Roadmap 2022

Alexander Tormasov a.tormasov at
Fri Jan 7 21:32:13 CET 2022

	Hi, Johannes,
thanks for ideas sharing.

>> definitely so. while there are something «around» process - e.g. a
>> way to execute process inside existing container, error handling/etc
> In my view, a container maps in Genode to a subsystem (comprising a VFS
> server and other infrastructure). Hence, starting a process inside an
> existing container should be pretty straightforward.


> I believe sharing code pages in Genode would be a matter of the parent
> component who sets up the children's address spaces. Currently, we use
> the sandbox library for this.

I assume that this sharing implemented on the edge between file system and page cache (at least this is true for Linux/unix and Windows)

in that case we need to have single VFS server with own cache/page mapping for files being shared between different instance of containers (subsystems), not only for children’s?
is it true for current implementation of [single VFS+FS server] <=> [[multiple subsystems]]?

>> if we want to share effectively files they should be visible with the
>> same «inode» (or similar, depending upon a file system) then instance
>> of file system should be visible from every container via single FS
>> instance. it should handle COW as well.
> I think this is exactly what a VFS server component does. It
> provides a File_system service to which multiple components can
> connect.

do you have an example of implementation of combination of VFS+FS server and a set of subsystems (at least 2) connected to the single server instance?

>>>> 3. Implementing a container runtime for Genode that sets up a
>>> sub-init to launch the container process with the appropriate VFS
>>> and helper components according to the container configuration.
>> again, same question like above. typically you could use something
>> like tinit (tiny init) for such purposes, while it is not mandatory
>> and for many apps it will work without. but you need to understand
>> what will be with child processes inside container, who will own them
>> after death of parent (or this should not happens and you can use app
>> itself as pseudo init).
> Sorry, I was not crystal clear in my terminology. By "sub-init", I meant
> Genode's init component that we use for spawning subsystems.
> Honestly, I haven't spent any thought on multi-process containers. I
> had the impression that most commonly a container merely runs a single
> process, i.e. does not spawn new processes on its own.

this is not exactly true. while initially containers was developed with such an idea, later it became more complex

imagine build container - it run make inside (which fork gcc which in turn fork cpp then cc1 then as then ls and may be ar/ranlib/objcopy/etc)
and if you have make -j4 - then make will run 4 parallel compilation (if Makefile allows). they must use the same file system instance (volume) to process intermediate files like .c -> .i -> .s -> .o -> .out...

returning back to genode and subsystems.
how it is implemented in this moment , e.g. how make (native) can run inside genode noux?
probably it use libc fork()/exec()/etc together with pthreads?
do the processes (threads in genode terminology) share something bu default after start?
can I run a bunch of «processes» inside genode in single subsystem which share some services from outside (like VFS+FS)?

more interesting question - do they share single swapping to disk service if need? 
or every subsystem has own pager with own page file?

I think that if I will have examples of implementation of these features in the way which will be suitable for genode subsystem-per-container model then we can have docker on genode relatively fast.


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