Thoughts about FOSDEM 2017

Norman Feske norman.feske at ...1...
Tue Feb 7 13:04:13 CET 2017


hereby I'd like to share my impressions from FOSDEM this year.

I looked forward to FOSDEM very much - in particular to the microkernel
devroom - and all I can say is that it was a pleasure to attend. Thanks
to everyone who contributed to it! The following points stood out to me:

* The topics in the devroom were nicely diverse, ranging from kernel
  design, over the use of microkernels in microcontrollers (F9),
  entertaining experience stories (MINIX), to practical walk throughs
  (HURD). Even though the projects are not directly working together
  in term of code developments, the collaborative spirit was clearly
  there. What a nice and friendly gathering!

* I found David Teller's (Redox) take on explaining the benefits of
  microkernels quite refreshing - highlighting practical aspects like
  an easier upgrade path for system components compared to monolithic
  systems. As a side node, it was stunning to see the popularity of the
  Redox project according to crowd watching the talk.

* Martin Decky (HelenOS) briefly presented the idea of forming an
  open-source microkernel umbrella organization, i.e., to increase the
  chance of acceptance to GSoC. Admittedly, we (Genode Labs) haven't
  planned to apply to GSoC (we tried once but were rejected with no
  feedback). However, personally, I'd support the idea of a joint
  application of the larger community. Martin and Jakub proposed to
  use the FOSDEM devroom and thereby the same community that is behind as umbrella organization. This sounds sensible to
  me as this community already exists to the mutual benefit of everyone
  involved, and is open for everyone to join. I wonder, do you (the
  people of the Genode community) have an opinion about this idea,
  and GSoC in general?

* I got very excited about the presentation of the WireGuard project,
  which is a new take on virtual private networking for the Linux
  kernel. Not only was the presentation a joy to follow, the project
  seems to be a perfect fit for a distributed Genode system. It
  addresses my main concern about existing open-source solutions like
  OpenVPN and IPSec, namely their daunting complexity. I am not a
  VPN expert though. From those of you who are familiar with both VPN
  solutions and Genode, I'd love to hear your thoughts on WireGuard!

* I found the SAFE network talk very inspiring in that the project
  presents a holistic architectural solution to many problems that
  plague the internet today. Since having watched the talk, I wonder
  if it would make any sense to have the SAFE launcher available on

Again, thanks to all participants of the devroom (especially Josef), and
for the many vivid discussions at FOSDEM. See you next year!


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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