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===============================================
Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 12.08
===============================================
Genode Labs
With Genode 12.08, the project focused on platform support. It enters the world
of OMAP4-based ARM platforms, revived and vastly enhanced the support for the
NOVA hypervisor, and becomes able to run directly on ARM platforms without the
need for an underlying kernel.
The new 'base-hw' platform is a deviation from Genode's traditional approach to
complement existing kernels with user-land infrastructure. It completely leaves
the separate kernel out of the picture and thereby dwarfs the base line of the
trusted computing base of Genode-based systems to approximately the half. The
new base platform is described in Section [Genode on naked ARM hardware].
Speaking of base platforms, we are happy to have promoted the NOVA hypervisor
to a first-class citizen among the base platforms. During the last months, this
kernel underwent fundamental changes regarding its mode of development and its
feature set. This prompted us to vastly improve Genode's support for this
platform and leverage its unique features. If considering the use of Genode on
x86-based hardware, NOVA has become a very attractive foundation. Section
[Embracing the NOVA Hypervisor] describes the NOVA-specific changes.
The improvement of platform support with the current release does not entail
the base platforms only but extends to profound additions of device drivers, in
particular for the ARM-based OMAP4 SoC as used on the popular Pandaboard. We
are proud to announce the availability of device drivers for HDMI output,
SD-card, USB HID, and networking for this platform.
Beyond the low-level platform improvements, the new version comes with several
new services, optimizations of existing components, and new ported libraries.
In particular, the Noux runtime has reached a point where we can principally
execute serious networking applications such as the Lynx web browser natively
on Genode. Another example is the new FFAT-based file-system service, which
makes persistent storage available via Genode's file-system interface. By
combining this new service with existing components such as the partition
service, Noux, or the file-system plugin of the libc, a lot of new application
scenarios become available. Thanks to these new components, the framework has
become able to perform on-target debugging via GDB running in Noux, or host
the genode.org website via the lighttpd web server,
:What about the road map?:
Those of you who track the milestones laid out in our [http:/about/road-map - road map]
may wonder how Genode 12.08 relates to the stated goals. In fact, several
points of the road map haven't received the attention as originally planned.
As an explanation, let us quote the paragraph right atop of the road-map page:
"The road map is not fixed. If there is commercial interest of pushing the
Genode technology to a certain direction, we are willing to revisit our plans."
Well, this is what happened. So we traded the work on the tiled window manager,
the Intel wireless driver, and SMP support for the work on the platform topics
outlined above. Nevertheless, we stick to our overall plan to turn Genode into
a general-purpose OS that is fit for use by its developers by the end of the
year. If looking closely at the additions that come with the current release,
it will become apparent how well they fit into the big picture.
Genode on naked ARM hardware
############################
One of Genode's most distinguishing properties is the ability to use the framework
on top of a range of different kernels. This way, users of the framework
benefit from the wide variety of features provided by those kernels while
only dealing with a single API and configuration concept. For example, we
frequently find ourselves using the Linux kernel as base platform while
developing services, interfaces, and protocol stacks. By being able to start
Genode as a regular program, we effectively eliminate the reboot-time for each
test run and enjoy using commodity debugging and profiling tools. On the other
hand, if high security is a concern, NOVA and Fiasco.OC provide
capability-based security at kernel-level. So the use of one of those kernels
is desirable. Genode allows for switching between those vastly different
kernels almost seamlessly.
In general, a Genode system consists of a kernel, Genode's core, and the
largely generic components on top of core. Core abstracts away the
peculiarities of the respective kernel and provides a unified API to the
components on top. From the application's point of view both kernel and core
are always at the root of the process tree and thereby are a inherent part of
the application's trusted computing base (TCB). The distinction of both
programs is almost superficial.
Since both the kernel and core must be ultimately trusted, the complexity of
both programs is critical for each Genode-based system. On our quest for
minimizing the TCB complexity so far, however, we did not question the role of
the kernel as an inherent part of the TCB and focused our attention to the
software stack on top. However, with more and more kernels entering the
picture, we identified that there is typically a considerable overlap in
functionality between kernel and core. For example, both need to know about
address spaces and their relationship to physical memory objects. Most kernels
keep track of memory mappings in an in-kernel database. Core also needs to keep
track of this information. Consequently, we found several information
replicated without a clear benefit. With this comes a seemingly significant
redundancy of code for data structures, allocators, and utility functions.
