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Genode OS 12.05 Brings Interesting New Features

Operating Systems

Published on 31 May 2012 07:14 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems
14 Comments

Genode OS, the popular open-source framework OS, released version 12.05 and it includes several new features like a brand new USB stack, support for the GCC tool-chain, and improved media support.

From the Genode.org release notes:
The best way to characterize version 12.05 of the Genode OS Framework is to dub it as feature release. Among the numerous additions of new functionality are a new USB stack, media replay capabilities, and the ability to run the GNU tool chain including GCC, G++, Binutils, and GNU Make directly on Genode. That said, the current release is not short of architectural improvements either. The highlights are the introduction of Genode's file-system infrastructure and a new concept for the dynamic adjustment of the system's behaviour at runtime.

The release follows the rough plan we laid out in our road map. One planned road-map item was revisiting our base of device drivers as we realized that some important drivers were not on par with our requirements, the USB stack being the most important example. Our prior existing solution was originally ported from Linux 2.6.20. It is needless to say that this version is severely limited when it comes to the use of modern hardware. Instead of continuing to walk the path of the existing solution, we took the chance to fundamentally re-approach the problem of porting a complex driver subsystem from the Linux kernel. We are happy to have found a new methodology that promises to become a much more sustainable solution for Genode. The rationale behind the new development is described in detail in section Re-approaching the Linux device-driver environment.

The second major road-map item refers to the Noux runtime environment, which enables us to run a growing number of unmodified GNU programs natively on Genode. The abilities of Noux have taken a giant leap forward. The two most significant improvements are the support of stacked file systems and networking support. With those in place, we have become able to run most parts of the Genode tool chain including GCC, G++, Binutils, and GNU Make via Noux. Thanks to the added networking support, we are able to use basic networking tools such as netcat as well.

The third topic according to the road map is file-system support. Version 12.05 contains the groundwork for this domain. The foundation is the new file-system session interface. A first implementation of this interface is available in the form of an in-memory file system. To enable the use of Genode's file-system facilities by applications, we added support to the C runtime as well as to Noux.
Genode is the OS that previously ported Gallium3D and GEM, introduced new means of virtualization, and is now aspiring to be a general purpose OS. They have very ambitious plans for this year.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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