Announcement: Genode OS Framework version 14.02 released

Lonnie Cumberland lonnie at ...218...
Mon Mar 3 21:57:04 CET 2014

Hi Norman,

Thanks for your wonderful email and I do agree with much of what you have
said.  Currently, Genode is a wonderful, and evolving developmental OS. It
is coming along VERY nicely and I can see great potential for it as things
move forward.

That being said, it seems that currently you are targeting developers, which
is also a good thing as it will contribute to the growth and stability of
Genode. Perhaps at some future point, when Genode wants to step into the
broader user base (ie. Beyond mainly developers) then that will be the main
times in which Genode will want to have a good LiveCD which will be used to
attract a more diverse user-base.  As you can see, in the Linux world, there
are many flavors available and some of them are just for developers while
others are more globally focused on a whole array of types of users. 

Daniels point is spot-on in that people will absolutely want to modify, and
also initial replicate, the build of the LiveCD. I know that is something
that I will want to do for sure.

Ultimately, you will want to show-off the potential of Genode with a good
LiveCD as you have in your roadmap since the standards by which Genode will
be judged, like it or not, will be against the popular OS's like Windows,
Linux, and perhaps even OSX.  If people can "see", or envision a potential
for Genode to be better then it will take off and you will gain a huge
number of developers and end-users alike.

In my case, I am currently focused on having NOVA+Genode+VirtualBox in a
type of updated version of the NOVA v0.3 demo, but to spawn off VirtualBox
instances and have a graphical Tutor section for a Type-1 Hypervisor that
"might" be able to compete with the other existing Type-1 hypervisors like
Xen, Hyper-V, and VMWare as I think that the NOVA+Genode+VirtualBox (once
the networking and SMP areas are working) can be a great alternative to the
other hypervisors while also allowing Genode/NOVA to move slowly into the
competition space for hypervisors. 

This is the project that I am trying to ramp up and slowly get started.
Additionally, my goal will be, beyond the initial Type-1 hypervisor system,
will be to further modify VirtualBox (in a special fork) to allow for a
"distributed SMP and distributed memory" VMM so that I will be able to run
it on commodity desktops with one instance of VB running the desktop OS
(like Windows 7) and another instance of VB running the distributed VMM and
peer connecting to other distributed VMM's on the LAN to make a hugely
distributed SMP machine (ie.. cluster with a single OS) and hundreds of
nodes. I also want to keep the build as minimum in size as is possible.

In my day job, I would (as a Physicist) at a research facility where such a
system would be very useful for running various modelers and simulators that
we run and which has prompted my strong interest in NOVA+Genode+VirtualBox.

Anyway, it’s a long-term project for me but I think that Genode is the best
approach as I can also learn a lot at the project proceeds forward.

Right now, I am working on trying to get just Genode + NOVA + VirtualBox to
compile up cleanly and easily.

One question on this. When I am in my build directory and have done the make
prepare for VB. What is the "make" command to just make
Genode+NOVA+VirtualBox as it seems that when I issue "make" the system wants
to build everything which is what I do not need?

Best Regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: Norman Feske [mailto:norman.feske at ...1...] 
Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2014 7:14 AM
To: genode-main at
Subject: Re: Announcement: Genode OS Framework version 14.02 released

Hi Lonnie,

I agree on the points you made for making Genode more popular. The live
system will certainly raise much more awareness of our project than the
regular releases.

However, I see popularity as a two-sided sword. Of course, getting more
attention increases the chance for more people joining our community and
bringing forward the technology together with us, which is ultimately a good
thing. Maybe it will even foster the consideration of Genode for products of
companies that are unaware of Genode yet.

On the other hand, I am afraid of two things. First, the live system has to
be really good and convincing to developers and end users alike.
Otherwise, people will give it a try, it may leave a half-baked impression
on them, and this impression will stick for a long time. Some people are
quick with their judgments, in particular end users. In contrast people who
spend the effort to download and compile source code are less likely to draw
conclusions too quickly. The latter I would call our target "demographic",
which I feel safe to address right now. The live system widens the audience.
So we have to address the topics discussed in issue #1000. And we need to
pay attention to thorough testing and little details, which is a lot of work
in addition to the actual features to present.

The second point that worries me is related to Daniel's email. Once, the
live system achieves to get people hooked on Genode, they may have high
expectations on how easy it is to customize the live system. If such people
download the source code but then hit a wall, this experience will leave a
bad aftertaste as well. To see what I mean:

Such a bad experience can do our project more harm than it helps us,
especially when it becomes an universal truth through public postings like
the first comment of the thread above. So we either have to clearly
communicate that the live system is just an example to show off Genode's
capabilities, or we have to make it really easily "hackable". I would prefer
the latter. But making Genode easier to use is hard. In particular because
"easy to use" for us developers has a different meaning to "easy to use"
for, let's say, a GNU/Linux power user. The current "make prepare" and "make
run/..." mechanisms are a good start but still far from being easy.

Please don't get me wrong. I don't want to shy away from the live system.
But I regard it as a very sensitive topic. I certainly want to make Genode
more popular, but we have to make sure to leave a sustainable good
impression, not just on our immediate target demographic but on a broader
audience. So we should give it the time needed to make us developers feel
confident with it.

Best regards

Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
Genode Labs ·

Genode Labs GmbH · Amtsgericht Dresden · HRB 28424 · Sitz Dresden
Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

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