Furthermore, there exists a class of problems that must be solved by the kernel
and core alike. In particular the resource management of dynamically allocated
in-kernel objects respectively in-core objects. Whereas core uses Genode's
resource-trading concept to solve this problem, most kernels lack a good
solution for the management of in-kernel resources and are consequently prone
to resource exhaustion problems.
Out of these observations, the idea was born to explore the opportunities of
merging both programs into one and thereby eliminating the redundancies. Our
first attempt to go into this direction was the 'base-mb' platform, which
enabled us to run Genode on the Xilinx MicroBlaze softcore CPU. With this
experiment, we gained confidence that the approach is generally feasible. So we
took on the challenge to implement the idea of a hybrid kernel/core on a more
complex architecture namely ARM Cortex-A9.
The 'base-hw' platform introduced with the current release is the intermediate
result of our experiment. With this base platform, core plays the role of core
and the kernel within one program. A few code paths that require execution in
privileged mode are executed in kernel mode whereas most code paths are
executed in user mode. Both user mode code and kernel mode code run in the same
address space. The kernel portion merely provides a few basic mechanisms
without performing complex operations such as dynamic memory allocations. For
example, if core is requested to create a new thread via core's CPU session
interface, the user-level code within core allocates a KTCB (kernel thread
control block) and UTCB (user-level thread-control block) from the physical
memory allocator and passes both physical addresses to the kernel function that
spawns the actual thread. This way, we can employ Genode's resource-trading
concept for managing typical kernel resources.
The experiment turned out to be a great success. Traditionally, we would account
at least 10,000 lines of code (LOC) for the kernel. Most kernels are actually
much larger than that. Core comes at a complexity of another 10,000 LOC. So
both kernel and core make up a base line of TCB complexity of more than 20,000
LOC. By co-locating core with the kernel, we end up with a program of just
about 13,000 LOC. The vast reduction of TCB complexity compared to having
kernel and core as separate programs strikes us.
The 'base-hw' version of core supports the complete Genode API covering support
for user-level device drivers, synchronous RPCs, asynchronous notifications,
shared memory, and managed dataspaces. It is thereby able to execute the
sophisticated Genode scenarios on top including the GUI, the dynamic linker,
and user-level device drivers. That said, we regard the current version still
as work in progress. We successfully use it as an experimentation platform for
ongoing research activities (i.e., for exploring ARM TrustZone) but some
important features such as capability-based security are not yet implemented.
:Using the base-hw platform:
The new base platform is fully integrated with Genode's build system.
When listing the supported base platforms via the 'tool/create_builddir' tool,
you will see the new 'hw_panda_a2', 'hw_vea9x4', 'hw_pbxa9' choices of
build-directory templates. The latter platform enables you to run a
'base-hw' Genode system on Qemu.
[http://genode.org/documentation/platforms/hw - Learn more about using the new base-hw platform...]
For running Genode directly on the Pandaboard, please refer to the
[http://genode.org/documentation/platforms/hw_panda_a2 - Pandaboard-specific documentation...]
Embracing the NOVA Hypervisor
#############################
NOVA is a so-called microhypervisor for the x86 architecture. It combines the
principles of microkernels with capability-based security and hardware-assisted
virtualization. Among the various base platforms supported by Genode, NOVA's
kernel interface stands out for being extremely minimalistic and orthogonal,
even by microkernel standards.
Genode has supported NOVA as base platform since 2010. But because we used NOVA
solely for sporadic research activities and NOVA's lack of a regular release
schedule, the framework's platform support received only little attention. This
has changed now. NOVA's main developer Udo Steinberg moved from TU Dresden to
Intel Labs where he leads the development of NOVA as a true Open-Source
project. In fact, the code is now being hosted at GitHub:
:[https://github.com/IntelLabs/NOVA]:
NOVA hypervisor at GitHub
Since its move to GitHub, the hypervisor has already seen significant
improvements. The repository is continuously updated, which enables us to stay
in a close feedback loop with the NOVA developers. This change of how NOVA's
development is conducted ignited our renewed interest in promoting this
platform to a first-level citizen of our framework. The first noteworthy
improvement is the recently added 64-bit support of NOVA. We enabled Genode to
work with both variants of the kernel - 32 bit and 64 bit.
But this was just the first step. The second major change addresses the
allocation of kernel resources. Early versions of the hypervisor allowed each
process to create kernel objects and thereby indirectly consume the limited
memory resources of the kernel. This is perfectly fine for a research project
but it becomes a potential denial-of-service problem in real-world use cases.
