Genode OS Framework release 21.02 Feb 25, 2021

The highlights of version 21.02 are the addition of VirtualBox 6, mobile-data connectivity via LTE, pluggable network drivers, initial support for the Pine-A64-LTS board, and revived work on RISC-V.

Many topics of the current release draw a connection to our overarching goal to use Genode on the Pinephone by the end of the year. Besides the obvious steps of enabling the hardware - starting with the Pine-A64-LTS board - the release introduces mobile-data connectivity as a Genode feature, and changes the network-driver architecture in anticipation of dynamic power-management schemes.

For PC hardware, the flagship feature of version 21.02 is the addition of VirtualBox 6, giving us the prospect to eventually replace the aging port of VirtualBox 5. Speaking of VirtualBox, the release comes with profound improvements of the USB-device pass-through abilities, most importantly covering audio headsets.

Besides these prominent features, the new version comes with many further improvements. Just to name a few, virtual machines on ARM have become able to provide VirtIO-block devices to guests, named pipes can now be used to connect components, Genode's RISC-V support received an update to ISA spec 1.10, and OpenSSL has been bumped to version 1.1.1. For the full story, please refer to the release documentation of version 21.02...

Road Map for 2021 Jan 15, 2021

In 2021, we plan to bring Genode to the Pinephone, advance the framework's GPU support, and focus on development workflows.

During the annual road-map discussion on Genode's public mailing list, the following hot topics for this year emerged.

First and most inspiring for many Genode developers, we aspire to have Genode running on the Pinephone with basic feature-phone functionality by the end of the year. Since this will involve substantial device-driver-related developments, the team will take this line of work as an opportunity to advance the tooling and workflows for carrying out such tasks. This, in turn, will hopefully ease the on-boarding of new driver developers in the future.

Closely related to the Pinephone scenario, the project will make optimizations a top priority this year. The opportunities are plenty, ranging from micro-optimizations, over API refinements, to architectural changes if needed.

Another recurring topic is the request for GPU support, which is required by many modern workloads such as video conferencing or streaming on mobile device. Therefore, we will revamp our past developments of GPU multiplexing on Intel hardware while also starting the investigation of GPUs on ARM-based devices.

More information about our review of the past year, this year's focus, and a rough schedule are presented at our official road-map page.