Genode at FOSDEM Jan 04, 2012

Meet us at FOSDEM 2012, to be held on 4-5 February in Brussels.

FOSDEM is one of the world's largest events of the Free-Software and Open-Source-Community.

This year, it will feature a dev room specifically dedicated to multi-server and microkernel-based operating systems. The list of participating projects include HelenOS, MINIX, GNU Hurd, and Genode. The dev room will host talks, discussion sessions, and demonstrations. Among the talks, there will be an introduction of the Genode OS Framework presented by Norman Feske:


Today's operating systems try to find a balance between seemingly conflicting goals. Ease of use is traded against security, resource utilization is traded against resource accountability, and system complexity is traded against scalability. For example, SELinux is ill famed as hard to use and consequently remains widely unused. As another example, isolation kernels minimize the complexity of critical system software but at the cost of limiting these solutions to static applications.

The Genode OS architecture shows how these apparently inherent conflicts can be solved by operating-system design. By combining a recursive system structure with capability-based security, mandatory access control becomes easy to deploy. At the same time, the trusted computing base can be minimized for each application individually such that the attack surface for security-critical system functions gets reduced by orders of magnitude compared to existing approaches. Furthermore, a concept for trading physical resources among processes allows for dynamic workloads while maintaining quality of service. That is not just theory - the system is ready for demonstration and its developers are planning to use it as development environment by the end of 2012.

After a brief introduction of where Genode comes from, the main part of the talk will be focused on the OS architecture and give a glimpse at the implementation via live demonstrations. Finally, the talk will briefly discuss the planned steps towards using Genode as general-purpose OS.

For everyone interested in operating systems in general and microkernel technology in particular, this year's FOSDEM is a great opportunity to get in touch. We are looking forward to meeting you in Brussels!