Xnu, and 'L4BSD'

R. Tyler Ballance tyler at tamu.edu
Wed May 10 13:29:54 UTC 2006

All this recent microkernel talk has finally hit another mailing list  
i'm on (l4ka at ira.uka.de) regarding a possible "L4BSD" (https:// 
lists.ira.uni-karlsruhe.de/pipermail/l4ka/2006-May/001603.html) and  
this has brought up an interesting question for me.

L4Linux exists, but it seems to be more of a means for testing out  
and developing the L4 microkernel, but would there be any practical  
reason to sandbox the FreeBSD kernel and force it to run as a user- 
land service on top of the L4::Pistachio kernel? (for example)

Would this be an effective place to start in terms of pulling off an  
in-between kernel much like Darwin's Xnu kernel?

I can forsee plausible long term goals that would make such a project  
worthwhile, such as eventually moving device drivers out of the  
kernel (FreeBSD's that is) along with other bits and pieces, and  
eventually morphing it into some middle-ground best-of-both worlds  
kernel, but if you remove the eventually move into a Xnu-like setup,  
is there a definite benefit that can be reaped from such a project?

Does such a project contain any merit besides the obvious education  
aspect of it? (And the incessant need to kill time :))


-R. Tyler Ballance

p.s. I'm not a kernel hacker, but I do aspire to be one eventually,  
just so I can stop arguing about the color of the bikeshed :)
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