This new microkernel is a new implementation of the L4 microkernel, written from scratch. As the FAQ states: "It is a modern microkernel implementation that provides capabilities for virtualization and implementation of native OS services. Codezero can act as a virtualisation platform, a hardware abstraction layer, and as a basis for developing operating system services. Codezero's primary focus is on embedded systems."
The project is completely open source, licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3, and they ask that you sign a copyright share agreement, and you can then freely contribute. They add, however, that this is just their current model, and encourage people to contribute possible alternative models to the mailing list.
A common question they apparently seem to be getting is why they don't just work on improving "a popular open source kernel" instead of Codezero. According to them, open source POSIX kernels are not a good fit for the embedded market because of three core reasons:
- Their source code is encumbered and cluttered with legacy or unrelated components.
- Their user bases are saturated, their core developers are engaged and focused on non-embedded platforms.
- Their source code base is too complex to grasp and most components enforce unnecessary policy on embedded applications.
Since they do recognise that existing open source kernels offer some valuable features and drivers, they attempt to virtualise these on top of the Codezero kernel.
You can follow the download guide to get your hands on Codezero.