The Genode project released the fourth version of their Sculpt operating system, subtitled as “Community Experience”. The background of this slogan is the project’s ambition to remove the need for any middleman between developers and users. In contrast to today’s mainstream OSes, which rely on trusted distributions or app stores, Sculpt works completely federated. The integrity of the installed software is protected by digital signatures of the respective software providers while each piece of software is sandboxed both at installation time and at runtime. This way, users don’t need to be faithful but enter a position of ultimate control. This is capability-based security at work!
As explained in the accompanying blog posting, Sculpt CE features an new user interface to integrate software into the running system and to reveal the trusted computing base of each component.
Without a middleman between software providers and users in Sculpt OS, there is the obvious question: How can a user find software? The Genode project tries to answer this question with their community blog called Genodians.org started earlier this year. It gives Genode developers a way to announce new software while users can share their perspectives and ideas. Just like Sculpt OS, the content of Genodians.org is managed in a federated fashion.
Sculpt CE is available as a ready-to-use disk image bootable from a USB stick. The release is accompanied with comprehensive documentation that covers both the use the system and the philosophy behind it.