How to use Genode with the Fiasco microkernel

This documentation describes the process of building and booting the L4/Fiasco version of Genode. It assumes that you are familiar with basic concepts described in the introductory documentation of Genode, namely the "How to start exploring Genode" document.


The Fiasco version of Genode relies on the following components from the source tree of the Fiasco microkernel and the L4 environment (which also need additional tools).


  • Gawk

  • Bison

  • Byacc

  • Python

The Fiasco microkernel

Information about Fiasco are provided at its official website:

To download the kernel and integrate it with Genode, issue the following command from within the toplevel directory:

 ./tool/ports/prepare_port fiasco

For the vesa driver on x86 the x86emu library is required and can be downloaded and prepared by invoking the following command:

 ./tool/ports/prepare_port x86emu

This command will download a prepackaged version of the kernel tested with Genode. The build process of the kernel is integrated with Genode's build system. After creating a build directory using create_builddir with fiasco_x86 as argument:

 <genode-dir>/tool/create_builddir fiasco_x86 \

From within the new <build-dir>, the kernel can be compiled via

 make kernel/fiasco

When using Genode's run mechanism, there is no need to explicitly build the kernel. The run environment (see tool/run/boot_dir/fiasco) takes care of it. So you can simple execute run scripts from within the build directory, for example:

 make run/demo

Behind the scenes

For using the L4/Fiasco kernel, some basic user-level components and libraries are needed. These are subsumed under the name L4 environment an are organized as a number of packages. These packages provide two types of components. There are low-level components for booting up and interfacing to Fiasco and there are higher-level components that compose a basic OS infrastructure. For Genode, we only rely on the low-level packages.

Previous versions of Genode included all necessary sources from the L4 environment in the 3rd/fiasco/snapshot subdirectory. From release 10.02, the 3rd directory is no longer part of the release archive and also removed from the subversion repository. Please download the 3rd_fiasco.tar.bz2 archive. The source are organized as follows


contains the tools that are used by the build processes of the L4 environment and Fiasco. For example, the build process of Fiasco relies on the preprocess tool.


contains the Fiasco microkernel.


contains the L4-environment source tree. The single packages are located at l4/pkg.

From all the packages of the L4 environment, the following three are of interest for using Genode:


contains the Fiasco system-call bindings.

The system-call bindings are a set of C-header files that define the application-programming interface for invoking the system calls of Fiasco.


Sigma0 is the initial memory manager required to use Fiasco.


Bootstrap is the program that is started by the boot loader. After being started, Bootstrap prepares the bare machine to accommodate Fiasco. On many embedded architectures, bootstrap is used to create a single binary image containing all boot-time OS components.

Those components are implicitly built by the Genode build system when issuing make kernel/fiasco.