1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Lua Scripting Support Added To NetBSD Kernel

Free Software

Published on 17 October 2013 08:41 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
10 Comments

Earlier in the year I wrote about an initiative to bring Lua scripting support to the NetBSD kernel. With a Lua interpreter within the kernel, it would be easy to extend kernel subsystems, prototype new features, and lower the barrier to entry for NetBSD development. Well, that support for Lua has now been officially added to the NetBSD kernel.

While many would be appalled by the idea of having a scripting language interpreter within kernel-space from a security and performance perspective, the NetBSD developers think this approach will work. For the uninformed, Lua is a scripting language that's cross-platform that's fairly easy to use and is supported by a wide variety of applications and use-cases from video games to enterprise software.

The NetBSD kernel isn't going to be rewritten in Lua, but as a way to load scripts from user-space for interacting with various subsystems for prototyping features, debugging, and allow enthusiasts who may not be experts in C to more easily explore the inner-workings of their system.

For increasing the security, new Lua states are empty, there is no access to kernel memory, and functions are accessed through predefined bindings. There's also support for detecting potentially dangerous code at by the byte-code level.

Marc Balmer, the BSD developer that originally talked about NetBSD Lua support back at FOSDEM in February, sent in a note to Phoronix today about the Lua code having been merged. This change by Balmer adds a Lua driver that can create and control Lua states inside the kernel, this change adds the core Lua code to the kernel, and this change adds a "luactl" command for user-space to control the Lua support within the kernel (e.g. loading new code to the kernel).

Hopefully this easier learning curve into NetBSD kernel development will lead more new programmers into toying with its kernel and ideally furthering some of their agendas like making NetBSD as a desktop OS.

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 .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  2. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
  3. 18-GPU NVIDIA/AMD Linux Comparison Of BioShock: Infinite
  4. Phoronix Test Suite 5.6 Adds New Phoromatic Enterprise Benchmarking Features
  5. OpenGL Threaded Optimizations Responsible For NVIDIA's Faster Performance?
  6. Big Graphics Card Comparison Of Metro Redux Games On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Git 2.4.0-rc0 Does A Ton Of Polishing
  2. The Most Common, Annoying Issue When Benchmarking Ubuntu On Many Systems
  3. Mesa Is At Nearly 1,500 Commits This Year
  4. Gestures & Other GTK3 Features For LibreOffice
  5. It's Now Easier To Try PHP 7 On Fedora & RHEL
  6. BQ Is Cleaning Up Their Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Kernel
  7. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  8. NVIDIA Linux 349.12 Beta Has Improved G-SYNC & VDPAU Features
  9. Canonical Just Made It Even Easier To Benchmark Ubuntu Linux In The Cloud
  10. NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X Linux Testing Time
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Introducing The Library Operating System For Linux
  2. AMD Is Hiring Two More Open-Source Linux GPU Driver Developers
  3. New SecureBoot Concerns Arise With Windows 10
  4. Allwinner Caught Obfuscating Their Improperly Licensed Code
  5. Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities Revealed; LibreSSL In Better Shape
  6. GNU Nano 2.4.0 Brings Complete Undo System, Linter Support & More
  7. GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.16.0 Released
  8. Systemd Change Allows For Stateless Systems With Tmpfs