http://www.advogato.org/article/1013.htmlBarelfish. Have anybody heard such a beast?
Not somewhere behind the steel walls - in the academic silence of ETH university Microsoft is building the next generation of its operating system. Maybe this single department is not the only place where it is trying – I am more toward thinking this is happening it at least ten places worldwide.
Yet, very interesting to observe such change of strategy. I have discovered this growing project absolutely by chance – it has been announced in the lecture I was present. The lecture was given by the professor on a clearly Linux laptop and covered many great topics on Mach and L4. They really seem knowing a lot of things and they say they put into the new system lots of recent discoveries that neither Windows nor Linux implements. It looks like Microsoft seems understanding itself that having everything secret and locked is actually not so good, at least for beginning – a scientific project with articles and discussions is better. Interesting a lot to hear such news about a company like this. How this new system is looking like? As I understand, the main focus in on scalability with multiple cores. On usual systems the performance degrades if the heavy traffic between cores is involved – Barrelfish is minimizing all shared state up till level when the cores only exchange explicit messages, avoiding to use any shared memory. Also, instead of fully isolating program from device via driver, Barrelfish has a kind of database where lots of low level information about the hardware can be found. The kernel is single threaded and non preemptive. Scheduling is coupled with the message passing, an arrival of the message simply activates the waiting thread. It also uses a little bit of the microkernel concepts, running drivers in protected space, like L4 and in general pushing a lot into application domains. Well, nobody would post such an article here without knowing that the first release is going to be FOSS – under BSD license. Hence it may well be that in the case of success the Microsoft fork may not be the only. I asked for the code but they say they are not releasing yet. Ok, let's keep watching http://www.barrelfish.org/ - this server runs that new operating system.
Mais info sobre o Barrelfish:
http://www.barrelfish.org/The Barrelfish Operating System
Barrelfish is a new operating system being built from scratch in a collaboration between researchers at ETH Zurich and Microsoft Research, Cambridge. We are exploring how to structure an OS for future multi- and many-core systems. We are motivated by two closely related trends in hardware design: first, the rapidly growing number of cores, which leads to a scalability challenge, and second, the increasing diversity in computer hardware, requiring the OS to manage and exploit heterogeneous hardware resources.
Theses, reports, etc.
- Andrew Baumann, Paul Barham, Pierre-Evariste Dagand, Tim Harris, Rebecca Isaacs, Simon Peter, Timothy Roscoe, Adrian Schüpbach, and Akhilesh Singhania. The multikernel: A new OS architecture for scalable multicore systems. To appear in Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Symposium on OS Principles, Big Sky, MT, USA, October 2009. [ DRAFT .pdf, note this is not the final version ]
- Andrew Baumann, Simon Peter, Adrian Schüpbach, Akhilesh Singhania, Timothy Roscoe, Paul Barham, and Rebecca Isaacs. Your computer is already a distributed system. Why isn't your OS? In Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems, Monte Verità, Switzerland, May 2009. [ .pdf ]
- Adrian Schüpbach, Simon Peter, Andrew Baumann, Timothy Roscoe, Paul Barham, Tim Harris, and Rebecca Isaacs. Embracing diversity in the Barrelfish manycore operating system. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Managed Many-Core Systems, Boston, MA, USA, June 2008. [ .pdf ]
- Pierre-Evariste Dagand. Language Support for Reliable Operating Systems. Master's thesis, ENS Cachan-Bretagne – University of Rennes, France, June 2009. [ .pdf ]