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  • Martin Stein avatar

    User-friendly handling of missing ports in depot tools


    I enjoy the elegant and potent system behind packages in Genode. Therefore I found it particularly sad that, for me, a tiny, rather superficial issue always dimished the user experience: Missing archives of third-party code, called ports, are reported only one at a time, and each time, the user has to push the process forward manually. Because of this, building large packages like Sculpt with dependencies to over 20 of these ports, can become an annoying task. Continue...

  • Johannes Kliemann avatar

    SPARK as an extremum: Components in pure SPARK


    Some time ago Norman Feske wrote about C++ and SPARK as a continuum. His article shows how SPARK can be used to implement critical functionality in SPARK while implementing the core component in C++ on Genode. He further describes a set of rules to prevent unexpected side effects in SPARK. In short it boils down to stateless libraries written in SPARK that cannot interact with the environment but can consume and produce data. While this might sound restricted at first glance this approach can be used to strengthen the security of existing software such as parsers or protocol checkers that shield the C++ code from tainted data. We also applied this method successfully outside of Genode by replacing the C++ parser of the Fizz TLS library by our own SPARK implementation. Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    Resurrecting Escape Paint with Hatari


    A recent series of events flared up my enthusiasm for Atari home computers. I just couldn't help but draft a plan of bridging this nostalgic trip with our modern-day Sculpt OS. Continue...

  • Martin Stein avatar

    Spunky: A kernel using Ada - Part 1: RPC


    In this series of articles I'll illustrate a hobby project of mine that is trying to create a kernel for Genode written in Ada 2012. This project is not about writing a kernel from scratch but rather successively take parts from the existing base-hw kernel and translate them to Ada. Thus, the design mainly follows the approach taken with base-hw. To be able to test the already translated parts I link them together with the remaining parts from base-hw. The interfacing between the Ada and the C++ parts is done on the level of object methods. Over time, the code-base of the new kernel will become more and more Ada and less C++. Maybe later this work will also lead to some formal verification with SPARK but for now, I'm happy with Ada. So let's go! Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Seoul VMM and the new VM interface


    In January I presented the ongoing work at the FOSDEM 2019 about the generalization of the virtualization interface on Genode for x86. Now the first bunch of commits entered Genode master for the Seoul VMM. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    Deploying Nim on NixOS


    This article describes writing Nix expressions for building Nim projects. I use Genode/Sculpt as my daily-driver OS, but run NixOS on my hosted virtual servers. I find NixOS to be the easiest UNIX clone to configure and for what I do a container on a NixOS host is sufficient, hardware virtualization is not necessary. I wont mention Genode again, other than to say that this method allows me to write projects that I can deploy on Genode and NixOS using a common codebase. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    Packaging Nim


    This is a brief writeup on creating and publishing Nim packages. This instructions assume that you are using a fairly up-to-date Linux system and have a copy of the Nim distribution installed as well as the Tup utility. This article assumes some familiarity with the package archives used by Sculpt. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    Debugging complex software stacks on Genode Linux


    When dealing with large and especially ported software stacks on Genode, sophisticated debugging facilities become a must have. One way to achieve this is to develop or port your software stacks on Genode Linux and take advantage of the GNU Debugger (GDB). Of course this is not possible for low level software, like device driver or kernel, but in general useful for anything that does not access hardware directly. In this article I will describe a hands on experience example on how to debug Java using GDB. Continue...

  • Josef Söntgen avatar

    Wrapping build.conf to use it more conveniently


    The Genode build system uses GNU Make to build all components as well as to drive the run-tool for automated testing. A key piece is the build.conf file that for one configures the build system (specs, repositories etc. pp) and for the other sets various run-tool options. Over the years, instead of dealing with adapting the file directly, I started to use simple wrapper snippets to make testing on a variety of machines more convenient. Continue...

  • Guido Witmond avatar

    The case against Ambient Authority


    This blog is the third in a series on Genode for not-so-technical people. In these blogs I try to answer the question what Genode offers on safety and usability that other systems don't. Read the second part here. Continue...

  • Valery Sedletski avatar

    Physical Hard Disk Passthrough in Genode's version of VirtualBox.


