Genode OS Framework 20.11 release Nov 30, 2020

Genode 20.11 add dynamic CPU-load balancing, improves power management and audio on PC hardware, and brings Sculpt OS to 64-bit ARM platforms.

The year is coming to an end, but not before we publish another Genode release.

One year ago, we envisioned running our Sculpt operating system on 64-bit ARM hardware. Genode 20.11 made this vision a reality. Thanks to the intensive development work on the framework's driver architecture for ARM platforms and a zoo of drivers for one concrete SoC - namely NXP's i.MX8 - we are happy to announce that the Sculpt system that we enjoy using on our PC laptops has now become able to run on the i.MX8 EVK board. It goes without saying that more boards are to follow.

The second highlight of version 20.11 is the new ability to balance CPU workloads among multiple CPU cores in a dynamic fashion. This is an important feature for hosting complex multi-threaded application software such as web browsers. Our solution greatly benefits from Genode's architecture, which ultimately allows us to implement a variety of CPU-balancing strategies without adding complexity to the operating-system kernel.

Besides those two major topics, the release features many further improvements ranging from reworked audio support, over multicore virtualization on ARM, to power management on PC hardware. All the details are described in the official release documentation...

New Sculpt OS version 20.08 Sep 30, 2020

Following a bi-annual release cycle for our Sculpt operating system, we are pleased to announce the release of version 20.08 along with a ready-to-use system image and a virtual-machine appliance.

Sculpt OS 20.08 is available for download at It goes without saying that the new version is accompanied with thoroughly updated documentation, available as an online version and as a printable PDF.

The most groundbreaking feature of Sculpt OS 20.08 is the new ability to host the Chromium web engine natively as a component in the form of the Falkon web browser. Thereby, Sculpt users become able to browse the modern web and use state-of-the-art web applications without relying on a virtual machine. You can find this new feature and other improvements covered by the following dedicated article...

Genode OS Framework 20.08 release Aug 29, 2020

The new version 20.08 of the Genode OS framework features a major redesign of the low-level GUI stack, the Chromium web engine, and enhanced ARM platform support.

The most visible topic is our completely redesigned low-level GUI stack that paves the ground for restarting and updating device drivers without reboot, improves input latency, and increases the quality of graphical output.

The second major topic revolves around Qt5 and the Chromium web engine. On our mission to bring the Qt web engine to Genode, we revised Genode's Qt5 integration and work flows, leveraging the regular Qt tool chain. Prompted by the immense pressure that Chromium puts on Genode, the release comes with profound improvements of the framework's POSIX runtime.

Further highlights are the modularization of the CBE block encryptor so that the crypto algorithm and the implementation of a trust anchor can be customized without changing the CBE, a new port of the SDL2 library, the new ability to manage CPU affinities in Sculpt OS, and extended device-driver infrastructure for ARM.

You can find all the details in the release documentation...

Genode OS Framework 20.05 release May 31, 2020

Genode version 20.05 introduces new driver infrastructure for ARM, unifies ARM virtualization support, sandboxes components on the Linux version, and reaches feature-completion of our custom block encrypter.

Just yesterday, we published the version 20.05 of the Genode OS framework, bearing the fruit of our tireless optimization and consolidation work. Two architectural topics stand out most:

First, after having presented the initial version of Sculpt OS on 64-bit ARM hardware in February, we further intensified our ARM-related developments. The release comes with new device- driver framework infrastructure that introduces fine-grained access control to device hardware and fosters the separation between driver mechanisms and platform-specific parametrization. Functionality-wise, we achieved the unification of the formerly distinct virtual machine monitors for 32-bit and 64-bit ARM.

Second, the use of Linux as base platform has become much more tangible. Originally meant as a development vehicle only, this version of Genode used to lack the enforcement of fine-grained access control. However, thanks to the joint efforts with our friends at gapfruit AG, the new version revamps the low-level Linux-specific parts of the framework, sandboxes components via the seccomp mechanism and implements Genode's fine-grained object-capability model based of socket descriptors. This way, the use of Genode on Linux for production is no longer a pipe dream.

