Genode OS Framework release 20.11 Nov 27, 2020

Genode 20.11 brings Sculpt OS to 64-bit ARM hardware, introduces dynamic CPU-load balancing, and enables multicore virtualization on ARM. Driver-wise, the release improves audio on PC hardware, and adds VirtIO networking support.

ARM 64-bit has been a recurring theme of the Genode releases this year and the just released version 20.11 is no exception. We are proud to announce that our Genode-based custom general-purpose OS called Sculpt has come to life on 64-bit ARM hardware, namely the NXP i.MX8 EVK board. This is the result of intensive work on the framework's driver architecture for ARM and several SoC-specific device drivers. Closely related to this line of work is the new ability to run multicore virtual machines on ARM.

Another highlight of version 20.11 is a new CPU balancing mechanism, which automates the dynamic assignment of threads to CPU cores for complex workloads. With traditional operating systems, such policies are normally part of the OS kernel. Thanks to Genode's component architecture, we are able to implement such potentially complex policies in the form of an optional component, which offers ultimate flexibility while keeping the kernel untainted by complex heuristics.

Further topics of the current release are improved power management and audio support on PC hardware, a new OSS API emulation that allows for the reuse of popular audio applications on Genode, and new support for VirtIO networking. The full picture is given by the release documentation of version 20.11...