For this reason, newer versions introduced the ability to retain the allocation
of kernel objects within a trusted component only. In the Genode world, this
component is naturally core. Even though NOVA still lacks a flexible concept for
kernel-resource management as of now, Genode has become able to use NOVA
without suffering the inherent resource management limitation. This is achieved
because core is able to arbitrate the allocation of kernel resources.
The third fundamental change is the abolishment of the last traces of global
names in a NOVA-based Genode system. There are no thread IDs, object IDs, or
any other kind of globally meaningful names. Each process has a local view on
(a small part of) the system only. If a process interacts with another process,
the kernel translates the references to remote objects from one namespace to
the other. The security implications are eminent. First, a process can only
interact with or refer to objects for which it has a name, which vastly reduces
problems of ambient authority. Second, because the kernel translates names, it
becomes impossible to forge object identities. If a process tried to pass a
forged object reference to another process, the translation would simply fail,
rendering the attack ineffective.
The described changes do not come without issues, though. To make the NOVA
kernel fit with Genode's requirements, minor patches of the hypervisor are
needed. The patches are located at 'base-nova/patches/'. However, those patches
are meant as interim solutions until we find mechanisms that fit well with the
design of the hypervisor and also fulfil our requirements.
So far, we greatly enjoyed the revived collaboration with the NOVA developers
and congratulate Udo Steinberg for the new mode of development of the
hypervisor.
Base framework
##############
In the following, we describe changes of the base API that may affect users of
the framework.
:Allocation of DMA buffers:
We extended the RAM session interface with the ability to allocate DMA buffers.
The client specifies the type of RAM dataspace to allocate via the new 'cached'
argument of the 'Ram_session::alloc()' function. By default, 'cached' is true,
which corresponds to the common case and the original behavior. When setting
'cached' to 'false', core takes the precautions needed to register the memory
as uncached in the page table of each process that has the dataspace attached.
Currently, the support for allocating DMA buffers is implemented for Fiasco.OC
only. On x86 platforms, it is generally not needed. But on platforms with more
relaxed cache coherence (such as ARM), user-level device drivers should always
use uncacheable memory for DMA transactions.
:MMIO framework improvements:
As we find ourselves increasingly using the 'Register' and 'Mmio' templates
provided by 'util/register.h' and 'util/mmio.h' for dealing with memory-mapped
devices, we extended the utilities with support for 64-bit registers and a new
interface for polling bit states. The latter functionality is provided by the
new 'wait_for' function template. To decouple the MMIO-related utility code
from an actual timer facility, the function takes a so-called 'delayer' functor
as argument. This way the user of the MMIO framework is able to pick a timer
facility that fits best with the device.
:New 'memcpy' implementation:
The memory-copy functions provided by 'util/string.h' are extremely simple
and arguably slow, particularly on platforms where byte-wise copy operations
are not supported by the CPU (i.e., ARM). Hence, we have added a CPU-specific
memcpy function ('memcpy_cpu') to 'cpu/string.h', which enables us to
provide optimized implementations. So far, we did so for the ARM architecture.
Low-level OS infrastructure
###########################
FFat-based file-system service
==============================
With the previous release, we introduced Genode's file-system interface
accompanied with a simple in-memory file-system service. With the addition of
'ffat_fs', the current release adds the first persistent file system to the
framework. The service is located at 'libports/src/server/ffat_fs'. It uses
Genode's 'Block::Session' interface as back end. Therefore, it can be combined
with any of Genode's block-device drivers and the partition service called
'part_blk'. To see the new 'ffat_fs' service in action, please refer to the new
'libports/run/libc_ffat_fs.run' script.
On the course of our work on the 'ffat_fs' service, we enabled support for long
file names in libffat and added 'lseek' support to the 'libc_ffat' plugin.
TAR-based file-system service
=============================
The new 'tar_fs' service located at 'os/src/server/tar_fs' provides a read-only
file-system session interface by reading data from a TAR archive, which, in
turn, is fetched from a ROM service. By combining 'tar_fs' with the 'libc_fs'
plugin, it becomes easy to provide customized pseudo file systems to individual
Genode programs. For example, one instance of 'tar_fs' containing a static
website and a web-server configuration can be provided as file system to a web
server. The configuration is similar to the patterns known from the 'tar_rom'
and 'ram_fs' servers:
! <config>
! <archive name="tar_archive.tar" />
! <policy label="label_of_client" root="/rootdir/for/client" />
! </config>
The policy node allows for assigning different parts of one TAR archive to
different clients. For a practical usage example of 'tar_fs', please refer to
the 'libports/run/libc_fs_tar_fs.run' script.
