Darbat: Virtualising a UNIX Kernel

A Presentation by Charles Gray

Darbat is a project at the Embedded, Real-Time, and
Operating-Systems (ERTOS) group at National ICT Australia (NICTA).

Darbat para-virtualises the open-source Darwin Kernel from Mac OS X
into a device-driver and kernel module running on top of the L4
microkernel, also from NICTA.

Splitting Darwin into driver and kernel modules running as user
processes allows us to create arbitrary secure kernel and driver
instances. This provides isolated device drivers, server consolidation
and secure sub-systems.

NICTA also has a port of the Linux kernel to L4 called Wombat. This
allows a heterogeneous system with multiple Linux and Darwin instances
running side-by-side on one computer. With these systems the administrator
has the ability to either share or partition resources such as CPUs, RAM
and device drivers, depending on the required configuration.

While Darbat is a drastic departure from the typical monolithic kernel
module, it runs binary native applications and binary device drivers
from Mac OS X 10.4.7.

Darbat and Wombat are both works in progress. This proposal is for a
presentation on the design, implementation and status of the Darbat system.
We will also discuss how Wombat fits into the heterogeneous system and
how they exist together on the one machine.

Direct link to video