Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Nov 2011 11:25 UTC, submitted by moondevil
OSNews, Generic OSes You all know MINIX - a microkernel operating system project led by Andrew Tanenbaum. The French Linux magazine LinuxFr.org has an interview with Andrew Tanenbaum about MINIX' current state and future. There's some interesting stuff in there.
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MicroKernel's
by hackus on Mon 21st Nov 2011 12:01 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Are going to be all crap until the research specifies exactly how to do it. You can read a ton of literature out there on how to organize everything and nobody agrees on any particular solution.

This is not a problem monolithic kernel designs have. _VERY_ cut and dried.

Why is this important?

It is important, because what they don't tell you in a lot of these articles, is that without an agreement of how to do MicroKernel's, hardware manufacturers like Intel, won't invest the billions in hardware to speed them up.

Which is why MicroKernels can't hold a stick to Monolithic ones at the moment.

So in my opinion, if the research community really thinks MicroKernel's are better, there would emerge a consensus on how to do it.

I do not see that in the research at the moment.

It is a great idea, but until the hardware manufacturers are sure they are not taking a huge risk in making orphaned hardware to support those ideas, the Microkernel will remain at a huge disadvantage to Monolithic kernels.

-Hack

Reply Score: -1

RE: MicroKernel's
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 21st Nov 2011 12:08 in reply to "MicroKernel's"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So in my opinion, if the research community really thinks MicroKernel's are better, there would emerge a consensus on how to do it.


As opposed to all the consensus on how to design a monolithic kernel...?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: MicroKernel's
by Valhalla on Mon 21st Nov 2011 19:00 in reply to "RE: MicroKernel's"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Microkernels offers the possibility of system stability should one of it's components fail. The cost is performance. Despite of Thom's claims that the performance degradation is 'slight' anyone who knows how micro-kernels operate understands that there's nothing 'slight' about this loss of performance.

Having to communicate through messaging is MUCH slower than communicating through shared memory. Passing the actual data is MUCH slower than passing a pointer (address) to that data.

As to wether or not this stability is worth the performance loss it all depends on how important this stability is and of course how unstable the more performant non-micro-kernel designs are.

Now obviously the market has shown that the non-micro-kernel based operating system are stable enough that they rather have the performance. There are certainly cases where extreme stability is of outmost importance and in those areas micro-kernels certainly has alot to offer, but for general os demands it's obviously not worth the loss in performance as the demand for micro-kernels is very low.

Now, from a purely architectural standpoint I find micro kernels more elegant, from a practical standpoint I prefer the performance since my non-micro kernel operating system isn't prone to crash. And it seems so does the vast majority of the computing world.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: MicroKernel's
by B. Janssen on Mon 21st Nov 2011 12:21 in reply to "MicroKernel's"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

It is important, because what they don't tell you in a lot of these articles, is that without an agreement of how to do MicroKernel's, hardware manufacturers like Intel, won't invest the billions in hardware to speed them up.

Which is why MicroKernels can't hold a stick to Monolithic ones at the moment.


That's all well until you consider that XNU (Mac OS X) and NTOSKRN (among others Windows 7) are both NOT monolithic kernels. They are not microkernels either, they are what some call macrokernels. But by your logic that would just mean that both, monolithic and microkernels should get the shaft. They don't because the hardware does not care. Micro, macro, mono -- it's all the same to your garden variety AMD64 CPU, and you know why.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: MicroKernel's
by smashIt on Mon 21st Nov 2011 14:35 in reply to "RE: MicroKernel's"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

That's all well until you consider that XNU (Mac OS X) and NTOSKRN (among others Windows 7) are both NOT monolithic kernels.


you have to be more precise with the nt-kernel
in the beginning it was not a real microkernel, but pretty close to one
after nt4 they went more monolithic
and since vista they are moving back to the micro-side

today win 7 even survives a crash of the graphics-driver

Edited 2011-11-21 14:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: MicroKernel's
by jack_perry on Mon 21st Nov 2011 18:44 in reply to "MicroKernel's"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Really? QNX is crap?

Reply Parent Score: 2