Linked by BloopFloop on Wed 15th Jan 2014 22:32 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

ACM Queue posted an article titled "Unikernels: Rise of the Virtual Library Operating System", written by the main developers of MirageOS. The article is a good overview of the motivation and design of Mirage, which is a specialized lightweight hypervisor guest operating system for Xen. It's developed in OCaml and benefits from its features like memory safety, module system and compiler optimisations. It's comparable to OSv on many fronts.

More here.

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RE: vDSO's to the extreme
by Brendan on Thu 16th Jan 2014 02:51 UTC in reply to "vDSO's to the extreme"
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I can't deny this is the way that light-weight virtualization (I.e. SaaS) is going. It's going to be interesting to see how things go.

I'll tell you exactly how things will go. To start with the "virtual device abstractions" will be made cleaner, easier and leaner. For example, rather than bothering to emulate a real network card (and all its messy details) you'd just have a "hypervisor call" to send and receive packets. The communication between the individual "SaaS guest OSs" will also improve.

Then someone smart will realise that pages of RAM that have the same contents can be shared by multiple guest OSs; and to reduce RAM consumption they'll "invent" some way to make that happen efficiently.

Finally, one day someone will decide to call the hypervisor an "OS" and decide to call the individual SaaS guest OSs "processes".

Basically, once the efficiency problems are fixed, we'll all realise it's exactly the same as a modern multitasking OS anyway.

Of course then someone will decide to run the hyper-visor as a guest inside a "meta-hypervisor", and the cycle of stupidity will repeat.

- Brendan

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