Genode OS Framework release 13.11 Nov 28, 2013

In addition to evolving the Genode API to better accommodate dynamic workloads, version 13.11 comes with a host of new features such as Qt5 QML, the Linux TCP/IP as user-level library, file systems based on FUSE, and HDMI support for Exynos-5 and Raspberry Pi.

As follow-up to the inclusion of Qt5 in the previous release, the new version principally enables the most distinctive feature of Qt5, namely QML. QML parts ways with the classical QWidget approach and thereby makes the development of visually appealing applications easier than ever.

Most of the development during the release cycle was dedicated to work on protocol stacks. Thanks to the new implementation of the FUSE API for Genode, FUSE-based file systems have become available to the whole range of supported kernels. In addition, when using Genode on top of the Linux kernel, a new file-system service allows the integration of (parts of) the Linux file system with Genode. To improve the performance of gigabit networking, we supplemented the existing lwIP stack with a fresh port of the Linux TCP/IP stack that we call LXIP. Using LXIP, it becomes possible to execute one or many networking applications, each linked to its own Linux TCP/IP stack.

In line with other releases, version 13.11 comes with improved device drivers. This time, the framework gains HDMI and USB 3.0 storage support for Exynos-5 SoCs as well as graphics and USB HID support for the Raspberry Pi. The added drivers were the only missing pieces to run interactive graphical system scenarios on both platforms.

Among the many further improvements are the switch to C++11, new protocols for enabling dynamic resource balancing, new terminal services, and support for ARM TrustZone on i.MX53. For the full story, please refer to the detailed release documentation of version 13.11...

Genode OS Framework release 13.08 Aug 15, 2013

We celebrate our 5th anniversary with the addition of three major features: Qt5 on all kernels, profound multi-processor support on the NOVA and Fiasco.OC kernels, and light-weight tracing of inter-process communication.

The availability of Qt has always been one of the features that made our framework attractive to the microkernel community. We have closely followed the development of Qt5 and greatly appreciate the direction the Qt developers are heading to. Now that Qt5 has reached a stable state, the time is right for Genode to make the switch from Qt4 to Qt5. With the fresh port of Qt version 5.1 to Genode, Qt becomes available on the entirety of kernels supported by the framework.

Component-based systems use to pose the difficulty of getting a holistic view on the system. The more complex the system scenarios become, the more inter-component communication takes place. Finding performance bottlenecks in such kinds of de-componentized systems tends to be much more challenging than in the world of monolithic systems. To overcome this challenge, the new version comes with tracing support deeply built into the framework. This facility is able to capture the interactions of Genode components between each other in a light-weight fashion with almost no side effects.

As the third major addition, version 13.08 comes with substantial support for multi-processor systems, in particular for using Genode with the NOVA kernel. Within the NOVA developer community, this controversial topic has been discussed for several years. It seemed like NOVA's multi-processor model was inherently contradicting with the design of the Genode API. However, we have finally found a fairly elegant solution that makes multiple CPUs seamlessly available for Genode users on NOVA.

Besides these highlights, the release comes with new SATA 3.0 and power-management drivers for the Samsung Exynos-5 SoC, updates the Fiasco.OC kernel and L4Linux, and introduces measures for verifying the integrity of downloaded 3rd-party source codes.

Those and many more topics are presented in detail in the release documentation of version 13.08...

Genode OS Framework release 13.05 May 30, 2013

The highlights of version 13.05 are new tools for automated testing and benchmarking including a suite of networking benchmarks, added device drivers for the Samsung Exynos 5 and Freescale i.MX SoCs, and new components for the operation of headless systems.

The growing diversity of Genode base platforms, in particular the variety of ARM-based SoCs, calls for quality-assurance measures that go beyond unit testing and Qemu-based integration tests: Genode's base functionality including device drivers need to be continuously tested and measured on real hardware. To automate this task, version 13.05 introduces extensive tooling support including a suite of networking benchmarks that operates on different levels of the networking stack.

Speaking of broadening the hardware support, the new version enhances the existing base of device drivers for ARM-based SoCs with support for SATA, USB-3, eMMC, and networking on Samsung Exynos 5, as well as support for LCD display and touch-screen devices on Freescale i.MX SoCs. Furthermore, it features basic support for the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which is the heart of the popular Raspberry Pi platform.

Apart from the extended pool of device drivers, there is a new facility for capturing LOG data to files stored on a file system, a command-line based user interface for managing Genode subsystems, and the addition of Linux/ARM as Genode base platform.

The full story behind these and many more changes is detailed in the release notes of version 13.05...

Genode OS Framework release 13.02 Feb 28, 2013

The version 13.02 takes a major leap with supporting the NOVA hypervisor by fully embracing IOMMUs and NOVA's virtualization capabilities. Additionally, the framework enables the use of ARM Cortex A15, comes with a new audio interface, and introduces file-system notifications.

Following the tradition to focus the February release on platform improvements, we dedicated the release cycle of version 13.02 to bringing the NOVA platform to new heights, revisiting several framework internals, and exploring the Exynos 5250 SoC based on ARM Cortex A15.

The work on the NOVA platform pursued three goals: Improving the kernel to make it fit for Genode's highly dynamic work loads, leveraging the IOMMU support provided by the kernel, and tightly integrating the Vancouver virtualization solution with the Genode environment. These improvements combined turn NOVA into an intriguing base platform for Genode on x86 machines. Besides the x86 architecture, the framework receives new support for ARM Cortex A15 CPUs in the form of the Exynos 5250 SoC. We enabled Genode on this hardware platform using both our custom kernel as well as the Fiasco.OC kernel.

Even though the current version is primarily focused on platform support, there are noteworthy functional improvements as well. A few highlights are a completely redesigned audio interface, added file-system notification capabilities, and a new fault-detection mechanism.

These and many more improvements are described in elaborative detail in the release notes of version 13.02...

Road Map 2013 Jan 15, 2013

The updated road map provides the background and rough schedule for the advances of the framework planned for 2013.

The road map of 2013 encompasses four major topics: improving the framework infrastructure, using Genode as a self-hosting environment, tooling and optimizations, and hardware support.

Before going into detail about each of those topics, the updated road map document takes the chance to look back at the outcome of 2012. Even though the project largely maintains its main motivation of last year to turn Genode into a real-world general-purpose OS, the planned work reaches out to challenges that lie beyond this immediate goal, in particular multi-processor scalability, support for IOMMUs, extended ARM SoC support, and improved virtualization on x86.

Review our road-map for more details...