - challenges section of our Wiki] compiles a
number of existing ideas. We have now enhanced this compilation by a number of
further avenues that we find interesting to explore. For example, exploring
Linux process containers, running Genode on FPGA platforms, dynamic linking
support, de-privileging VESA, optimizing locking performance, and the port of
libSDL. Maybe some of you find these topics as thrilling as we do? If yes,
please feel welcome to pick up the ideas to start experimenting with Genode.
The Genode build system thoroughly examined | 2008-08-22
########################################################
| In his paper "Empirical Comparison of SCons and GNU Make", Ludwig Hähne
| pursues the question of which build system to choose for an operating-system
| project such as ours. For his study, he took the Genode build system as a
| real-world use case. His results are not only valuable for our particular
| project but for everyone with an interest in build systems.
For the Genode OS Framework, we consider flexibility, usability, reliability,
and scalability of the build infrastructure is crucial. When we started
project, we created a custom build infrastructure with a particular focus on
developer convenience. The effort already paid off for our daily work. The
current implementation relies on GNU Make as back end but we are aware that
there exist more modern approaches for building software, in particular there
is SCons. In his paper, Ludwig Hähne used the Genode build system as a use case
to compare SCons and GNU Make. He replicated our build system for the use of
SCons as back end and conducted comprehensive experiments. The empirical
results presented in the paper reveal a number of interesting issues, for
example the limited scalability of the current Genode build system with regard
to parallelism, and the memory consumption of SCons when used for large
projects.
[http://www.genode-labs.com/publications/scons-vs-make-2008.pdf - Download the PDF document...]
Genode ported to Syllable Server OS | 2008-08-22
################################################
| The developers of the Syllable OS project have ported Genode to the
| Linux-based server version of Syllable OS.
Syllable is a fully fledged free-software operating system that is mainly
targeted at desktop computers. Thanks to its long-year steady development,
there exists a large base of custom applications. As announced on the
[http://development.syllable.org/pages/index.html - website of the Syllable OS project],
Genode has been ported to the server version of Syllable OS. Kaj de Vos of the
Syllable project also considers the incorporation of Genode into the desktop
version of Syllable, which would be a very interesting synergy.
Genode OS Framework release 8.08 | 2008-08-06
#############################################
| We released the first official version of the Genode OS Framework.
The initial version of the Genode OS Framework is available for download. For
naming our releases, we use the Ubuntu version-number scheme, which takes the
year as the major number and the month as minor number. Hence, the release is
called 8.08. It contains everything needed to execute an interactive graphical
demonstration scenario on Linux via libSDL or alternatively via L4/Fiasco on
bare PC hardware.
[http:/download/latest-release - Download the latest release...]
Project website launched | 2008-07-29
#####################################
| The launch of our comprehensive project website genode.org marks the begin of
| our effort to turn Genode into a community project. The initial release of the
| Genode OS framework is scheduled for the 6th of August.
Today, we proudly launched the website of the Genode project
[http://www.genode.org - http://www.genode.org]. This website is the central
resource for people using or developing the Genode OS framework. It covers
the latest news about our progress, architectural and technical documentation,
a community-maintained wiki, mailing lists, information on accessing the
source-code, and much more. We sincerely hope that this website will draw the
attention of people who want bring forward the project together with us.
We have scheduled the first official release of the Genode OS framework for the
6th August. Until then, we invite you to test-drive the beta-version of the
framework as provided at the [http://www.genode.org/download - download].
Genode Labs founded | 2008-07-17
################################
| The original authors of the Genode OS Framework start a company dedicated to
| promoting and advancing Genode.
At 15th of May, the two former PhD students of the TU Dresden Operating Systems
group who developed the original vision behind the Genode architecture and who
created the present implementation of the Genode OS Framework started their
company Genode Labs. Genode Labs is committed to bring forward their novel OS
technology as a community project and to facilitate its application to
real-world problems.