LinuxConf.Au: Darbat: Virtualising a UNIX Kernel

Posted in Conferences, Operating Systems on April 05, 2007

LinuxConf.Au: Darbat: Virtualising a UNIX Kernel

Darbat is a project at the Embedded, Real-Time, and Operating-Systems (ERTOS) group at National ICT Australia (NICTA).

Darbat para-virtualises the open-source Darwin Kernel from Mac OS X into a device-driver and kernel module running on top of the L4 microkernel, also from NICTA.

Splitting Darwin into driver and kernel modules running as user processes allows us to create arbitrary secure kernel and driver instances. This provides isolated device drivers, server consolidation and secure sub-systems.

NICTA also has a port of the Linux kernel to L4 called Wombat. This allows a heterogeneous system with multiple Linux and Darwin instances running side-by-side on one computer. With these systems the administrator has the ability to either share or partition resources such as CPUs, RAM and device drivers, depending on the required configuration.

While Darbat is a drastic departure from the typical monolithic kernel module, it runs binary native applications and binary device drivers from Mac OS X 10.4.7.

Darbat and Wombat are both works in progress. This proposal is for a presentation on the design, implementation and status of the Darbat system. We will also discuss how Wombat fits into the heterogeneous system and how they exist together on the one machine.

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Tags: Conferences, OS, MacOS, Linux, Lectures, LinuxConf.AU