Regarding framework features, the most prominent topic is the feature completion of our custom block-level encryption component that we first introduced in Genode 19.11. The new version has become able to perform the cryptographic re-keying and the resizing of the virtual block device on the fly.

Among the many further topics are the improved management of CPU affinities on x86, new tracing utilities, and the updated version of the Genode Foundations book, reflecting the changes of the framework since one year ago. All topics are covered in great detail by the official release documentation...

Excitement about the MNT Reform laptop May 30, 2020

One of the coolest open-hardware projects ever has started its crowd-funding campaign. We are speaking of the Reform laptop created by MNT Research in Berlin.

You may ask why we're thinking so highly of the MNT Reform project?

First, it embodies the ethos that drives us Genode developers, giving the users the ultimate control and confidence over their computing platform. Having a self-determined digital life instead of ever staying at the receiving end of mere consumer products.

Second, the enthusiasm, playfulness, and - at the same time - professional attitude of project leader Lukas Hartmann is almost impossible to resist. Check out his twitter account with your own eyes.

Third, the hardware choices taken by MNT Research are strangely consistent with our perspective. The Reform laptop is based on the very same SoC we have selected to focus on, namely NXP i.MX8.

The goal is set to bring Sculpt OS to the Reform laptop!

The crowd-funding campaign for the MNT Reform is open until mid of June. Visit the campaign website to learn more about this fantastic project:

Our FOSDEM presentations are online Mar 15, 2020

This year's FOSDEM was rich of Genode-related presentations. In the meanwhile, all the talks by Genode Labs have become available online.

On Saturday, Martin Stein presented his experimental kernel named Spunky, which is a re-implementation of Genode's custom kernel in Ada/SPARK.

On Sunday, Norman Feske gave a live demonstration of Sculpt OS. If you are interested in the capabilities of Sculpt OS 20.02, this talk will give you a head start.

Stefan Kalkowski presented our recent development of running Genode on 64-bit ARM platforms, running Sculpt OS live on an i.MX8 board:

Genode OS Framework release 20.02 Feb 28, 2020

With version 20.02, Genode makes Sculpt OS fit for running on i.MX 64-bit ARM hardware, optimizes the performance throughout the entire software stack, and takes the next evolutionary step of the user-facing side of Sculpt OS.

Without any doubt, Sculpt OS has been the driving motivation behind most working topics featured by the new release. One particularly exciting line of work is the enabling of Sculpt on i.MX-based 64-bit ARM hardware, which touched the framework on all levels, from the boot loader, over the kernel, device drivers, libraries, system management, up to the application level. The work goes as far as supporting Sculpt OS as a hypervisor platform for hosting Linux in a virtual machine.

As a second Sculpt-related development, we strive to make the user-visible side of the operating system better approachable and more logical. With this background, the current release comes with a profound redesign of the administrative user interface of Sculpt OS. An updated downloadable system image will follow soon.

Also related to Sculpt are an updated audio driver based on OpenBSD 6.6, the support of virtual desktops, and performance optimization of the Seoul virtual machine monitor on x86 hardware.

Regarding the framework API, the release introduces a new library for building multi-component applications. It aims to bring the benefits of Genode's unique security architecture from the operating-system level to the application level.

These topics are only the tip of the iceberg. For the complete picture, please consult the release documentation of version 20.02...

Road map for 2020 Jan 30, 2020

This year's road map will be concerned with lowering the barriers of entry of using Genode and Sculpt OS.

For our community, commercial Genode users, and us developers alike, it is important to know where Genode is heading. At each turn of the year, we jointly draft a rough plan for the upcoming 12 months. After having kicked off the public discussion on our mailing list end of December and collecting ideas over the following 3 weeks, we condensed the ideas in the form of our official road map:

Our primary ambition will be the removal of the hurdles faced by aspiring developers and users. We will approach this goal in four ways: Making Sculpt OS more user friendly, reinforcing trust in Genode by fostering the framework's high quality, making the tooling around Genode a joy to use, and by presenting tangible use cases.

Besides this overall theme, we plan to continue our commitment to the NXP i.MX SoC family and extend the cultivation of Ada/SPARK within (and on top of) Genode.

postal address:

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  D-01097 Dresden

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