Genode OS Framework version 9.11 released Nov 25, 2009

The new release introduces a Linux virtualization solution, Webkit support, the light-weight IP stack, and support for the ARM architecture.

With the release 9.11 of the Genode OS framework, we start to fully leverage the strong underpinnings of the framework built-up with the previous releases. This enabled us to introduce major new functionality such as a paravirtualized Linux kernel, which allows the execution of off-the-shelf Linux programs isolated from security-sensitive applications, both executed on the same machine. For native Genode applications, we significantly improved the infrastructure by making standard programming interfaces such as socket-based TCP/IP, and popular libraries such as Freetype2 available. The completeness of this infrastructure is best illustrated by our native port of the Qt4/Webkit browser engine to the framework. With regard to driver support, we extended our Linux-device-driver environment, which facilitates the use of unmodified Linux drivers as separate processes on Genode. In particular, the current release complements our USB stack with support for USB storage devices.

These changes and a long list of further improvements are described in full detail in the release notes of version 9.11...

Live CD demonstrating latest Genode features Sep 02, 2009

Genode's latest Live-CD features among others Qt4 and Linux.

Shortly, after our first company's birthday we are proud to present to you some of the latest features incorporated in Genode in form of a new Live CD. Beside of the already known graphical demonstration of Genode's architecture, it features small demos of the Qt4 support and Linux running on top of Genode. This version runs on Qemu, VirtualBox, or PC hardware. Download the ISO image at Genode project website...

Genode FX for Trenz Electronic industrial FPGA modules Aug 28, 2009

In cooperation with Trenz Electonic, we have complemented Genode FX with reference designs for the TE0304 series of industrial FPGA modules.

On the size of only 40.5mm x 47.5mm, the TE0300 industrial FPGA module integrates a Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA, DDR memory, configuration flash, and power supply on one module to be used as OEM board or in combination with application-specific carrier boards such as the TE0304. As displayed in the image (courtesy of Trenz Electronic), this particular carrier board makes the general-purpose I/O pins of the FPGA available for display-output and PS/2-input devices, and therefore, allows the implementation of Genode FX on the TE0300 platform. Combined, Genode FX and the TE0300 + TE0304 forms a fully-fledged embedded GUI solution at a low footprint with regard to hardware and software complexity, and power consumption.

We have included reference designs for a range of TE0300 modules to the project's official source tree, and with the next release of Genode FX, the TE0300 support will become a regular part of the official Genode FX distribution.

Learn more about Genode FX...

Visit the Trenz Electronic webshop for TE0300 + TE0304 FPGA modules...

Genode OS Framework version 9.08 released Aug 20, 2009

The first anniversary release revisits fundamental mechanisms and further improves the cross-kernel portability of the OS framework.

Genode Labs is pleased to announce the availability of the 1st anniversary release of the Genode OS Framework. This framework allows for building custom operating systems for application areas where dynamic workloads meet high security and robustness requirements. The approach of the framework is the combination of micro-kernel technology with a novel OS architecture, optimized for minimizing the complexity of critical applications. One unique feature of the framework is the support of different kernels as base platform, each kernel providing different characteristics.

The new version 9.08 comes with improvements all over the code base and introduces new features such as a dynamic linker, and long desired support for super pages and write-combined I/O access. As described in the release notes, the overall theme of this release had been refinement, resulting in much improved implementations for key parts of the framework. In particular, Genode's synchronization primitives such as locks and signals have received much attention, and the central timer service has been replaced by a much improved implementation.

Furthermore, there are many improvements for the specfic base platforms. The OKL4-kernel support, added with the previous release, motivated code unifications among all four supported kernel platforms. The kernel-specific lines of code, which provide complete kernel abstractions, have become as little as 1800 (OKL4), 1500 (Linux), 1600 (L4/Fiasco), and 2000 (L4ka::Pistachio) lines of C++ code.

With regard to Linux as base platform, the project reached its goal to make the base framework completely independent from Linux' userland infrastructure. Genode can now be executed on the raw Linux kernel without linking against glibc. Thereby, the Linux version of Genode is on the way to become the lowest-complexity (regarding source-code complexity) Linux-kernel-based OS available.

The introduction of the dynamic linker ported from FreeBSD promises a significant reduction of binary sizes and, thereby, will finally allay fears about the resource requirements of using Qt4 on Genode.

Read on about all the improvements in the release notes for version 9.08...

First anniversary of the Genode OS Framework Aug 03, 2009

On 13th of August, you can join us celebrating the first anniversary of the Genode OS Framework.

In August 2008, Genode Labs released the first version of the Genode OS Framework. Since then, we have come a long way and are pretty excited about the things achieved within the past year. We will celebrate the first anniversary of the Genode OS Framework with a barbecue on

13th of August, 6 pm near Moritzburger Str. 1 in Dresden

view location on the map

We'd like to welcome you to join us! If you like to attend, please drop us a short note at

Genode OS Framework version 9.05 released May 28, 2009

The new version introduces support the OKL4 kernel as base platform, the first parts of our USB stack, 64-bit Linux support, and the integration of Qt 4.5.1 into the main-line source tree.

