Release of Sculpt TC

Alexander Boettcher alexander.boettcher at
Fri Jun 15 00:17:49 CEST 2018

On 13.06.2018 17:30, Paul Boddie wrote:
> That said, it has taken a while for me to navigate the L4Re documentation in a 
> half-way effective fashion, so I rather get the impression that I might not be 
> amongst the target audiences for some of the materials being produced. 
> Ultimately, I didn't see a compelling reason to switch to Genode from a 
> perusal of the documentation and the code for a number of reasons.

Sorry to hear that you're not comfortable with our documentation.
Constructive criticism is welcome and will certainly increase the
quality of the documentation in the future. Unfortunately, we must
missed your mails so far.

Some notes for the target audience:

Genode framework documentation sources are:

- the Genode foundations book - -
updated every year
- the 3 monthly release notes -
- and further more -

The Genode book is considered (as told us by externals repeatedly) as
unique feature among the other projects in this area. It is a very good
starting point.

The 3 monthly release notes of Genode are a comprehensive description of
the most prominent changes between the releases - in textural and mostly
in graphical form.

The spectrum of documentation varies of course between projects, but I
wouldn't consider Genode at the lower end of the spectrum.

What you also may can get: no documentation (or at least not publicly
available), or just source code dumps without any release notes or if
you're lucky squashed together commits as kind of release notes. There
are further bizarre combinations imaginable.

> Firstly, as the list members reading my messages can attest, having had to 
> endure them, I have been using Fiasco.OC because it supports the MIPS 
> architecture. I see that Genode supports a selection of microkernels, but this 
> support appears rather inconsistent, and I suppose this is the reason why 
> Sculpt only targets x86_64.

If you want to reach a broad audience to show the potential of Sculpt
TC, MIPS or ARM machines are not that common on a normal user desk. A
spare x86 machine and/or ready-to use x86 virtualization solutions are
around the next corner.

Second, supporting and testing all combinations of architectures and of
kernels in the first evolution steps of Sculpt is economically absurd,
but this is obvious.(Actually, there are many ready to use packages
around for the other kernels and architectures of course.)

Third, unfortunately - not all supported kernels are fit enough to
survive the heavy dynamic load put on them by Sculpt/Genode. Reasons are
manifold, reaching from kernel crashes&bugs over to not yet enabled
features because of missing time or interest or investment or all of them.

The officially supported architectures and kernels for Sculpt may of
course change/increase, but this depends on various (internals as
externals) factors - time will tell us.

> What would be needed for it to work with Fiasco.OC?

Interest. Over the last years the interest in Genode/Fiasco.OC decreased
to a very low point. Still, we are happy about contributions and are
willing to maintain it as resources permit. The Sculpt setup is not
seriously in reach.

> However, regarding the drivers, there seems to be a focus on Linux drivers. I 
> find this a bit baffling.

Sorry - lol - never could imagine anybody from the sphere of L4Linux's
home is baffled about driver code from Linux.

First of all, our drivers are running natively, so we don't require any
kind of (para-)virtualization solutions to get driver support.

Second, we tend to write our driver ourself, if economically justifable
and maintainable, like for NVMe, AHCI, SD/CARD, PS/2, ACPI, GPIO, UART,
graphic driver on some ARM board, timers, ... (and the others I forgot
and just heard about it).

Resource multiplexer are all self-written - like network, disk and
graphic. (a self-written GPU multiplexer is also around).

Other ported drivers from NON-Linux projects are audio and network.

Drivers ported from Linux running isolated as native Genode components
are USB, WIFI (+WPA2), Intel graphic cards and one ARM network card.

I don't get your point.

> enough one is left with, say, adapted 2.6-era drivers that cannot be updated 
> because Linux itself has moved on

Don't know who supports seriously 2.6-era drivers - our Linux based
ported drivers are based on 4.4+ and will get updated shortly to a more
recent Linux version.

> Any clarifications on areas in which I am 
> mistaken would be very welcome, however!


Alexander Boettcher
Genode Labs -

Genode Labs GmbH - Amtsgericht Dresden - HRB 28424 - Sitz Dresden
Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

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