Is Genode good for the Desktop?

ttcoder at ttcoder at
Tue Aug 11 19:26:56 CEST 2020

Is Genode good for the Desktop and is it based on seL4?

What does OS framework mean?


Assuming you're looking for a personal take, rather than the official info available from (:-) :

In my personal view, what makes Genode the "go-to" OS toolkit (or OS "framework" : a collection of modules that can work together or separately) is several things, but especially its modularity.

A couple years back I used to be a happy camper as a user of a Be, Inc-derived OS, thinking if was "most" modular, "this is the place to be", rationalizing whatever problem I ran into as 'unavoidable with modern computing' and so on... Then I found out about Genode. It gives a new meaning to "lego like", assembling pieces together. In comparison, it makes my daily OS use look like child's play, a monolithic black box of crude, un-reusable, hard to maintain code. (talking of the internals, compared to the Genode internals, the APIs are another can of worms).

The breakthrough for me was reading the PDF (Genode foundations.pdf). It takes some effort to comprehend it, it's not light reading... But if you really get "into" it, wow. As you read through it you'll keep thinking "why does so-and-so operating system not use the same mechanism as Genode-based OSes do ?".

I believe seL4 is one of the micro-kernels that may be used by Genode, that info should be available on

As to Desktop usage, if you ask around you'll probably get opinions over the whole spectrum, with many on the 'hopeful' scale, similar to that of the Genode Labs team : they reported a good while back that Sculpt-OS (their desktop OS based on Genode) has become their "daily driver" OS, which is a good milestone to have achieved. However, they still rely on VirtualBox for some things yet, so there are more milestones to reach. Some I remember being mentionned include self-hosting, i.e. ability for Sculpt OS to compile/build itself, having a native email client rather than relying on one embedded in VirtualBox, etc.

Make yourself comfy and stay around a while, you'll see the people here are a quiet bunch, mainly reporting on their code once they have a deliverable.


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