Roadmap 2016

Norman Feske norman.feske at ...1...
Wed Dec 23 09:28:00 CET 2015

Hello Ben,

thanks for your comments!

> My first thoughts on this are as follows:
> 1. I would love to use Genode as my primary OS, but I have been unable
> to make sufficient progress for any of my computers. The older ones
> don't have AHCI support, Genode's hardware support for my custom desktop
> computer is severely limited, and I don't even have any idea what's not
> working on my laptop because I haven't been able to get AMT to work. If
> you can add support for an alternative method of getting debugging
> output (or somehow support my desktop computer's motherboard) then I
> would happily try again to setup my own Turmvilla-like Genode system.

I have followed the SATA story [1] and appreciate your patience. It is
unfortunate that it went to a dead end for now. We may consider
obtaining the board you mentioned - but I can't give a promise as this
line of work is just a side track of us.


Regarding the log output, there are two principle alternatives to AMT,
enhancing NOVA or core with the ability to print those messages to the
VGA console (similarly to how L4/Fiasco is doing it). Alex has a branch
for this feature [2] but I do not know if it works with Genode 15.11.
The second way would be to connect a UART ExpressCard, if your laptop is
equipped with such a slot.


> 4. I would love graphical configuration utilities, but I would consider
> them a much lower priority than improved hardware support. I could make
> my own utilities, but I would need a lot of help getting Genode to
> support my hardware.

I am afraid that hardware support will never be enough. With this
thinking, we could never even start to move Genode forward on the
hardware that it already supports well.

I have seen Turmvilla running decently on a variety of Intel-based
laptops equipped with Intel wireless, Intel E1000 networking, Intel
integrated graphics, and Intel HDA audio. Why not to take this rough
specification as the requirement for running Genode and declare other
platforms as unsupported?

Having us few developers constantly extend the range of supported
hardware does not scale, and since our testing capabilities are limited,
regressions would be likely to occur. So the effort would eventually go
wasted. Unless the burden of extending and regularly testing the
hardware support is carried by a growing developer community, it remains
unfeasible. So I'd prefer to focus on the narrow range of PC platforms
mentioned above. For starting out with Genode, a refurbished Lenovo x201
that costs merely 200 USD is just perfect - especially compared to the
investment of time needed to support other hardware (I am looking at the
back-and-forth of our attempt to enable your SATA device [1]).

Please don't get me wrong. I am not dismissing hardware support as a
working topic. We will need to continuously work on that. But when doing
so, I'd like to address current-generation or next-generation hardware.

Coming back to the actual discussion about the roadmap, I don't see
improved hardware support appearing as a major topic as it is quite
intangible. For someone studying the roadmap, "improved hardware
support" tells not much.


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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