vkernel & GSoC, some questions
fbsd-hackers at mawer.org
Tue Mar 18 22:32:37 UTC 2008
Jordan Gordeev wrote:
> Matthew Dillon wrote:
>> We use vkernel's for development and debugging.
>> One interesting side-effect of having a vkernel so easily accessible
>> is that it opens up kernel development to normal programmers. More
>> DragonFly developers have been dipping their fingers into the kernel
>> code in the last 6 months then in all the time before then. That
>> justifies the time spent doing it. Except for hardware device driver
>> development, the agonizing engineering cycle for kernel development
>> is completely gone now.
> I have thought of the vkernel primarily as an aid to kernel development
> (where performance is not a prime concern), not as a virtualisation
> solution that will compete with Xen and VMWare. It's difficult to
> compete with thousands of men-hours paid by corporate funding.
> So far nobody has expressed interest in vkernels as a tool for kernel
> development. And I got the general impression that I've proposed
> something stupid and useless.
I can see this would be advantageous for lowering the barrier for kernel
development. The easier this is made, the better chance we have of
people having a go at fixing issues in some of the unmaintained bits and
pieces out there.
I recall trying to take the leap into kernel development some years back
to fix some issues in NWFS and SMBFS; even though I was using VMware for
testing, I still found the whole compile/install/reboot test cycle a bit
tedious. If it were a matter of just Ctrl-C'ing a kernel and then
waiting 5 seconds or a new one to boot up, while still having the rest
of the machine available "outside" to view/edit source at the same time,
it would be much simpler...
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