Couple of things have been done to help. The debate also never really considered changes in silicon to help. Zircon would allow arm to continue to keep the monopoly on mobile SOCs while never updating any driver ever. Google embeds the Linux kernel in Android and ChromeOS. A per-CPU area of memory is necessary as the kernel code is made to be run equally on any CPU (so the code is identical but the pointers are not). IMO, one of the best Zircoin thing is async kernel API calls. Little Kernel was developed by Travis Geiselbrecht, who had also coauthored the NewOS kernel used by Haiku. Anything can pretend to be a filesystem without having to mess with FUSE or whatever. This is something that Zircon supports from the ground up. You set up a chunk of memory that is mapped into multiple process memory spaces. Now Google has come out with an even better scheduler and one of the most impressive schedulers I have seen and I am old. We’ve seen that the Fuchsia team has been working to bring the Android Runtime to Fuchsia, possibly by making it work directly with the Zircon kernel instead of the Linux kernel. It feels very much like the Windows kernel. Once they have the Kernel worked out, then they’ll likely transition Android and Chrome OS towards that kernel. Because Android is Linux based and largely licensed under the GPL, Google has no option but to make it open. It performs functionalities such as communicating with hardware devices, process management, file … Lack of kernel ABI causes an increase in support cost for Google and makes it so they are less agile with Android and ChromeOS. By my understanding the fact that it's made of millions of lines of code, and they all have access to the user space, could allow some malicious code to theoretically access it all, relying on any bug. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Cookies help us deliver our Services. It is a bit insane that we have never looked at addressing the negative of a microkernel with hardware. Zircon is the core platform that powers the Fuchsia. This is weird because Google considers Zircon a microkernel and I've never heard of the number of supported syscalls being the determining factor of the type of kernel, so I don't know how the Wikipedia editor came to this conclusion. Funny enough, Apple has been doing this with their Hybrid kernel (XNU) and A-series processor designs. The kernel is the core of the operating system. Our core problem today with Moore's law coming to an end is NOT compute. This is the Zircon kernel's list of system calls This is the Zircon kernel's list of system calls.. Notice one glaring absence? It means the system call can be serviced on a different core than the one making the call. This makes your question flawed. Google embeds the Linux kernel in Android and ChromeOS. Two negative points can be noted: Fuchsia doesn't (yet?) Which Google is taking with Zircon. Lowers context switches and flushing instruction cache. https://fuchsia.googlesource.com/docs/+/ea2fce2874556205204d3ef70c60e25074dc7ffd/development/languages/fidl/tutorial.md. These services are all tightly coupled, and if any of them fail, the entire kernel panics, throws up all over itself and crashes the machine. According to the documentation, Fuchsia aims to be a modular, capability-based operating system using a so-called Zircon kernel, which is a microkernel providing the … The big change between this and their existing OS – Chrome and Android – is they will be using a new type of kernel. That means you have more control over what those pesky vendors put into your kernel to slow it down. To use zirconboot, pass the netsvc.netboot=true argument to zircon via the kernel command line. I do believe Zircon will also facilitate some innovation with hardware. What I would like to know though, is what are Zircon and Fuchsia capable of that Linux, due to the way it is made, can never do? It uses a capabilities based security approach. Someone used the older Zircon scheduler as inspiration for a similar scheduler for LInux for example. Default I/O on Zircon is async. Zircon contains the kernel of Fuchsia OS , the device manager, the most core and first party device drivers, and low-level system libraries such as libc and launchpad. So many people have answered the benefits way better than me :) I would like to add though, that I read an official statement from someone at Google (and unfortunately I can't find a link for it now) that the biggest problem they have with linux kernel is security. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Zircon is developed in C++. How with Moore's law coming to an end it is going to be all about hardware. 3 Comments. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Fuchsia, a new Operating System by Google -- https://fuchsia.dev/, Press J to jump to the feed. Zircon commits the same mistake with its `object_get_prop`  and `object_get_info` . We have not had a new kernel that was front in center in a very, very, very long time. It could be a big leap for Google. Linus refuses to have a kernel/driver ABI. You have nothing and then have to enable. The structure of Zircon also opens the door for some innovation in scheduling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azt8Nc-mtKM&t=62s. In Linux, the kernel is a single large process. All the big kernels right now are 30 years old and were designed for a very different time. It is possible/likely that Zircon will be more efficient than Linux when there is more cores. After paving is completed, the target system should boot in Fuchsia's Zircon kernel rather than the Linux kernel. Zircon is composed of a microkernel (source in kernel/...) as well