    Here, I'll describe how to set up Linux booting from the physical Hard disk, and mounting several partitions. Here: http://genodians.org/skalk/2019-03-18-hybrid-packages described how to tweak VirtualBox for using your physical hard disk as a single "Block" session, and accessing it in an exclusive fashion. The disadvantage is that VirtualBox uses all your hard disk exclusively, so you will be unable to use it in Sculpt for your GENODE partition. In other words, your GENODE partition should be on a separate hard disk, or a flash stick. This may be inconvenient. So, I found how I could give to VBox a selected set of partitions only (/dev/sda9 being Linux root partition, /dev/sda8 being a Linux swap partition, /dev/sda7 was my data partition with Genode sources, formatted with JFS file system and /dev/sda1 was my second data partition, formatted as FAT32). And /dev/sda11 was my Genode partition. Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    C++ and SPARK as a continuum


    SPARK is an Ada-inspired programming language for high-assurance computing. It was designed for the application of formal verification methods to real-world software. The prospect of bug-free software is music to our ears! I wonder, can there be a love affair between SPARK and Genode's predominant implementation language, C++? Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Graphical CPU utilization and monitoring tool


    The top_view package is a tool using the tracing infrastructure of Genode to gather thread related information, e.g. execution time, and prepare them for graphical presentation. I already develop it for a while beginning with the early Sculpt versions. In the last weeks I extended it in my leisure time with some extra features, with the goal to selectively monitor behaviour of components of interest over some time. The main impulse was triggered during the work on audio on Sculpt, where I missed a basic online tool that supports me to get better insights into some behaviour of the system. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    A Libretro retrospective


    Those of you who have looked into my depot have probably noticed that it's mostly games and emulators. Genode is not an operating system optimized for gaming, and I use it for more than just playing games. Continue...

  • Guido Witmond avatar

    On Ambient Authority


    This blog is the second in a series on Genode for not-so-technical people. In the blogs I try to answer the question what Genode offers on safety and usability that other systems don't. Read the first part here. Continue...

  • Cedric Degea avatar

    HoG 19.0, bounties


    A few lines of news about HoG, and crossing fingers for wind in the bounties sails. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    Serving the local depot over 9P


    Some people have asked about deploying their "local" packages from a Linux build machine to a Sculpt host, and I use 9P. I have put together a package of my 9P server specifically for serving depot/local using the internal Sculpt network which I will briefly explain. Using the 9P protocol is in some ways more convenient than a VirtualBox shared folder because it can be started and stopped as in independent subsystem rather than a VBox-builtin, the client is usually built into the Linux kernel, and of course, it works with modern operating systems such as 9front. Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Updated packages for Sculpt CE


    With the image release of Genode's Sculpt CE yesterday, it is time to report about some updated packages of mine. Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    Sculpt as a Community Experience


    We just released the fourth version of Sculpt OS today. It is subtitled "Sculpt as a Community Experience". In this posting, I'd like to explain what's behind this slogan. Continue...

  • Stefan Kalkowski avatar

    Tweaking existent packages to your needs


    Since the first Sculpt OS version, I have used several virtual-machines side-by-side. One for web-browsing, another for e-mail processing, and of course one for development purposes. At that time, I had some trouble using those three VMs at once with respect to performance and stability using the Rump Ext2 filesystem server. So, I decided to use dedicated partitions of my hard-drive for the VMs instead of image files as block device backend. Although, that early problems were solved, I've kept my already installed Linux VMs in the corresponding partitions. Continue...

  • Christian Helmuth avatar

    Remote-control your test target via power scripts


    In this post, I take Valerius's excellent article about remote booting and Intel AMT as an excuse for a detour from network-development setups into remote power control with Genode's run tool. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    System programming - wrestling with hardware


    As any system programmer knows, we do have to deal with a lot of uncommon bugs. So I like to take the chance to describe one we encountered a few days ago. After I had a demonstrator working for an ARM based system on a chip (SoC), the scenario suddenly started failing at random instructions at varying addresses and also in ever changing components. An example would be an illegal memory access (page fault) caused by this ARM instruction: Continue...

  • Valery Sedletski avatar

    Remote booting of x86 machines with PXE and Intel AMT


    Two weeks ago, I ordered a refurbished Thinkpad T420, which is compatible with many OS'es, including Genode/Sculpt. It is listed in cnuke's Genode unofficial HCL. So, I, from the beginning, wanted to set up the usual workflow of Genode developers. Continue...

