Roadmap 2021

Alexander Boettcher alexander.boettcher at
Sat Dec 19 15:57:38 CET 2020

Hello Genodians,

a year is almost over and here are my two cents to the roadmap review and wish list. First, I want to say that I'm really proud about the accomplished technical work by Genode over the whole year. Getting Sculpt OS to the i.MX8 board with all the device drivers running is not given nor easy.

Before starting with the ideas for next year, I will review the input of me [0] and see how it was tackled:

The screen-casting topic developed a bit differently then I aspired, but it occupied me over the whole year over and over. On the one hand, in the beginning of the year, I was faced by streaming somehow Android to Genode, which resulted in the Scrcpy work eventually. It was really alien to me in the beginning, required to leave my comfort zone. Reading/understanding/extending an Android app and using Java I had done years back at University. On the other hand, this work also reinforced to me the motivation, not solely the pandemic, to record our demos and new features whenever possible. The Scrcpy work also strongly strengthen the believe that the CPU migration work, done in the second part of the year, is required for ported software. All in all, now I even do video editing and already could support my fellow developers with that :-). Of course, the quality needs improvements but also requires more time. Let's see. Nevertheless, I see it as success - probably, we never uploaded more Genode related videos within one year ever [1][2][3][4].

Even so my envisioned [0] improved AMD support did not make it to the official roadmap, I invested some of my private spare time. The base is the base, and upholding isolation of mad going devices/drivers from the rest of the Genode OS components is crucial. This lead to the work of adding IO-MMU support for AMD machines to get to the same isolation level for device drivers as for the Intel machines. Testing this feature on all of the modern AMD machines of my friends and family took a while to get it done and straight. With an extended Sculpt 20.08 image at hand, I discovered and addressed several other issues, e.g. network and USB. Finally, I started to improve the VBox5 AMD support in my private spare time, which still needs some tweaks. My hope is, that with the next Sculpt OS release more AMD machines are usable actually.

Of course, also several smaller topics and clean up work through the whole Genode framework (e.g. replacing Genode lock with mutex/blockade) were part of the year.

For the next year, I would like to see progress in the following topics and I'm willing to work on them and/or contribute to:

* Extended desktop support using multiple monitors (so, not just mirroring as today) with Sculpt OS.

* Update of our Intel GPU work (done some years ago) and integrate with Sculpt OS, e.g. make it usable in a daily fashion.

* I really would like to move my daily developer load (edit/compile/link/run) out of a VM. This is possible since long time, but requires better integration with Sculpt and performance improvements on various edges.

* Extend easiness of writing multithreaded service/multiplexer components. In principle this is possible, but requires some love and extensions to minimize unnecessary cross CPU load.

* SMMU (read: I/O-MMU by ARM) in our own base-hw kernel.



Alexander Boettcher
Genode Labs -

Genode Labs GmbH - Amtsgericht Dresden - HRB 28424 - Sitz Dresden
Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

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