Terminal improvements
=====================
Our work on running a growing number of command-line-based Unix programs via
Noux prompted us to improve our terminal implementation as needed. To ease
debugging for terminal colors, we changed the previous default color scheme to
fully saturated combinations of red, green, and blue. Albeit this looks quite
painful on the eyes, it is easier to spot wrong colors when using a program
that uses ncurses, for example Lynx. Furthermore, we added the handling of
sgr0 and sgr escape sequences and thereby enabled Lynx to become almost
usable when running within Noux.
Terminal cross-link service
===========================
The 'Terminal::Session' interface gets increasingly popular within Genode.
It is used by the UART drivers, the graphical terminal, GDB monitor, the TCP
terminal, and Noux. For most of these programs, their respective client or
server role is quite clear but we find ourselves tempted to combine components
in unusual ways. For example, to let Noux run an instance of GDB, which operates
on a terminal via a virtual character device. For remote debugging, GDB plays
the role of a terminal client and the UART driver plays the role of the server.
But when running GDB monitor on the same machine, GDB monitor will also
expect to play the role of the client. In order to connect GDB monitor
to a local instance of GDB, both of them being terminal clients, we need an
adapter component. This is where the new terminal cross-link service enters
the picture. It plays the role of a terminal server between exactly two
clients. The output of one client ends up as input to the other and vice
versa. Data sent to the server gets stored in a buffer of 4096 bytes (one
buffer per client). As long as the data to be written fits into the buffer, the
'write()' call returns immediately. If no more data fits into the buffer, the
'write()' call blocks until the other client has consumed some of the data from
the buffer via the 'read()' call. The 'read()' call never blocks. A signal
receiver can be used to block until new data is ready for reading.
The new terminal crosslink can be tested via the 'os/run/terminal_crosslink.run'
script. It is also used for the just mentioned on-target debugging scenario
demonstrated by the 'ports/run/noux_gdb.run' script.
DMA-aware and optimized packet streams
======================================
Motivated by our work on OMAP4 platform support, we introduced API extensions
for handling of DMA buffers to the following interfaces:
:'Attached_ram_dataspace':
The convenience utility for allocating and locally mapping a RAM dataspace
has been enhanced with the 'cached' constructor argument, which is true
by default. When using 'Attached_ram_dataspace' for allocating DMA buffers,
this argument should be set to false.
:Block and network packet stream:
The 'Block::Session' and 'Nic::Session' interfaces use Genode's packet stream
facility for transferring bulk payload between processes. A packet stream
combines shared memory with asynchronous notifications and thereby facilitates
the use of batched packet processing. To principally enable zero-copy semantics
for device drivers, the packet-stream buffer is now explicitly allocated as DMA
buffer. This clears the way to let the SD-card driver direct DMA transactions
right into the packet stream buffer. Consequently, when attaching the SD-card
driver directly to a file system, there is no copy of payload needed.
The 'Nic::Session' interface has further been improved by using a fast
bitmap allocator for allocations within the packet-stream buffer. This is
possible because networking packets have the MTU size as an upper limit.
In contrast to the 'Block::Session' interface where requests are relatively
large, 'Nic::Session' packets are tiny, and thus, greatly benefit from the
optimized allocator.
Libraries and applications
##########################
C runtime
=========
:File I/O:
We complemented our C runtime with support for the 'pread', 'pwrite', 'readv',
and 'writev' functions. The 'pread' and 'pwrite' functions are shortcuts for
randomly accessing different parts of a file. Under the hood, the functions are
implemented via 'lseek' and 'read/write'. To provide the atomicity of the
functions, a lock guard prevents the parallel execution of either or both
functions if called concurrently by multiple threads. The 'readv' and 'writev'
functions principally enable the chaining of multiple I/O requests.
Furthermore, we added 'ftruncate', 'poll', and basic support for (read-only)
mmapped files to the C runtime.
:Libc RPC framework headers:
Certain RPC headers of the libc are needed for compiling 'getaddrinfo.c'.
Unfortunately that means we have to generate a few header files, which we do
when we prepare the libc.
New and updated 3rd-party libraries
===================================
:Expat:
[http://expat.sourceforge.net - Expat] is an XML parsing library. The port of
this library was motivated by our goal to use the GNU debugger for on-target
debugging. GDB depends on this library.
