[Barrelfish-users] Running Linux over barrelfish

Timothy Roscoe troscoe at inf.ethz.ch
Thu Mar 12 10:05:48 CET 2015

Dear Utsav, 

I'm not quite sure whether Barrelfish is terribly relevant to your
question, but I'll try and answer as best I can. 

Since it's an OS, Barrelfish expects to run on every core in the
system.  If you want to run Linux applications, you've got at least
three options:

 - Run Linux in a virtual machine.  Barrelfish has a rudimentary VMM
   that can boot Linux on hardware with virtualization extensions.  

 - Port the applications and recompile.  POSIX compatibility is not a
   goal of our research, but the POSIX compat layer in Barrelfish is
   not too bad and allows us to run many applications (such as
   PostgreSQL).  The main missing facility (for interesting
   philosophical reasons) is fork().

 - Use a libraryOS like Graphene.  Graphene does not currently run on
   Barrelfish, but we do have someone here looking at porting it over
   the next 6 months or so. 

If you want to run Windows applications, your options are more
limited.  At Microsoft Research in the past they have shown Office and
other applications running over Barrelfish using Drawbridge, but that
code is not released.  Also, supporting Windows in a VMM requires much
more work than supporting the Linux kernel, and we've never tried
booting Windows inside the Barrelfish VMM.

If you really want to partition the hardware into two different areas
and run Linux on some cores and Windows on others, you're going to
have to modify both Linux and Windows to co-exist, share devices,
partition main memory, etc., and you'll almost certainly need source
code to do this (you might try this with the Windows NT research
kernel, which is old but whose source is available to Universities).
Barrelfish in its current form is not going to help you much here. 

For a discussion of the difficulties in doing this just with multiple
instances of Linux, check out the Popcorn Linux project at Virginia
Tech.  Some of the Popcorn folks are on this list, so they might also
be able to reply. 

Best regards,

 -- Timothy Roscoe

At Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:39:47 -0700, Utsav Popli <utsav2601 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello All,
> I want to utilize one core running Linux and another core running windows
> How can I do that ?
> Thank you
> Regards
> Utsav Popli

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