Final project for cs4414
Rust Assembly D
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rust-core @ 790f7c5


A fork of rustboot focusing on ARM functionality and aiming to extend it into a more fully functional kernel. Setup instructions below cribbed also from rustboot.


You need a few things to run ironkernel:

  1. rust-core
  2. Rust's master branch or 0.9 release
  3. qemu
  4. llvm
  5. binutils for arm-none-eabi
  6. Optionally for debugging
  • gdb
  • tmux

Clone this repository and update rust-core.

$ git clone
$ cd ironkernel
$ git submodule update --init
### you can also pull latest rust-core:
$ git submodule foreach git pull origin master

Arch Linux

Simply install all dependencies:

# pacman -S base-devel qemu rust llvm tmux
# yaourt -S arm-none-eabi-gcc

Note that you will want Rust 0.9 and LLVM 3.4


To set things up on OSX, do this:

Install nasm and qemu from homebrew:

$ brew install nasm
$ brew install qemu


Install binutils from source.

tar xzvf binutils-2.23.2.tar.gz
cd binutils-2.23.2
export ARMTOOLS=~/arm-none-eabi
./configure --target=arm-none-eabi --prefix=$ARMTOOLS
make all install

To get edge Rust going, grab it from git:

$ git clone
$ cd rust
$ ./configure
$ make && make install

Running it

You may have to make some small changes before it builds. Namely, you may need to adjust the rust prefix in the makefile (I did). Hopefully nothing else. To compile, simply execute make command.

To run, use:

$ make run	# emulate default platform (ARM)
$ make debug # debug on arm

Heap memory allocation modification

This Iron Kernel version includes safeguards around the heap memory system to prevent user-level programs and processes from directly accessing memory and from interfering with memory space assigned to another program/process. System of providing keys to programs is used as a method to provide memory abstraction to programs. The programs use these keys to access their information stored in memory. The actual location of the program in memory is be stored in a hash table as a pointer. The keys to those locations are an offset of the location of the hash table in memory. In order to further improve security of the system, the offset is encrypted and sent back as the key instead of being directly mapped to a location in the hash table. The location for the hash table in memory is placed under safeguards to prevent access to that specific part of memory unless a specific key is provided or a new program was started.