Genode OS Framework release 11.11 Nov 29, 2011

With version 11.11, we explore a plethora of options of combining Genode with virtualization techniques.

The overall theme of Genode 11.11 is the exploration of various levels of virtualization, ranging from faithful virtualization, over paravirtualized Linux, to custom variants of OS-level and application-level virtualization. The latter approach is particularly related to Genode and provides us with a novel approach to user-level debugging.

Each of the experiments were conducted with concrete goals. The goal for enabling faithful virtualization was to integrate the high-performance Vancouver virtual machine monitor (VMM) into Genode. This VMM implementation used to be tied to a NOVA-specific user land. With Genode 11.11, it becomes apparent how this virtualization technology and Genode's component framework can cross-fertilize.

Our work on paravirtualized Linux was motivated by the goal to execute Android as a node in Genode's process tree. Based on the L4Android project and L4Linux, our work comprised the implementation of Genode-specific stub drivers for L4Linux. This way, L4Linux can be tightly integrated with Genode interfaces for block devices, framebuffer, input, UART, and network.

With Noux, Genode brings along a custom OS-level virtualization approach aiming at the execution of unmodified command-line based GNU software on Genode. The immediate goal for this release was to develop Noux to a level that enables us to run VIM as Genode sub system. This work involved extending the Noux runtime as well as creating a terminal emulator.

For the highest abstraction level of virtualization on Genode, we coined the term application-level virtualization. Enabled by the sandboxing inherent to Genode's architecture, we implemented a solution for user-level debugging via the GNU debugger. The solution fits perfectly with the Genode architecture and provides powerful debugging facilities without compromizing the security of the system.

To learn more about those and many other improvements, please read on the release notes of version 11.11...