Lua Scripting Support Being Added To NetBSD Kernel
Support for the Lua scripting language is being added to the NetBSD kernel so that it's possible to interact with the BSD kernel's various subsystems using this popular scripting language. With a Lua interpreter being added to the kernel, it's even possible to extend the kernel's subsystems in this scripting language.
Support for NetBSD kernel scripting using Lua has been an ongoing project that dates back to 2010 with the "Lunatik" project originating from that year's Google Summer of Code. The original work involved porting a Lua scripting language interpreter into the NetBSD kernel, a kernel programming interface that supports extending kernel subsystems in Lua, and a interface exposed to user-space for loading Lua scripts inside the kernel. This will certainly spark mixed views on a scripting language for the kernel, aside from security concerns.
From the 2010 work there's a few more details within the SourceForge Luakern project, but is since outdated. Earlier this month at FOSDEM 2013, Marc Balmer talked about Lua for the NetBSD kernel.
The "Lua in the kernel" project fell into an unmaintained state in 2012, but is being revived and will actually be merged. For those not familiar with the Lua programming language, it's a scripting language that's extensible, written in ISO C, and has a fairly straightforward C API. Lua has found itself widely adopted from being used within the VLC Media Player to video games as the scripting language to the Apache HTTP server. Now support is heading into the NetBSD kernel for Lua.
Micro Systems. His slides about his FOSDEM 2013 presentation of Lua going into the kernel can now be found on FOSDEM.org while embedded below are some of the most interesting points.
It will be interesting to see if Lua scripting in the NetBSD kernel ends up being used much or if it is a feature just used as a toy and research. The release of NetBSD 7.0 is likely still more than one year away, but we'll keep monitoring the space of Lua scripting in the NetBSD kernel.
Read more of the Phoronix FOSDEM 2013 coverage.