  • Martin Stein avatar

    Integrating and running automated tests - Part 2


    In this article I'd like to give a very practical guide about how you can create, integrate and run your custom test scenarios on Genode. This is the second of two parts. If you have missed the first part, you may want to read it first. Continue...

  • Martin Stein avatar

    How to start my VM with the new Sculpt-CE preview


    Things have changed a bit with the revised software deployment in the recently published preview of Sculpt CE. No matter wether you are updating from Sculpt VC and have installed your VM following the Sculpt-VC documentation or whether you downloaded a fresh Debian with the Sculpt-CE preview - this brief walk-through might help you getting it to run (again). Of course, once Sculpt CE gets released, the added documentation will explain things way more comprehensive. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    A build-system for personal depots


    Inspired by my discovery of the wonderful Tup tool and my prior experience as a Gentoo and NixOS maintainer, I've created a new build system and repository format for my own personal depot. The build system is non-recursive and uses Git submodules in a manner similar to the Gittup project. Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Disposal browser VMs


    Since the early beginning of Sculpt I host and maintain two packages for running an up-to-date Firefox as VM. My main motivation is to have the door to the Internet out-of my "work" VM, which contains all sorts of sensible data. Continue...

  • Josef Söntgen avatar

    Download Debian VM and the VirtualBox Guest Additions


    Since most of the previous launchers but a few vital ones are gone and superseded by the index mechanism, the download_debian package is now located in Depot → cnuke → Virtual Machines → download_debian. As Debian's guest-additions packages might target a newer VirtualBox host version it is now recommended to install them in a different way to properly match the currently supported host version. Continue...

  • Guido Witmond avatar

    On Microkernels versus Monoliths


    I like the Genode platform, it offers me a system that is much safer against all those bad things that threaten current systems. Computer viruses that cripple Mac, Windows and Linux are mostly eliminated. These become at most an annoyance, if they have any success at all. Also, the regulary patching to close security holes can become a faint memory. Here endeth the advertisement. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    A Java based network filter on i.MX6 SoloX


    With the recent advancements in home automation (smart home) and the Internet of Things (IoT), networking capable embedded technology has started to enter our working and home environments at an ever increasing pace. Often this leads to feature and performance driven developments that neglect the security implications of such environments. Is it desirable that the smart light bulb, when part of your local network, can access your Internet connection? Who does control the data flow in such scenarios? We think security must be an important measure in those environments, at least on par with the feature set. To accommodate the security requirements we introduce the following exemplary network filter scenario. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    FOSDEM'19 - Microkernel devroom (update)


    This is a follow up to my FOSDEM'19 post - that also has been updated. Norman's and Jakub's lightning talks are now available as MP4 and WEBM streams. Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Native audio with Sculpt VC


    On the way back of FOSDEM 2019 I recognized that I missed to setup audio for my Sculpt VC machine. I used it already with Sculpt TC, but somehow I never took the time to re-integrate it with Sculpt VC. The next days after the FOSDEM trip I consulted my personal audio advisor -Josef- how to setup things. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    FOSDEM'19 - Microkernel devroom


    The year 2019 marked Genode Lab's turn to organize the Microkernels and Component-based OS devroom at FOSDEM 2019 in Brussels. The devroom has been established in 2012 and every year since, varying open-source organizations or private microkernel enthusiasts have taken over and passed the organization helmet on. We had a great time meeting familiar and new faces at the devroom and, in my personal opinion, we had an interesting mixture of talks this year. I especially want to thank the Unikernel speakers, since they brought a breath of fresh air into the devroom, while staying at eye-level regarding the technical skills required for systems programming. So, thank you! Continue...

  • Daniel Collins avatar

    On Overbroad Internet Comments


    Genode is not always remembered for its more remarkable accomplishments, but instead for less identifying features of the project. Many of these recollections evolve into critique based in aphoric generalisms about C++, of XML, or of microkernels. This has been especially true of Genode's choice of C++. I examine here why this is so, and why it tends to bring about less constructive conversation. Continue...

  • Cedric Degea avatar

    GUI chronicles 2: Mandelbrot


    Let's go short and sweet this week, with a "picture's worth a thousand words" situation report, and some continuation of community conversation. Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    A convenient shortcut for working with test packages


    The train to FOSDEM was the perfect setting for creating a dirty little tool for quickly building and running single test packages. Continue...

