The seL4 Microkernel. Security is no excuse for poor performance! The world’s first operating-system kernel with an end-to-end proof of implementation. L4Ka::Pistachio is the latest L4 microkernel developed by the System Architecture Group at the University of Karlsruhe in collaboration with the DiSy group at the. L4 got rid of “long message passing”, in favor of shared memory and interrupt-like IPC. This is great for the kernel – no copying delays and no.

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The key is to move critical services that attackers would wish to exploit into a formally verified sandbox. Although the underlying concepts of the kernel were the same, the new API provided many significant changes relative to previous L4 versions, including better support for multi-processor systems, looser ties between threads and address spaces, and the introduction of user-level thread control blocks UTCBs microkenel virtual registers.

Yeah, the companies’ financial incentive is to ignore the stuff since they’ll get the contracts anyway.

L4 microkernels: The lessons from 20 years of research and deployment | Hacker News

The goal of the project is to show that a SASOS can work on standard hardware, can be made as secure as traditional systems, is not inherently less efficient that traditional systems, and that for some classes of important applications it delivers performance advantages over traditional systems.

The poor performance of first-generation microkernels, such as Machled a number of developers to re-examine the entire microkernel concept in the mids. The L4Ka team has switched to GitHub for all repositories. Here’s the famous verified one: That’s my non-specialist understanding of what the papers said.


The problem here isn’t a lack of formal verification, it’s a lack of people caring. If you were using L4 to build a baseband package, for instance, you probably wouldn’t run a full OS on top of it. It is currently running on x86 and ARM and it is binary compatible with the native Linux kernels. This won’t crash the kernel.

Currently Maintained Kernel Implementations

For me, SeL4’s verification is important because it can actually provide formal real-time guarantees. It was open-sourced in July Genode is open source and commercially supported by Genode Labs. That’s important in real-time systems where a number of tasks are running where one can screw with the other. NOVA micrlkernel of a microhypervisor, a user level virtual-machine monitorand an unprivileged componentised multi-server user environment running on top of it called NUL.

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But unlike Unix, those building blocks include not only applications but also all classical OS functionalities including kernels, device drivers, file systems, and protocol stacks.

Apple mobile application processors beginning with the A7 contain a Secure Enclave coprocessor running an L4 operating system [13] based on the L4-embedded kernel developed at NICTA in Workshop on Isolation and Integration for Dependable Systems. Exactly this — So, someone must have grabbed a copy of the source at that time, and I’d love to have a read through it one day.

Yes, I’d assume it’s more heavily used in the higher-level application layer.

We separated general code like IPC, thread management, and scheduling from platform microiernel code like pagetable management and exception handling. All I have found is a really old version that doesn’t seem to have much in common with the current one. It seems as if your premise is that it’s too complex to verify the application layer. You could do the equivalent of solving world hunger and world peace, but unless you also give everyone in the world a free puppy, you’re going to get bad reviews complaining about the lack of puppies.


The first generation by Liedkte was something like 5 times faster in micrkoernel than Mach solutions hosting L44. Amateurs did a filesystem with a fraction of the work that pro’s did the kernel: There’s an Isabelle spec, a Haskell implementation, and a C implementation which I believe is mechanically generated from the Haskell implementation. Microkernels are designed to let users implement those things on top of them. The OKL4 microkernel was also the first L4 kernel with a capability-based access control model.

For example, in order to implement a secure Unix-like system, servers must provide the rights management that Mach included inside the kernel.

Archived from the original on March 15, Do you know if anyone managed to snag a copy of it? What’s your sense of the number of IoT vulnerabilities that are due to misconstrued OS semantics? Better to take down and restart the driver.