Genode OS Framework release 15.05 May 26, 2015

For the first time, a Genode release is accompanied by a book. Further highlights of the current release are vast improvements of our base-hw kernel, preliminary support for the seL4 microkernel, new device-driver infrastructure, and plenty of new device drivers.

With version 15.05, we equip Genode users with comprehensive documentation in the form of the free book "Genode Foundations". The book covers the architecture in great detail, assists developers with the explanation of the development environment and system configuration, and provides insights behind the scenes of the framework. Furthermore, the book contains the specification of the framework's programming interfaces.

Besides the documentation, the second highlight of the release is the base-hw kernel, which enables the execution of Genode without a 3rd-party microkernel. Our kernel, originally designed for the ARM architecture, has become able to run on the 64-bit x86 architecture, it received support for kernel-protected capabilities, and its scheduler got much more flexible.

Even though we invest a lot of work in our custom kernel, the biggest strength of Genode is its ability to leverage the benefits of different kernels. With the current release, we introduce preliminary support to run simple system scenarios on top of the seL4 microkernel. With seL4, there is now the prospect of running Genode on top of a formally verified kernel.

At the framework's architectural level, we took the opportunity to redesign the infrastructure for user-level device drivers. With this release, device drivers become subjected to rigid access control with respect to hardware resources. Along with this architectural change, there are massive improvements of the device driver support. There is a new AHCI driver, new audio drivers ported from OpenBSD, new SD-card drivers, added platform support for i.MX6, and support for message-signalled interrupts on x86-based machines.

A detailed description of all the improvements is provided by the release documentation of version 15.05...