Thursday, May 5, 2011

Microsoft takes a few pointers from the exokernel approach

It seems Microsoft has taken a few pointers from the research done into exokernels and the concept of a library OS. I'll have to research further but I'm not sure what this means for this project just yet.

http://www.osnews.com/story/24696/Microsoft_Drawbridge_OS_Modularity

Friday, March 18, 2011

Git repository now online

I've just pushed the current version of the code to the new Git repository. This is the first push to the project Git repository. Code can be browsed at http://rkexokernel.git.sourceforge.net and instructions for pulling the code to your own local repository can be found at
https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sourceforge/wiki/Git#AccessI'm currently focusing on getting the code to fully compile on linux which has not yet been achieved. The next push will be done once this is achieved.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is an exokernel ?

To understand what an exokernel is the best thing I can do is to direct you towards http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/PDOS-papers.html#Exokernels . This page contains all the papers on exokernels that the PDOS group have published. The one I would recommend starting with is actually a Ph.D. thesis by Dawson Engler http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/exo/theses/engler/thesis.ps . Please note this is a postscript file and you may need to download a viewer for it depending on your operating system.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Project Orion History

A number of years ago I got interested in operating systems. It came about mostly because I was training as a sound engineer and using Windows 98 and Mac OS 9 on the DAWs (digital audio workstations) in the college. I got frustrated with both of them and begin researching about operating systems. I had already used Linux at that stage but I didn't think it was ready to replace the existing solutions. The RADAR24 multi-track machine we used in the main studio ran on BeOS which seemed like an ideal solution but we all know what happened to Be (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_Inc). There is a project called Haiku which "specifically targets personal computing. Inspired by the Be Operating System, Haiku aims to become a fast, efficient, simple to use, easy to learn and yet very powerful system for computer users of all levels" (http://haiku-os.org/) but they had only started at the time I starting thinking about this. It was clear to me that a new approach was needed, one which allowed the computer to be dedicated to a single task and not be used as a general purpose machine which did everything well but nothing brilliantly. An approach which would allow for all the unnecessary crud to be excluded and the performance of the system to be maximised.

So I turned to the internet and started researching operating systems. I even bought myself an expensive book on the subject despite being a poor student at the time. It was at this stage that I first came across the idea on an exokernel and subsequently found the MIT PDOS EXOS page (http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/exo/). After reading all the papers on the subject that I could find I had convinced myself that this was the way to go. So I did a little planning and started this project on Sourceforge. Since then I've had many distractions but now I've come back to this project and want to get some results from it this time around.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New beginnings...

It’s been a while since I first thought about doing this project and there have been many distractions in between then and now. I’ve recently decided to revisit this project and attempt to get some tangible results from it and so I’m taking the first steps to getting the project up and running i.e. website, files, documents, plans etc. I’ll post here each time I add something to the project page, website, repository etc.