:MPC and GMP:
We complemented our existing port of the
[http://gmplib.org - GNU multiple precision arithmetic library (libgmp)] with
support for the x86_64 and ARM architectures. This change combined with the
port of the [http://www.multiprecision.org/index.php?prog=mpc - MPC library]
enables us to build the Genode tool chain for these architectures.
:OpenSSL:
Our port of OpenSSL has been updated to version 1.0.1c. Because libcrypto
provides certain optimized assembler functions, which unfortunately are not
expressed with position-independent code, we removed this assembler code and
build libcrypto with '-DOPENSSL_NO_ASM'. Because the assembler code is not
needed anymore, its generation is also removed from 'openssl.mk'.
:Light-weight IP stack (lwIP):
We enabled the lwIP TCP/IP stack for 64-bit machines and updated the library to
version 1.4.1-rc1. With the new version, the call of 'lwip_loopback_init' is
not needed anymore because lwIP always creates a loopback device. Hence, we
will be able to remove the 'libc_lwip_loopback' in the future. For now, we keep
it around so we currently do not need to update the other targets that depend
on it.
:PCRE:
[http://www.pcre.org/ - PCRE] is a library for parsing regular rexpressions. We
require this library for our ongoing work on porting the lighttpd webserver.
Lighttpd web server
===================
The [http://www.lighttpd.net/ - Lighttpd] web server has been added to the
'ports' repository. The port runs as a native Genode application and ultimately
clears the way to hosting the genode.org website on Genode. To test drive this
scenario, please give the 'ports/run/genode_org.run' script a try.
At the current stage, the port is still quite limited. For example, it does not
make use of non-blocking sockets yet. But the 'genode_org.run' run script
already showcases very well how simple a Genode-based web-server appliance can
look like.
Device drivers
##############
OMAP4 platform drivers
======================
:HDMI output:
The new HDMI driver at 'os/src/drivers/framebuffer/omap4' implements Genode's
'Framebuffer::Session' interface by using the HDMI output of OMAP4. The current
version sets up a fixed XGA screen mode of 1024x768 with the RGB565 pixel
format.
:SD-card:
The new SD card driver at 'os/src/drivers/sd_card/omap4' allows the use of a
HDSD card with the Pandaboard as block service. The driver can be tested using
the 'os/run/sd_card.run' script. Because it implements the generic
'Block::Session' interface, it can be combined with a variety of other
components such as 'part_blk' (for accessing individual partitions) or
'ffat_fs' for accessing a VFAT file system on the SD card.
The driver uses the master DMA facility of the OMAP4 SD-card controller, which
yields to good performance at low CPU utilization. The throughput matches (and
in some cases outperforms) the Linux kernel driver. In the current version,
both modes of operation PIO and DMA are functional. However, PIO mode is
retained for benchmarking purposes only and will possibly be removed to further
simplify the driver.
:USB HID:
The OMAP4-based Pandaboard relies on USB for attaching input devices.
Therefore, we need a complete USB stack to enable the interactive use of the
board. Instead of implementing a USB driver from scratch, we built upon the USB
driver introduced with the Genode release 12.05. This driver was ported from the
Linux kernel.
:Networking:
The Pandaboard realizes network connectivity via the SMSC95xx chip attached to
the USB controller. Therefore, we enhanced our USB driver with support for USB
net and the smsc95xx driver. In addition to enabling the actual device-driver
functionality, the USB stack has received much attention concerning performance
optimizations. To speed up the allocation of SKBs, we replaced the former
AVL-tree based allocator with a fast bitmap allocator. For anonymous
allocations, we introduced a slab-based allocator. Furthermore, we introduced
the distinction between memory objects that are subjected to DMA operations
from non-DMA memory objects. The most profound conceptual optimization is the
use of transmit bursts by the driver. The Linux kernel, which our driver
originates from, does not provide an API for transmitting multiple packets as a
burst. For our driver, however, this optimization opportunity opened up thanks
to Genode's packet stream interface, which naturally facilitates the batching
of networking packets. So the driver has all the information needed to create
burst transactions.
USB driver
==========
By testing our new USB driver on a variety of real PC hardware, we discovered
several shortcomings, which we resolved. In particular, we added support for
more than one UHCI controller, make sure that the 'PIRQ' bit in the legacy
support register (PCI config space) of the UHCI controller is enabled and that
the 'Trap on IRQ' bit is disabled.
With those modifications in place, the USB driver works reliably on the tested
platforms.