  • Christian Helmuth avatar

    Getting started with Genode network developments


    Yesterday afternoon I had to take care of duties that kept me away from the office, so motivated by a question on the mailing list last week, I decided to write down some handy tips related to Genode developments and networking. Continue...

  • Emery Hemingway avatar

    Secure screenshots part I


    I had number of potential topics for my first Genodians article, but none worth publishing without a good screenshot. Secure operating systems should make screen capture difficult or impossible, so I had my excuse not to write those articles. Eventually I did write a screenshot utility, which I describe here. Later articles may cover implementation details and improvements to the scheme described here. Continue...

  • Sebastian Sumpf avatar

    A brief history of symbol maps on Genode


    When programming against Genode's shared libraries one might encounter things like this: Continue...

  • Stefan Kalkowski avatar

    Copy system state via JTAG


    Currently, I'm working on Genode to support NXP's i.MX7 Dual SABRE board. In the past, we had to manage a zoo of quite different ARM hardware here at Genode Labs including nightly builds and testing. The hardware was ranging from ARM1176 to Cortex A15, from Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Samsung to NXP SoCs. Having a variety of hardware is good for stressing the generic codebase and to make Genode attractive for different user groups, but hindering the development of a still moving kernel like Genode's hw. Continue...

  • Martin Stein avatar

    Integrating and running automated tests - Part 1


    In this article I'd like to give a very practical guide about how you can create, integrate and run your custom test scenarios on Genode. In order to do so, I'll take a little real-life example and walk through the single steps of the very same procedure that I follow everytime I develop a new test. I'll try to concentrate rather on the big picture then on all the details. But in turn I'll give you pointers to further documentation whenever sensible. Continue...

  • Alexander Böttcher avatar

    Locking up your Sculpt VC screen


    Using Sculpt on my working machine as day-to-day OS became quite comfortable. Still, some inconvenient stayed. One specific one appeared whenever I started for lunch - I wanted to lock the screen. Currently, this functionality is missing - because of that I had to power down my machine during lunch. Obviously, this is annoying - so I started to investigate how to solve the issue. Continue...

  • Josef Söntgen avatar

    Testing components directly on Sculpt via the depot user local


    Software is installed on Sculpt using the deploy mechanism that incorporates a caching component to keep the memory footprint for often used parts of the system constant. For the time being it is not contemplated to easily replace already loaded files and is therefor unsuited for testing components. However, there is still a way to perform the testing on Sculpt: the depot user local. Continue...

  • Cedric Degea avatar

    GUI basics 2: IPC


    This time around let's explore a few inter-related topics: Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    Genode's Conscious C++ dialect


    C++ is a power tool that scales from embedded systems to the most complex software stacks imaginable. When we started Genode in 2006, the feature set of the language was extremely persuasive. It strikes a great balance of giving the programmer full control whenever needed while also featuring means of expressing high-level software designs. This power is a two-edged sword though. In this series of postings, I'd like to share how we learned to handle it without regrets. Continue...

  • Cedric Degea avatar

    GUI chronicles


    My next GUI basics post is delayed by one slot : I have made progress on haiku-on-genode and it's important – for my sanity if nothing else – to do a sort of "checkpoint" here first. Continue...

  • Christian Helmuth avatar

    How to prepare an x86 notebook for debugging


    For my first article on Genodians, I recorded my preparation steps to enable a recent notebook model for developments including the preservation of the OEM Windows installation, remote power control, and serial-over-lan logging. Continue...

  • Cedric Degea avatar

    GUI basics


    As mentionned on the mailing-list, TTS develops radio automation software for Haiku. We are in need of a second, stable platform. I thus intend to port our applications to Genode and yet preserve much of its source code and its use of the Haiku APIs – meaning I've embarked on e.g. writing a libbe.so that makes calls to Nitpicker and an RM-mapped framebuffer instead of sending RPC-like commands to an app_server as is the case in Haiku. Continue...

  • Norman Feske avatar

    A new place for sharing Genode-related stories


    Genodians.org presents ideas, announcements, experience stories, and tutorials around Genode, written by people like you and me. Genode users and developers are very welcome to join our tribe of authors! Continue...