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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Thanks to this rigid micrlkernel, the attack surface of security-critical functions can be reduced by orders of magnitude compared to contemporary operating systems. Pistachio-embedded and is still shipping on mobile devices. October 13, L4 X. You wouldn’t, SEL4 isn’t designed for embedded systems. Other deployments include automotive infotainment systems.

Retrieved May 16, If you were using L4 to build a baseband package, for instance, you probably wouldn’t run a full OS on top of it.

L4HQ – L4 Kernel Projects

But capabilities do solve real application security problems, and this capability system is proven correct. Really I think it depends on what you’re doing. Mine and I’ve done a bit of work here, but not that much is that there aren’t that many. Only because that’s still the low hanging fruit.

This might not be the ideal human attitude toward secure programming but I might not be alone in feeling like my best efforts rest on shaky foundations and that’s somewhat demoralizing. Pistachio development on microkerel kernel is discontinued. QNX was first I know of that did this with excellent reliability benefits.


It’s a big, complicated problem, and nobody’s happy unless you solve it all at once. Retrieved October 25, Just one simple example: Together these make seL4 the world’s first microkerjel still only OS kernel that is provably secure in a very strong sense. You could run other programs on the box. It is a 3rd-generation microkernel, using capabilities as the sole access control mechanism.

It also runs on Fiasco-UX. Pistachiocompletely from scratch, now with focus on both high performance as well as microkernep. This is almost tautological. DashRattlesnake on Sept 20, 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. If that’s how you talk to the file system, it may be possible to attack the file system process that way.

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.

So even page faults are handled by application code, which IIRC is not part of the current verification. I dont use IoT because it’s a BS buzzword. It seems like it’s security guarantees would be driving a lot more outside investment than it has received. Pistachio, optimised for use in embedded systems.

I would really love to see more commentary from high-level systems people on how suitable SEL4 is as the basis for a general purpose OS. I guess it all depends on which micrrokernel of IoT and embedded you are using.


I was talking about basic UNIX functions. Views Read Edit View history.

The L4 ยต-Kernel Family

Workshop on Virtualization Technology for Dependable Systems. If the shared memory page is something like a chain of linked buffers, one side may be able to screw up the other side. Archived from the original on August 25, Honestly, I don’t much care about the formal verification of L4; it’s the L4 design and implementation strategy that I find compelling. Like Liedtke’s original kernels, the UNSW kernels written in a mixture of assembly and C were unportable and each implemented from scratch.

The modularity of a microokernel with the security of formal methods is something that would give hope of solving some really fundamental problems with the “IoT scene”. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. NOVA runs on xbased multi-core systems. Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Computer Systems. The framework aligns the construction principles of L4 with Unix philosophy. L4 Based Operating Systems.

If done well, formal verification of kernel level services and how these use runtime protection built in hardware can absolutely reduce the attack surface of application level code. Same thing for logging purposes where interface between main app and logging component is write-only.

The problem here isn’t a lack of formal verification, it’s a lack of people caring. With the release of L4Ka::