Runtime environments
####################
Noux
====
Noux enables the easy reuse of unmodified GNU software on Genode by providing
a Unix-like kernel interface as user-level service. Because Noux is pivotal for
our plan to use Genode for productive work, we significantly enhanced and
complemented its feature set.
:Noux on ARM and x86_64:
For keeping the scope of the development manageable, the initial version of
Noux was tied to the x86_32 platform. This was not a principal limitation of
the approach but rather an artificial restriction to keep us focused on
functionality first. Now that Noux reaches a usable state, we desire to use it
on platforms other than x86_32. The current release enables Noux for the 64-bit
x86 and ARM architectures.
The level of support is pretty far-reaching and even includes the building and
execution of the Genode tool chain on those platforms. In the process of
enabling these platforms, we updated the Noux package for GCC to version 4.6.1,
which matches the version of the current Genode tool chain.
:Terminal file system:
Noux supports the concept of stacked file systems. The virtual file system
is defined at the start of a Noux instance driven by the static Noux
configuration. This way, arbitrary directory structures can be composed out
of file-system sessions and TAR archives. The VFS concept allows for the
easy addition of new file system types. To allow programs running in a Noux
instance to communicate over a dedicated terminal session, we added a new
file-system type that corresponds to a virtual character device node attached
to a terminal session.
:GDB running in the Noux environment:
With the terminal file system in place, we are ready to execute GDB within
Noux and let it talk to a GDB monitor instance over the terminal session
interface. From GDB's point of view, the setup looks like a remote debugging
session. But in reality both the debugging target and GDB reside in different
subtrees of the same Genode system.
:Executing shell scripts:
By inspecting the program specified to the execve system call, Noux has become
able to spawn scripts that use the '#!' syntax. If such a file is detected, it
executes the specified interpreter instead and passes the arguments specified
after the '#!' marker, followed by command-line arguments.
:Networking support:
Our work on porting various networking tools to Noux triggers us to steadily
improve the networking support introduced with Genode 12.05. In particular, we
added proper support for DNS resolving, which enables us to execute the
command-line based Lynx web browser within Noux.
:User information:
Because there are certain programs, which need the information that is stored
in 'struct passwd', we introduced configurable user information support to
Noux. One can set the user information via the '<user>' node in the Noux
config:
! <config>
! <user name="baron" uid="1" gid="1">
! <shell name="/bin/bash" />
! <home name="/home" />
! </user>
! ...
! </config>
When '<user>' is not specified, default values are used. Currently these
are 'root', 0, 0, '/bin/bash', '/'. Note that this is just a single user
implementation because each Noux instance has only one user or rather one
identity and there will be no complete multi-user support in Noux. If you need
different users, just start new Noux instances for each of them.
:New '/dev/null' and '/dev/zero' pseudo devices:
These device are mandatory for most programs (well, at least null is required
to be present for a POSIX compliant OS, which Noux is actually not). But for
proper shell-script support we will need them anyway. Under the hood, both
pseudo devices are implemented as individual file-systems and facilitate Noux's
support for stacked file systems. The following example configuration snippet
creates the pseudo devices under the '/dev' directory.
! <config>
! <fstab>
! <dir name="dev" >
! <null /> <zero />
! </dir>
! ...
! <fstab>
! ...
! </config>
Vancouver
=========
The comprehensive rework of the NOVA base platform affected the Genode version
of the Vancouver virtual machine monitor as this program used to speak directly
to the NOVA kernel. Since no kernel objects can be created outside of core
anymore, the Vancouver port had to be adjusted to solely use Genode interfaces.
L4Linux
=======
To improve the stability and performance of L4Linux on OMAP4 platforms, we
reworked parts of the Genode-specific stub drivers, in particular the
networking code. Among the improvements are the use of a high-performance
allocator for networking packets, improved IRQ safety of IPC calls (to
the Genode world), and tweaks of the TCP rmem and wmem buffer sizes to
achieve good TCP performance when running Linux with little memory.
Furthermore, we added two ready-to-use run scripts residing within
'ports-foc/run' as examples for executing L4Linux on the OMAP4-based
Pandaboard. The 'linux_panda.run' script is meant as a blue print for
experimentation. It integrates one instance of L4Linux with the native SD-card
driver, the HDMI driver, and the USB HID input driver. The
'two_linux_panda.run' script is a more elaborative example that executes two
instances of L4Linux, a block-device test, and a simple web server. Each of
the L4Linux instances accesses a different SD-card partition whereas the
block-device test operates on a third partition.
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