Genode Labs Newsletter - October/November 2011


 1. Meet Genode at FOSDEM 2012
 2. Exploring a Plethora of Levels of Virtualization
 3. Genode OS Framework 11.11 released

 1. Meet Genode at FOSDEM 2012

 FOSDEM is one of the biggest gatherings of Open-Source and Free-
 Software enthusiasts and professionals. The yearly event attracts
 all kinds of projects ranging from operating systems over development
 tools and databases to application software:


 The upcoming edition of FOSDEM to be held in February 2012 will host
 a developer room specifically dedicated to multi-server and micro-
 kernel-based operating systems. The participating projects include
 HelenOS, MINIX, GNU Hurd, and Genode. Further projects are more than
 welcome to join. As stated in the official announcement, the
 developer room is open for contributions:


 For everyone interested in operating systems in general and micro-
 kernel technology in particular, visiting FOSDEM will be great way
 to get in touch.

   FOSDEM 2012: 4-5 February 2012, in Brussels, Belgium

 We look forward to meeting you in Brussels! Thanks a lot to Jakub
 Jermar of the HelenOS project for having initiated the developer
 room and for the invitation of our project!

 2. Exploring a Plethora of Levels of Virtualization

 During the past three months, we have started to explore various
 opportunities to combine the Genode OS Framework with virtualization
 techniques. Our investigations include the faithful virtualization
 of x86 PC hardware, paravirtualized Linux, OS-level virtualization,
 and a application-level virtualization. The latter approach is
 particularly related to Genode as it capitalizes the framework's
 fundamental security mechanism, which is the execution of each
 program in a dedicated sandbox.

 For making faithful x86 virtualization available to Genode, we
 started integrating the Vancouver virtual machine monitor (VMM)
 into our framework. Vancouver is a VMM that was developed in concert
 with the NOVA hypervisor. In contrast to commodity virtualization
 products, Vancouver's design was aided by microkernel principles.
 We found that it fits perfectly with Genode's architecture.

 In contrast to faithful virtualization, which is able to run
 unmodified guest operating systems in a virtual machine, para-
 virtualization takes changing the OS kernel into consideration
 in order to support running the guest OS on hardware with no
 virtualization support. Genode supports OKLinux and L4Linux
 as paravirtualization options. For the latter solution, we have
 greatly advanced the level of integration with the framework.
 Thanks to our ongoing work, it has become possible to interface
 L4Linux with Genode's networking, block-device, UART, input-
 device, and display facilities.

 The results of our exploration are featured in the just released
 version 11.11 of the framework.

 3. Genode OS Framework 11.11 released

 As mentioned above, our work on the version 11.11 was primarily
 motivated with the exploration of virtualization options. In this
 process, the framework has gained plenty of new features and has
 reached a new level of maturity.

 Some highlights of the current release are the added support
 for user-level debugging via the GNU debugger, the integration
 of L4Android, the upgrade of several base platforms such as
 NOVA and Fiasco.OC, new device drivers and extended ARM platform
 support, and optimizations throughout the whole framework.

 The complete story behind Genode 11.11 is described in the
 release notes:


 Have fun with exploring the new version!

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 Best regards
 Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
 Genode Labs

 http://www.genode-labs.com · http://genode.org

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