USENIX 2002 Annual Conference - Technical Program Abstract
Think: A Software Framework for Component-based
France TÚlÚcom R&D; Jean-Bernard Stefani, INRIA; Jean-Bernard Stefani, DIKU; Gilles Muller, INRIA
Operating System Kernels
Building a flexible kernel from components is a promising solution
for supporting various embedded systems. The use of components
encourages code re-use and reduces development time. Flexibility
permits the system to be configured at various stages of the design,
up to run time.
In this paper, we propose a software framework, called Think, for
implementing operating system kernels from components of arbitrary
sizes. A unique feature of Think is that it provides a uniform
and highly flexible binding model to help OS architects assemble
operating system components in varied ways. An OS architect can
build an OS kernel from components using Think without being
forced into a predefined kernel design (e.g. exo-kernel,
micro-kernel or classical OS kernel). To evaluate the Think
framework, we have implemented Kortex, a library of commonly used
kernel components. We have used Kortex to implement several
kernels, including an L4-like micro-kernel, and kernels for an
active network router, for the Kaffe Java virtual machine, and for a
Doom game. Performance measurements show no degradation due to
componentization and the systematic use of the binding framework,
and that application-specific kernels can achieve speed-ups over
standard general-purpose operating systems such as Linux.
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