Genode Labs Newsletter - April / May 2017


 1. Hack'n'Hike in review
 2. Introducing package management for Genode
 3. Genode OS Framework 17.05 released

 1. Hack'n'Hike in review

 Our yearly Hack'n'Hike community gathering is one of the most
 anticipated events for us Genode developers and friends. This May,
 the Hack'n'Hike led us to the beautiful Zittauer Gebirge nearby the
 town of Oybin. We were particularly excited about community members
 who followed our invitation, some coming over from as far as The
 Netherlands, Switzerland, or the UK. The historic villa that we
 picked as accommodation certainly contributed to the relaxing and
 creative atmosphere.

 Speaking of creativity, besides our daylight hiking activities, we
 worked on diverse fun projects. The coolest one was certainly the
 joint hacking session to run Quake 3 natively on Genode, including
 low-latency audio, butter-smooth hardware-accelerated graphics in
 full HD resolution, and network multi-player mode! Other topics
 ranged from VirtualBox 5 on top of Muen, Raspberry-3 support for
 the base-hw kernel, a port of Freeciv, tooling for Genode's new
 package-management system, and USB support for i.MX. Combined with
 a fine selection of beer, tasty barbecue, and good spring-time
 weather, what else could we wish for?

 2. Introducing package management for Genode

 A package-management solution is universally expected from a
 modern operating system. Until now, Genode's work flows were
 geared towards appliance-like systems that come in the shape of
 system images. However, as we experience with our day-to-day
 use of Genode as a general-purpose OS, there is a natural limit
 of how scalable such systems can be.

 The discussion of suitable package-management approaches for
 Genode reaches several years back. The first step in this
 direction were our custom tools for managing and integrating
 3rd-party source code with Genode. But there was no notion of
 pre-built and easy-to-install packages, nor a tangible idea
 of what a package in the context of Genode should represent.
 During our exploratory line of work, we ultimately encountered
 and fell in love with the Nix package manager. This encounter
 was followed by porting efforts and mind-bending architectural
 discussions. We eventually realized that Genode gives us
 unique opportunities for simplifications thanks to the control
 that we have over the entire software stack including the build
 system, tool chain, the ABI and API design, the inter-component
 protocols, the dynamic linker, the system configuration, and
 the execution runtime.

 Enabled by this holistic view, we came up with a strikingly
 simple new approach, which is described here:


 Even though officially labeled as experimental, the new tools
 allow a glimpse at Genode's future as a truly scalable operating

 3. Genode OS Framework 17.05 released

 We just published the mid-year release of the Genode OS framework.
 This version is special as it is designated as the starting point
 for well maintainable development branches. This ambition motivated
 us to update the framework's tool chain as well as our ports of
 Qt and VirtualBox to current versions. It also prompted us to
 wrap up our great API and architectural renovation work that we
 kicked off one year ago.

 Feature-wise, the most important news are the addition of Genode's
 package-management solution, new tools for monitoring network
 traffic and CPU load, the support for the Nim and Ada programming
 languages, greatly enhanced flexibility of the init component, and
 a brand new timeout API.

 All the improvements are covered in great detail in the release


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 Best regards

 Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
 Genode Labs

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