Genode Labs Newsletter - February / March 2016


 1. How Genode came to RISC-V
 2. Introducing the Genode-World repository
 3. Genode OS Framework 16.02 released

 1. How Genode came to RISC-V

 In November, we laid out our plan to integrate support for the
 RISC-V CPU architecture into Genode. RISC-V captured our interest
 for two reasons. First, it is developed from the ground up as an
 open-source hardware project and aided by renowned experts like
 David Patterson. It has high ambitions, substance, and a strong
 backing. Second, it is designed to scale from microcontrollers to
 64-bit general-purpose computing.

 We started to bring Genode to RISC-V in summer last year. After
 creating a prototype running on an emulator, we teamed up with our
 friends at NL Cyber Security Labs to run it on a RISC-V softcore
 CPU synthesized on an FPGA platform. At the beginning of 2016, we
 wrapped up this line of work and integrated it into the mainline
 Genode version. It is featured by the current release 16.02.

 While conducting the practical work, we took the chance to
 document the steps taken and published this experience report:


 The article is geared towards people interested in the practical
 use of RISC-V, and developers who aspire to port Genode to new
 CPU architectures. To our delight, the article has quickly drawn
 attention to our project, for example:


 2. Introducing the Genode-World repository

 With its growing community, Genode receives an increasing number
 of contributions from developers outside of Genode Labs. Many
 of those contributions are concerned with functionality on top of
 Genode rather than changes of the inner parts of the framework.
 We recognized that the integration of such features into our
 mainline development will ultimately become a bottleneck because
 we need to reach out to each individual contributor to sign our
 contributors agreement, have to carefully review the code, and
 cover it by our automated tests. To overcome this scalability
 problem and to lower the barrier of contributing to Genode, we
 have now introduced as new repository called "Genode World",
 which complements the mainline Genode repository with community-
 managed components:


 The repository can be seamlessly integrated into the work flows
 of Genode and thereby makes 3rd-party components easily available
 to users. It is primarily meant as a hub for ported software to
 avoid the situation where software is ported twice because
 developers are unaware of each other's work. But it is also the
 designated place for genuine components that do not fit into the
 narrow scope of the Genode OS Framework but rather have a
 supplemental role.

 3. Genode OS Framework 16.02 released

 End of February, we released the version 16.02 of the Genode OS
 Framework. It enables the dynamic assignment of USB devices to
 VirtualBox instances, adds support for the RISC-V architecture,
 updates the Muen separation kernel to version 0.7 including MSI
 support, and updates seL4 to version 2.1. These are merely the
 highlights. The full description of the numerous improvements
 is covered by the release documentation:


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 Best regards

 Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
 Genode Labs

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

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