Genode OS Framework 22.08 released Aug 30, 2022

The overarching theme of Genode 22.08 is the emerging phone variant of Sculpt OS, touching topics as diverse as USB ECM, Mali-400 GPU, SD-card access, telephony, mobile-data connectivity, the Morph web browser, and a custom user interface. Among the further highlights are new tracing tools, improved network performance USB smart-card support, and VirtIO drivers for RISC-V.

The vision of a Genode-based smart phone is certainly our most ambitious undertaking since we created Sculpt OS for the PC. Over the past two years, we relentlessly pursued this vision while targeting the PinePhone as hardware platform of choice.

Genode's version 22.08 bears the fruit of this intense work, touching topics as diverse as USB, GPU, SD-card access, audio routing, telephony, mobile-data connectivity, the Morph web browser, and a custom user interface. All these puzzle pieces are coming together now in the form of an emerging phone variant of Sculpt OS. The release documentation tells the story behind this line of work in great detail.

Among the further highlights of Genode 22.08 are new tracing tools, improved network performance, USB smart-card support via PKCS#11, and VirtIO drivers for RISC-V. For the complete picture, please enjoy the official release documentation of version 22.08.

Genode OS Framework 22.05 released May 31, 2022

The highlights of Genode 22.05 are the new support for WireGuard virtual private networks and a fresh lineup of PC device drivers. Further topics are basic telephony with the PinePhone and dynamic device management on Xilinx Zynq.

The lineup of new PC device drivers mentioned above is one of the highlights of the just released Genode version 22.05. The revamped drivers not only bring the modern feature set of the respective Linux subsystems to Genode, but they also validate the efficiency of our new porting approach.

The main spotlight of the current release, however, is the new support for WireGuard-based virtual private networks as a dedicated native Genode component. Thereby, easy-to-use state-of-the-art network security becomes available to Genode/Sculpt OS users.

With the vision of a Genode-based smartphone being a recurring topic throughout the year, we are happy to report that Genode gained the principle ability to issue and receive voice calls with the PinePhone.

Besides those prominent topics, the release comes with numerous framework improvements, reaching from a forthcoming new PC platform driver, over performance optimizations and usability refinements, to dynamic device management on FPGA-based Xilinx Zynq devices. The complete picture is presented in the official documentation.

Sculpt OS 22.04 Apr 30, 2022

Version 22.04 of the Genode-based Sculpt general-purpose operating system leverages up-to-date device drivers ported from the Linux kernel, makes hardware-accelerated graphics usable for virtual machines, and introduces service-level sandboxing.

With the Sculpt OS version 22.04 released end of April, users of our Genode-based general-purpose OS can enjoy completely new drivers for wireless, graphics, and USB. In a major surgery, the new drivers got transplanted from the Linux kernel version 5.14.21 using Genode's unique DDE approach. In contrast to Linux where the drivers are part of the almighty operating-system kernel, Sculpt OS hosts each of the drivers in a dedicated sandbox as plain user-level component. So users can benefit from the broad hardware support of up-to-date Linux drivers without ultimately trusting those staggeringly complex driver stacks.

Closely related, the support of hardware-accelerated graphics that we introduced with the previous version 21.10 received substantial optimization and stabilization. With the new version, Sculpt users can not only run native OpenGL applications but can even go as far as using hardware-accelerated graphics via guest operating systems hosted within VirtualBox on top of Sculpt OS.

Besides the hardware-related improvements, the new version equips the user with additional means to exercise control over the deployed software: A new optional component called black hole can now be used as placeholder for various system resources when deploying an application. For example, a virtual machine can be shielded from the network by connecting its network traffic to the black hole. This also works for audio, video capturing, USB, and other commonly used system resources.

Sculpt OS 22.04 is available as ready-to-use system image, accompanied with up-to-date documentation.

Genode OS Framework 22.02 released Mar 10, 2022

Version 22.02 modularizes the code base, turns Sculpt OS into a framework for building special-purpose systems, and tightens the API. It introduces a new environment to run Linux PC drivers, improves GPU support including VirtualBox guests, and enables the modem access on the PinePhone.

We proudly released Genode version 22.02. Two highlights stand out. First, we completed our transition to a less centralized maintenance structure of Genode's code base, easing the future addition of new hardware platforms by us or by third parties. This change went hand in hand with the introduction of a new generation of device drivers ported from the Linux kernel such as a new USB host-controller driver for PC hardware, or a touchscreen driver for the PinePhone.

The second highlight of version 22.02 is the modularization of the Sculpt OS base system. Whereas Sculpt OS used to promote one canonical system image as a basis for shaping the system live on target, the new version also allows for the easy creation of custom Sculpt-based special-purpose appliances. The gained flexibility took even us developers by surprise! Thanks to the new modular approach, we were able to demonstrate a bare-bones version of Sculpt OS on the PinePhone at FOSDEM (see below), or accelerate our development workflow by routinely running Sculpt OS directly on the Linux kernel.

Further highlights of the new version is the introduction of 3D acceleration for guest operating systems running in VirtualBox, a new mechanism for packet-level network processing by POSIX applications, and the completion of C and C++ standard library support for RISC-V. Please enjoy the entire picture as presented by the official release documentation.

Genode at (virtual) FOSDEM 2022 Jan 31, 2022

We will present Genode on the PinePhone at the Developer Room for Microkernel and Component-based Systems.

FOSDEM is the world's largest annual conference for Open Source and Free Software. Normally, it is held in Brussels in February. This year, however, it will be a virtual event again. One particular highlight is the Developer Room for Microkernel and Component-based Operating Systems.

Among the packed schedule, the following talk is specifically about Genode.

11:50 AM "Genode meets the PinePhone" by Norman Feske

https://fosdem.org/2022/schedule/event/nfeske/

The talk will feature our latest developments related to the PinePhone, including a demonstration.

The entire FOSDEM is free for everyone interested. Just tune in!

Road map for 2022 Jan 30, 2022

Genode's guiding theme for 2022 will be "Mobile Usability".

At the advent of each year, we invite our community to reflect on the achievements of the past 12 months and to sketch plans for the year ahead of us. Speaking of achievements, three topics stood out in 2021. First, with hardware-accelerated graphics, we successfully conquered a topic that seemed almost impenetrable when we started. Second, with the native execution of the Chromium browser engine on Genode, we managed to bring the most sophisticated workload in Genode's history to run directly on the framework. And third, we found a tenable way to transplant Linux kernel drivers to Genode with extremely little friction, thereby unlocking a wealth of potential hardware platforms for Genode.

The latter topic ultimately cleared the way to run interactive Genode system scenarios on the PinePhone in December 2021. That gave us one of many reasons to celebrate!

Looking ahead, we are eager to build upon these breakthroughs of the past year. In particular, we envision rich application workloads - in particular WebRTC-based video chat - using Genode on the PinePhone by the end of 2022. This vision calls for a variety of challenging topics to work on. For the first time, we have to face aggressive power management. The constrained hardware of the PinePhone also calls for far-reaching optimizations to achieve decent multimedia performance and pleasantly low latency. Hence, the guiding theme of 2022 will subsume this line of work as "Mobile Usability".

We will also put a broad update of our PC drivers on our agenda to accommodate users of Sculpt OS on modern generations of Intel hardware. As an additional line of development, we are excited to intensify the combination of Genode with reconfigurable hardware.

More details about our road map for 2022 - including a rough schedule of our developments - is available at our Genode's official road-map page.

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