Genode OS Framework release 12.08 Aug 23, 2012

Version 12.08 introduces a way to execute the framework on bare ARM hardware without the need for a separate kernel, adds comprehensive device-driver support for the OMAP4 SoC, and revives NOVA as base platform.

Succeeding the feature-rich version 12.05 released in May, Genode 12.08 focuses on enhancing the framework's platform support. With regard to the framework's supported kernels, we are happy to announce a new base platform called base-hw and the largely reworked support for the NOVA hypervisor. The new base-hw platform enables the execution of Genode on bare ARM hardware without the need for a separate kernel. Using this platform, the kernel's functionality is integrated with Genode's core into one program, leading to a significant reduction of software complexity at the root of the process tree. Among the existing base platforms, the NOVA hypervisor has received plenty of love. Motivated by NOVA's recent move to GitHub, we largely reworked the support for this base platform, enabling x86_64, adding object integrity protection, facilitating the use of process-local names only, and changing the way of how kernel resources are allocated. These changes combined promote NOVA to a first-class citizen among the supported kernels.

The second string of development contained in the current release is the addition of comprehensive device drivers for the OMAP4 SoC. The new drivers cover HDMI output, SD-card access, USB HID, and networking. With the new device drivers in place, Genode can be leveraged on low-cost ARM platforms such as the popular Pandaboard.

Besides low-level platform improvements, the current release comes with new functionality in the form of custom components and ported 3rd-party software. Among the additions are a FFAT-based file system service, the principal ability for on-target debugging, and a way to host the website on Genode.

These and many more improvements are described in detail in the release notes of version 12.08...