Found on Joanna’s Twitter feed:
Genode is new to me. Genode Labs makes the “Genode OS Framework”. Genode is a new OS, not a new Linux distribution. It is “a GPLv2-licensed construction kit for building specialized operating systems out of small building blocks including different kernels, device drivers, protocol stacks, and applications”. This current release is a major release for Genode. The new documentation is a large 472 page PDF. The current release adds “rudimentary GPT” support. GPT aside, I don’t see any other UEFI-related technology support, only “BIOS” references to firmware.
“Version 15.05 represents the most substantial release in the history of Genode. It is packed with profound architectural improvements, new device drivers, the extension of the supported base platforms, and a brand new documentation. ”
“We understand the complexity of code and policy as the most fundamental security problem shared by modern general-purpose operating systems. Because of high functional demands and dynamic workloads, however, this complexity cannot be avoided. But it can be organized. Genode is a novel OS architecture that is able to master complexity by applying a strict organizational structure to all software components including device drivers, system services, and applications.”
“The current implementation can be compiled for 8 different kernels: Linux, L4ka::Pistachio, L4/Fiasco, OKL4, NOVA, Fiasco.OC, Codezero, and a custom kernel for running Genode directly on ARM-based hardware. Whereas the Linux version serves us as development vehicle and enables us to rapidly develop the generic parts of the system, the actual target platforms of the framework are microkernels. There is no ‘perfect’ microkernel – and neither should there be one. If a microkernel pretended to be fit for all use cases, it wouldn’t be ‘micro’. Hence, all microkernels differ in terms of their respective features, complexity, and supported hardware architectures.
Genode allows the use of each of the kernels listed above with a rich set of device drivers, protocol stacks, libraries, and applications in a uniform way. For developers, the framework provides an easy way to target multiple different kernels instead of tying the development to a particular kernel technology. For kernel developers, Genode contributes advanced workloads, stress-testing their kernel, and enabling a variety of application use cases that would not be possible otherwise. For users and system integrators, it enables the choice of the kernel that fits best with the requirements at hand for the particular usage scenario.”
Inverse Path’s USB Armoury supports Genode as of 15.02: “The Genode OS Framework supports the USB armory since version 15.02 implementing a TrustZone Secure virtual-machine monitor (VMM) supervising Linux running in the Normal world. Support is in the very early stages. The Linux kernel requires minimal patching to be executed in the Normal world, at the moment Martin Stein from Genode Labs provides a repository with a patched kernel.”