Genode OS Framework version 13.11 released Dec 09, 2013

We are happy to announce Genode 13.11, which is the 22nd release of the framework since the first version in August 2008.

The new release brings plentiful new experimental features and countless improvements of details. A few highlights are new file systems using FUSE, Qt5 with support for QML, the switch to C++11, new device drivers for Exynos-5 and the Raspberry Pi, dynamic resource balancing, and improved support for ARM TrustZone. These and many more topics are covered in full detail in the release documentation...

Genode OS Framework version 13.08 released Aug 30, 2013

With version 13.08 of the Genode OS Framework, we introduce high-performance tracing capabilities, make Qt5 available on all supported kernels, and improve the multi-processor scalability of the framework.

The release of version 13.08 marks the 5th anniversary of the Genode OS Framework. We celebrate this anniversary with the addition of three major features, namely the availability of Qt5, a new mechanism for the analysis of inter-component communication, and vastly improved multi-processor support.

Thanks to Genode, Qt-based applications can be executed directly on a number of microkernels. This way, rich graphical user interfaces can be combined with the security and real-time properties of such kernels. We have been closely following and anticipating the progress of the development of Qt5 over past year and decided that now is a good time to make the switch from Qt4 to Qt5. The most prominent improvement of the new version is the tighter integration with Genode thanks to Qt5's new platform abstraction layer called QPA. Qt5 is ready to use on all kernels supported by Genode.

The growing sophistication of application scenarios built with Genode comes with the need to gather a good understanding of the interaction between components. Otherwise, it becomes near to impossible to pinpoint performance bottlenecks in such scenarios. To empower developers to examine the behaviour of components at a useful level of abstraction, Genode 13.08 comes with a new mechanism for tracing inter-process communication in a way that hardly influences the runtime characteristics of the system.

As the third major improvement, we are happy to announce that Genode gained profound support for multi-processor systems, in particular when using the NOVA hypervisor as kernel. The improvement comes in two forms. First, the Genode API has been extended with a new way to express the affinities of subsystems to CPU cores. The concept facilitates Genode's recursive architecture to allow subsystems to manage their respective share of CPU resources locally. The second piece of the puzzle is the solution of a long-standing problem of realizing cross-CPU IPC on the NOVA hypervisor. Combined, both solutions enable the framework to leverage the kernel's MP capabilities to the full extend.

Besides those highlights, there are a number of further improvements such as updated base platforms, or new SATA-3.0 and power-management device drivers for Exynos-5. Further details about the new version can be found in the extensive release documentation of version 13.08...

Genode OS Framework version 13.05 released Jun 05, 2013

Version 13.05 introduces support for automated testing and benchmarking, adds new components geared towards headless systems, and enhances the device-driver support for ARM SoCs such as Exynos 5, Freescale i.MX, and BCM2835.

We are happy to announce the release of Genode version 13.05, which comes with new tools for 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.

At present, we recognize two challenges, which amplify each other. On the one hand, our user base and the user's expectations are steadily growing. On the other hand, we see the number of Genode base platforms - in particular the variety of ARM-based SoCs - to become more and more diverse. This observation 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 in order to let Genode scale well. 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. At Genode Labs, those tools empower us to implement largely automatic tests and benchmarks across multiple hardware platforms. So our users can enjoy building upon Genode without being afraid of fundamental regressions.

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 release notes of version 13.05...

Genode OS Framework version 13.02 released Mar 11, 2013

Among the many improvements of version 13.02 are the use of IOMMUs, vastly enhanced x86-virtualization support, and a new audio interface.

During the release cycle for version 13.02, the Genode project focused its attention on improving the base platforms of the framework. In particular, we addressed the use of Genode combined with the NOVA hypervisor. Even though Genode used to support this kernel since the beginning of 2010, most of NOVA's unique properties remained largely unused. This changes with the current version, which facilitates the use of NOVA's modern kernel features such as IOMMUs and virtualization support. Feature-wise, NOVA has become Genode's most sophisticated base platform for x86-based hardware.

Besides the x86 architecture, Genode 13.02 improves the support for ARM-based hardware. By using our custom kernel platform, the framework has become able to run on ARM Cortex-A15 CPUs such as the Samsung Exynos 5250 SoC. In the course of this work, we also enabled the Fiasco.OC kernel for this hardware platform.

With regard to functional additions, the most prominent improvements are a new audio interface designed from the ground up to accommodate streamed audio along with sporadic sounds. As another significant functional addition, the file-system interface has been enhanced with a new notification mechanism that allows clients to respond to file or directory changes and thereby clears the way for new sophisticated dynamic usage scenarios.

Those and many more topics are covered in full detail in the release notes of version 13.02...

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