[TUHS] OT: critical Intel design flaw

Bakul Shah bakul at bitblocks.com
Thu Jan 4 13:31:35 AEST 2018


On Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:26:04 -0800 Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
Larry McVoy writes:
> 
> > > The problem is that most people / companies are not that disciplined.
> > 
> > The whole idea is not to hack on the ukernel endlessly but to
> > build apps on top of it. On something like Mill you won't even
> 
> Um, I've been reading about Mill for at least a decade.  It's not 
> real until it ships.  It's still vaporware, no?

It is vaporware mainly because it's a largely self/unfunded
effort led by one guy and a very lean volunteer team.  I don't
know if it will actually get funded -- in my view there are
enough interesting things in it that it is worth supporting by
one of the big 3 or 4 companies (or a 3 letter govt agency).
Its architecture certainly seems realizable (of course, proof
is in the pudding etc).  But even just with ukernels we can
achieve similar isolation & security.

Here is a recent paper:
  http://ssrg.nicta.com.au/publications/csiro_full_text//Elphinstone_ZMH_17.pdf
They show that seL4+rumpkernel is actually faster than native NetBSD on
the same hardware (atleast on some TCP throughput tests).

> I *love* the idea of a microkernel with a bunch of processes implementing
> the OS, it's so much a better design.  I also have been in the real world
> long enough to think that I'm not going to see Linux replaced with a 
> microkernel in my lifetime.  I wish, but I don't see it happening.

It won't *replace* linux but linux API can be made available
via such processes and a shared lib.  You may be right about
real world inertia. And Security is simply not taken seriously
enough.  I still think it would be well worth it for
knowledgeable OS folks like you to /actually/ explore this
design space and see what is possible.  It would certainly be
more fun than hacking on Linux or FreeBSD! 


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