With the release 9.05, we continue our efforts to make the Genode OS Framework available for a broad user base. Therefore, we further enhanced the platform support by bringing Genode to 64-bit Linux and to the OKL4 kernel. With regard to the framework's functionality, the release features the version 4.5.1 of the Qt application framework and introduces the first parts of our USB stack including USB host-controller drivers and a human-interface device driver.

Read on about all the new features and changes described in the release notes...

Download the latest release...

Paper about the Genode FPGA Graphics Project May 19, 2009

The paper about our integrated hardware-software GUI solution introduces our custom hardware IP cores and provides in-depth information about the design and functioning of our software stack with regard to its real-time properties.

This paper presents a composition of hardware and software that forms a fully fledged windowed GUI on a single FPGA plus memory chip. The solution scales with the full range of Xilinx FPGAs. But even on the low-cost Xilinx Spartan3A FPGA, the GUI operating at a 16bit resolution of 640x480 is able to guarantee a bounded output latency of only 220 ms and a guaranteed response time to user input of less then 20 ms. The paper covers both an overview of our custom hardware design and our software algorithms that make these guarantees possible.

Genode FX: an FPGA-based GUI with Bounded Output Latency and Guaranteed Responsiveness to User Input Norman Feske and Matthias Alles Technical Report, Genode Labs, May 2009

On the 14th of May, we presented the Genode FPGA Project at the 10. Workshop Mikrocontroller-Applikation in Mittweida. The following german summary of our paper appeared in the accompanying proceedings.

Genode FX: eine FPGA-basierte grafische Benutzerschnittstelle Norman Feske Tagungsband, 10. Workshop Mikrocontroller-Applikation, Mittweida, 14. Mai 2009

Genode FPGA Graphics Project version 9.03 released Mar 24, 2009

Among the various software improvements of Genode FX, there is a new demonstration project showing off its unique features.

In contrast to the previous releases, which improved the hardware side of Genode FX, the release 9.3 brings the first major software update. We enhanced the software stack to support the rendering of antialiased fonts, made effects such as drop shadows and translucent windows configurable at runtime, and restructured the graphics backend to ease the future support of different pixel formats. The highlight of this release, however, is a completely new demonstration project featuring a terminal window to directly interact with the GUI via its command interface, a new settings window, a slide show, and a grid widget demo. Download the new release at the project's Sourceforge site...

Full text of "Securing Graphical User Interfaces" published Mar 18, 2009

Norman Feske has made the PDF version of his dissertation available for download.

Malware such as Trojan Horses and spyware remain to be persistent security threats that exploit the overly complex graphical user interfaces of today's commodity operating systems. Current GUI architectures have to find a balance between the four conflicting goals of maintaining compatibility to existing applications, providing quality of service, operating at high performance, and of being secure, whereby the latter goal still remains widely disregarded by mainstream GUI architectures. The challenge of Norman Feske's work was to resolve the conflict. He developed key techniques and substantiated the concepts by a number of exhaustive experiments. The resulting architecture consolidates the advantages of extremely low source-code complexity, full client isolation, protection against spyware and Trojan Horses, bounded output latency, and compatibility to existing applications into one GUI-server design.

Visit the publications page at

Download the PDF

Genode OS Framework version 9.02 released Feb 27, 2009

Among many evolutionary improvements, the release 9.02 introduces a native port of Qt4, networking, and support for the L4ka::Pistachio kernel as base platform.

With the February release of the Genode OS Framework, we continue our efforts to make the framework available on a broader range of microkernel platforms. Most of today's microkernel developments use to bring along a kernel-specific user land as programming environment for user-level applications. Hence, such applications tend to be closely tied to one particular kernel. With the added support for the L4ka::Pistachio kernel as base platform for Genode, it has now become possible to develop applications and services that are equally executable on Linux, the L4/Fiasco kernel, and the L4ka::Pistachio kernel without any modifications.

In addition to extending the range of supported kernel platforms, the current release enhances Genode's functionality by wide margins. In particular, we introduced a device driver environment for executing Linux-2.6 device drivers on Genode, added basic networking support, and made the Qt4 application framework natively available on Genode.

Read on about the new features described in the release notes...

Download the release 9.02 of the Genode OS Framework...

Embedded World 2009 Feb 05, 2009

Visit Genode Labs at the Embedded World 2009 exhibition at March 03-05 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Thanks to the kind support of Trenz Electronic, we have the opportunity to present our company as co-exhibitors at the Embedded World 2009 exhibition. We will focus our presentation on our FPGA-based GUI technology (Genode FX). If you like to meet us in person or see Genode FX in action, we invite you to visit us at

Embedded World 2009: March 03-05, 2009, hall 12, booth 12-536

Dissertation on Securing Graphical User Interfaces Jan 07, 2009

On 5th of January, Norman Feske—founding member of Genode Labs—successfully defended his PhD dissertation.

Norman Feske's dissertation on "Securing Graphical User Interfaces" attempts to resolve the apparent conflict between different design goals of GUI architectures namely security, compatibility, performance, and quality of service. The thesis comprises the outcome of various extensive practical experiments conducted while working on the DOpE and Nitpicker GUI servers. After incorporating the reviewer's feedback, the full text of the thesis will be made publicly available.

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