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"The World's Most Highly-Assured OS" Kernel Open-Sourced

Free Software

Published on 29 July 2014 08:10 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
60 Comments

The seL4 kernel that's an advanced, security-enhanced version of the L4 micro-kernel has been open-sourced by General Dynamics C4 Systems and NICTA.

The seL4 kernel is aimed to be used by highly secure and reliable systems. The open-source seL4 project proclaims, "the world's first operating-system kernel with an end-to-end proof of implementation correctness and security enforcement. It is still the world's most highly-assured OS." The seL4 developers also believe, "to the best of our knowledge, seL4 is the world's fastest microkernel on the supported processors, in terms of the usual ping-pong metric: the cost of a cross-address-space message-passing (IPC) operation."

The seL4 kernel source code is opened up under the GPLv2 and 2-clause BSD license. The timing of this open-sourcing was done in honor of today, The International Proof Day, with this being five years since the completion of seL4's functional correctness proof.

SeL4 supports ARMv6, ARMv7, and x86 hardware. SeL4 is capable of running on Intel Haswell x86 hardware and older while the supported ARM platforms range from the OMAP3 BeagleBoard to the Exynos ODROIDs on the ARM side. It is worth noting that seL4 is able to run Linux on top in a virtual machine on x86. You can learn more via the seL4 FAQs.

Those wishing to learn more can visit seL4.systems. The code to the seL4 kernel is hosted on GitHub.

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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