Smallest supported OS ?

Norman Feske norman.feske at ...1...
Tue Feb 14 14:19:54 CET 2017

Hi Philip,

thanks for your interest in Genode and welcome to the list!

It may be a coincidence but I recently added a note about the SAFE
network to our "Challenges" page:

Really cool to see that the interest may be even mutual!

> First question - from searching the archives I can't see any info on one 
> of things I am interested in - what is the smallest bootable OS that can 
> be set up with Genode? - could it be small enough to fit on a floppy 
> disk?

It ultimately depends on the system scenario.

E.g., for a very simple scenario ( on NOVA, the build system
generates an ISO image of 3 MiB, which contains the NOVA hypervisor,
Genode's core and init components, the dynamic linker, and a simple
"hello-world" component. The content on the ISO is not packed though. In
principle, GRUB supports gzip'ed boot modules. If this feature was used,
the image would shrink to about 800 KiB. (I just gzipped the ISO to get
a rough estimate)

For an interactive scenario, you may take os/run/ as reference.
It contains several drivers (VESA, PS/2, timer), the nitpicker GUI
server, and a few interactive example applications. The ISO is 8 MiB
(gzip'ed to 3 MiB) whereas a third of the size can be attributed to a
single demo application (scout).

In short, you can squeeze a Genode-based system on a floppy. But such a
system would be rather boring. ;-)


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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