Genode OS Framework release 17.08 Oct 01, 2017

The highlights of Genode 17.08 are our new GPU multiplexer, enhanced seL4 support, package management, and enhanced GUI elements.

Besides the addition of our new GPU multiplexer for Intel platforms and the vastly improved support for the seL4 kernel, the new version features UEFI-boot support, the ability to deploy Genode scenarios as Xen domains using Genode's regular work flows, package management, enhanced GUI widgets, and our custom VFS infrastructure.

Those and more topics are covered in full detail by the official release documentation.

GPU multiplexer for Intel platforms Oct 01, 2017

Our new GPU multiplexer for Intel GMA hardware applies the microkernel approach to the domain of GPUs.

Modern commodity operating systems are almost unthinkable without support for graphics processing units (GPUs), which is not only expected by games but also leveraged by web browsers, media applications, and desktop environments. The use of GPUs also helps to conserve battery time in mobile computing since the GPU relieves the main processor from CPU-intensive graphics work.

On the other hand, GPU support involves extremely complex software stacks in both the OS kernel and in the form of user-level libraries. For an operating system like Genode that is designed for high security, it would be irresponsible to inflate its trusted computing base with this amount of complexity. Fortunately, recent generations of Intel GPUs come with hardware features like per-process graphics- translation tables or hardware contexts, which were introduced to accommodate virtualization. Over the past 18 months, we investigated possible ways to leverage these features for Genode.

The result of this line of work is a new GPU multiplexer component. This component applies the microkernel approach to the domain of GPUs. With less than 5000 lines of code, it has marginal impact on the trusted computing base while making GPU hardware resources available as virtual GPUs to trusted and untrusted applications running side by side. At the client side, the new GPU multiplexer is accompanied with the library infrastructure needed to accommodate regular OpenGL applications. With the new component, the use of hardware-accelerated graphics and high security are no longer a contradiction.

Genode/seL4 comes to the ARM and 64-bit x86 Oct 01, 2017

Genode/seL4 becomes available on the ARM and 64-bit x86 architectures.

Our continuous engagement with the seL4-kernel community continues. Until now, Genode supported this kernel only for the 32-bit x86 architecture though, which has become almost irrelevant in practice. This summer, we have broadened the platform support with the addition of the ARM and 64-bit x86 architectures. On ARM, we specifically enabled the WandBoard Quad, which is based on a NXP i.MX6 SoC.

We furthermore enabled multiprocessor support for x86 and thread- priority support for all seL4 platforms. Additionally, we were able to utilize the seL4 benchmark interface for Genode's trace infra- structure in order to obtain utilization information about threads and CPUs.

These changes advance Genode's seL4 support from an experimental level to a state where it becomes suitable for sophisticated application scenarios on widely used hardware architectures.

postal address:

  Genode Labs GmbH
  Dammweg 2
  D-01097 Dresden

visiting address:

  Genode Labs GmbH
  Friedrichstr. 26
  D-01067 Dresden

phone:

  +49 351 3282613

email:

  info@genode-labs.com