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.
This has been an area of constant research, the area of sandboxing and virtualization is an interesting topic right now given the resource constraints of our new mobile overlords.
The awesome thing is that you can do some pretty cool things today using things like LXC on Linux (messed around with Docker, pretty cool).
In Microsoft land theres Drawbridge OS from MSR and AppContainers in Windows 8.
I think the idea has legs, but I wonder the issues that would arise from the traditional need for software processes to communicate. How is this handled in an isolated libOS environment?
Its brokered in Windows 8, but it comes with obvious restrictions.