Sculpt OS release 23.04 Apr 28, 2023

Sculpt OS 23.04 marks the first-time PinePhone support in addition to the PC version. With this release, the system supports live upgrades of the boot image, rendering Sculpt updates and switching between versions a matter some easy steps. The new preset feature brings entire application scenarios to your screen after just one click/tap.

With the fresh release 23.04, the Sculpt operating system boards the PinePhone to explore the mobile world and, thereby, adds a second platform to its year-long support for Intel PCs. In preparation, we added two key features to Genode during the past months, which are the phone-oriented Sculpt user-interface variant and the system-update functionality. Now, Sculpt versions can be switched by three easy steps directly in the integrated user interface: downloading system images to the software depot, install the desired version on the boot medium, and reboot the device.

Further, the release supports so-called presets in the system menu UI, which are entire runtime scenarios. The user can load and switch between presets by just one click. Presets currently available in Sculpt are a simple GUI demo (nano3d), a simple desktop including background picture and window manager, and a ready to use Falkon web browser. Still, components can be integrated into the system (or the currently running preset) by the + menu of the component graph.

Sculpt OS 23.04 for PC and PinePhone is available as ready-to-use system image at the Sculpt download page accompanied with updated documentation.

Genode OS Framework release 23.02 Feb 28, 2023

Version 23.02 introduces system-update functionality to the mobile version of Sculpt OS, enhances our ARM VMM for interactive guest OSes, adds DMA protection to Xilinx Zynq via a custom IP core, extends suspend/resume support, and makes Intel's P&E cores explicitly manageable.

For the first time, Genode has become easily installable on the PinePhone. The first system image is not merely a re-targeted PC version of Sculpt OS but it comes with a novel user interface, a new mechanism for rapidly switching between different application scenarios, and system-update functionality. This is everything we need to kick off the first public field test of Genode on the phone. This line of development motivated plenty of optimizations - from kernel scheduling, over the I/O throughput of the VFS, to the interfacing of GPU drivers - that made it into version 23.02.

Besides the focus on the phone, the release continues the hardware-software co-design story of the previous version by adding DMA protection to Xilinx Zynq SoCs using custom FPGA fabric, which is especially tailored for Genode. But also stationary platforms like PCs and ARM laptops received attention. On ARM, we enabled the use of interactive virtual machines by adding device models for the GPU and input events. For the PC, the principle support for suspend/resume has become available to Genode's custom microkernel in addition to NOVA, and Genode learned to distinguish Intel's performance cores from energy-efficient cores.

Regarding application workloads, the new release is accompanied by a substantially improved version of the Goa tool, which streamlines the creation, packaging, and publishing of Genode components using commodity build systems. With the new version, Goa largely automates the porting of CMake-based 3rd-party libraries for Genode.

Find these among many more topics covered by the official release documentation of version 23.02...

Road Map for 2023 Jan 17, 2023

In 2023, we will make the mobile version of Sculpt OS fit for end users, unleash advanced hardware features of Intel platforms, switch to C++20 by default, and run the feature-complete PC version of Sculpt OS on Genode's custom-tailored microkernel.

After having enabled all hardware features of the PinePhone that are fundamental for a mobile phone over the course of the past year, the project now aims at getting the mobile version of Sculpt OS into the hands of end users. Throughout the year, there will be multiple rounds of field tests within the community, allowing us to reach the desired state of maturity and usefulness in an iterative way.

On PC platforms, Genode will increasingly address advanced platform features like the distinction between power-efficient and high-performance cores, the management of temperatures and frequencies, or the practical use of suspend/resume. By the end of the year, we envision the PC version of Sculpt OS running on Genode's custom-tailored microkernel leveraging all those aspects of modern PC hardware.

Along the planned timeline of the project, one can spot plenty of additional topics of interest such as the continued line of work of combining Genode with FPGAs, applications implemented in Rust, the integration of IPv6, the use of C++20 by default, or completed driver support for the MNT Reform laptop. An exciting year lies ahead of us!

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