Genode is a new OS architecture that is able to align high security, robustness, and deterministic system behaviour with dynamic application workload. The project has now released its first ready-to-boot Live CD that demonstrates the key ideas of the architecture in an interactive fashion using a custom GUI and a number of example applications. It runs on Qemu, VirtualBox, and a range of native PC hardware.
I’ll leave it to the Genode people to describe what Genode actually is:
Genode is a novel operating-system architecture that enables dynamic workload while retaining security and robustness. The fundamental difference of Genode compared to other OS architectures is its strict organizational structure, which allows the execution of sensitive applications with a trusted computing base of a few thousand lines of code beside high-complexity workload. With its organizational approach, the architecture facilitates a clean separation of policies and mechanisms, and enables the definition and application of system policies in a natural and distributed fashion. Genode’s resource-management concept enables highly dynamic workload but still retains deterministic behaviour normally only found in statically configured systems.”
The Genode OS framework is a reference implementation of the architecture described above, in less than 10000 lines of source code. It originates from the L4 community, within the TU Dresden OS research group, and is now a GPL v2-licensed community project. Even though the current goals are more about specialised niches, the makers believe Genode will scale towards a general purpose operating system.