as a small set of userspace services, drivers, and libraries (source in system/...) necessary for the system to boot, talk to hardware, load userspace processes and run them, etc. To be clear, I'm sure things like that exist in some sense of the word, but clearly not at the syscall layer. Aside from wanting to get away from the GPL as some suggest, I can't really see a reason for Google to want to make a whole new kernel from scratch, when Linux seems like a more practical choice as a mature platform adopted widely by the industry, and one that they also have a lot of experience developing with. So serviced on the same core as making the request. but the second is really exciting. While Fuchsia will have security built in, so that for instance any file will be accessible in different ways by different roles / apps / rights. One of the main features of the Zircon is that drivers sit in userspace, which fixes a big problem that exists currently with Android phones where its very difficult to update Linux versions on the phone separate from the drivers. https://fuchsia.googlesource.com/fuchsia/+/refs/heads/master/zircon/docs/fair_scheduler.md. The problem with your question is you could customize Linux to be better about doing this and there has been some that have for testing purposes and got amazing results. It is memory access. So serviced on the same core as making the request. Lack of kernel ABI causes an increase in support cost for Google and makes it so they are less agile with Android and ChromeOS. It highlights the fact that systemd is a loose papering-over of the mismatches between operating system design evolved from the 1970s, whereas Fuchsia can basically start afresh and without being encumbered with design decisions that may not necessarily make sense with respect to modern computing. This is also the main reason why Google is creating a new kernel for the phone to replace Linux called Zircon. The design of drivers and so on looks really flexible. Not having to support old Pentiums makes the kernel cleaner. Zircon is a small fraction. Zirconboot is a mechanism that allows a zircon system to serve as the bootloader for zircon itself. Thank you! These mechanisms include low-level address space management, thread management, and inter-process communication (IPC).. The only way to do it with Linux is a hack. Zircon is written mostly in C++ , with some parts in assembly language . A big one is Linux is now well over 15 million lines of code which makes it very difficult to secure. Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 30 April 2020 at 03:27 AM EDT. Lots of benefits and then some negatives. Had they decided to use a heavily modified Linux kernel instead, would any of their architectural choices for the Fuchsia project not be possible? Zircon has a unified system to manage the lifetime of, and control access to, all kernel objects. But you have me curious? If Linux were to be modified, could it be whittled down to be a small hybrid kernel? Darwin uses a C++ subset on IO Kit, and Metal shaders are C++14. Besides the microkernel, it includes a small set of userspace services, drivers, and libraries. I think they’re just using it as a testing environment for their new Zircon kernel. Zircon (formerly Magenta) is the basis of the new Google operating system, but strictly speaking it is not part of Fuchsia OS and could be used with other operating systems as well. Linux was just not designed for that. Zircon is very much in the legacy of linux. So you can have a core servicing I/O while the application is running on a different core. This also enables a type of pipelining. not a "full" kernel, but a monolithic one. The thing that bothers me is the overheads of all this messaging and context switching. But that was also a very different time. AUTOSAR has updated their guidelines to use C++14 instead of C. Plus causing a context switch. Also kernels should not happen in isolation. It uses micro kernel named Zircon. It enables work to be done on a different core then made the request. Why I suspect we will see more and more cores. https://fosdem.org/2019/schedule/event/hardware_software_co_design/. Existing Google operating systems run on Linux, but this combined OS will run on Zircon (named after the mineral) This is rumored to be consistently upgradeable and extremely secure. We already have two generations with someone actually porting the concepts of the first to Linux. "BMQ "BitMap Queue" Is The Newest Linux CPU Scheduler, Inspired By Google's Zircon", https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-BitMap-Queue-BMQ. ll Zircon system calls except the wait calls are asynchronous. The way Zircon uses handles, and the zx_object_wait_one() and zx_object_wait_many() functions, really show the Windows influence. That never made much sense to me and would think that would be what Google does. To elaborate, I understand that Zircon and Linux are inherently different in that one is a microkernel, and the other is monolithic. I remember when it happened as old and was on Usenet at the time. Even namespaces. It makes more sense to compare Zircon to seL4, or an operating system framework like Genode (which runs on seL4) to Fuchsia. It is like one giant program. The other is the async aspect of Zircon enables servicing on a different core then made the request. The async aspect is critical. TL;DR – What can Zircon (and Fuchsia as a whole) do that Linux could never do as well? Fuchsia is not Linux and the Zircon kernel is a microkernel which is based on the Google microkernel infrastructure lk (“Little Kernel”). I am not following this?
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