Genode on NOVA or MUEN for Cluster Project

Lonnie Cumberland lonnie at ...218...
Thu Oct 1 16:50:16 CEST 2015

Hi All,

Hope that everyone is having a great day.

For a very long time now I have been wanting to put together a distributed
system cluster project in the form of a Type-1 Hypervisor that would allow
for the utilization of commodity desktops that could run 2 or more VMM's

After some very in-depth and wonderful discussions with Norman Feske about
what I would like to accomplish, in the general scope, Norman suggested
that I present my ideas for the project to the Genode mailing list to get
some community input and possible suggestions on the best approach to move
things forward.

Based upon what I would like to see for the project, I have been looking at
various systems in particular like the NOVA Microhypervisor.  I also like
what I have seen in the Genode framework and now see that they have good
support for VirtualBox as well.

In the past, and while digging into NOVA by itself, I downloaded a demo of
a very crude system along these lines can be found with the NUL (NOVA
UserLand) demo at: and look at the
NUL 0.3 Demo CD (
which you can boot (RAM-based) but boot using the “VESA, Broken keyboard”
which seems to work, at least here it did.

In running the NUL v0.3 NOVA demo, it loads up the NOVA kernel followed by
the a piece called "sigma0" which basically handles the instantiation of
the various VM's running under their Vancouver VMM.  The sigma0 application
allows for the context switching of the virtual consoles and I have been
able to completely compile the entire NUL sources on a Ubuntu 14.04
hardware test/development-bed that I set up which can reproduce the NUL
v0.3 demo iso which can also be run under QEMU as well.

With this basic stuff working to get a feel for things, I next wanted to
see about building up a new combination that work work just like the NUL
v0.3 demo, but have something much more advanced in place.

My idea is to have NOVA as the microhypervisor, and in place of the "tutor"
instance in the v0.3 demo have Genode for some windowing and user input, as
well as to have VirtualBox as the VMM for 2 or more OS instances with one
for Windows XP/7 and one for Linux being the background clustering

I am hoping that with the sigma0.nul application running on NOVA that I
"might" be able to switch consoles through the Genode (nitpicker), Windows
XP/7, and Linux, but am not sure on this part. It is very important that
the consoles be swtichable with each being fullscreen like in the demo from
the NOVA NUL v0.3 as this is a key requirement for the project.

Also, I have just run across MUEN which now seems to be supported by Genode
15.08 and which runs Genode in user-space as well which might be some type
of a possible option instead of NOVA, but I have not really looked into
this yet.

Any ideas, suggestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated as way to
get the project moving forward.

Thanks again and have a wonderful day,
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