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The Singularity Operating System





zorindart
Quote:
"Microsoft Research has published the first details of a wholly new operating system under development called Singularity, designed new from the ground up, built on a new language and designed with emphasis on dependability instead of performance."
Source: Singularity Site http://research.microsoft.com/os/singularity/

One interesting concept is the abstraction of Software Isolated Processes (SIPs).

SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernel’s address space. Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Boarder application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability"

From the report we can read that:

* SIPs are the OS processes on Singularity. All code outside the kernel executes in a SIP.
differ from conventional operating system processes in a number of ways:
* SIPs are closed object spaces, not address spaces. Two Singularity processes cannot
simultaneously access an object. Communications between processes transfers exclusive
ownership of data.
* SIPs are closed code spaces. A process cannot dynamically load or generate code.
* SIPs do not rely on memory management hardware for isolation. Multiple SIPs can reside
in a physical or virtual address space.
* Communications between SIPs is through bidirectional, strongly typed, higher-order
channels. A channel specifies its communications protocol as well as the values
transferred, and both aspects are verified.
* SIPs are inexpensive to create and communication between SIPs incurs low overhead.
Low cost makes it practical to use SIPs as a fine-grain isolation and extension
mechanism.
* SIPs are created and terminated by the operating system, so that on termination, a SIP’s
resources can be efficiently reclaimed.
* SIPs executed independently, even to the extent of having different data layouts, run-time
systems, and garbage collectors.

Strong concept, I would like to see it in action to form a better opinion. It appears to me that performance could suffer, but perhaps the goal of a dependable operating system is more important to Microsoft.
Shirish
Can you illusteate the kind of architecture MS is talking about

I mean will it support the different features of all OS or will it support all the OS available

What kind of facilities will it provide?

I am developing one and i wanna know what features must I put in my OS like those of compatibility you re talking about
Sebaci
Singularity is something totally new and it has nothing to do with Windows, it's something new. It's mainly written in safe language - Sing#, but also C++, C# and Assembler. If you wanna read all the available info go there: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singularity then click on "Informacje o projekcie Singularity (pdf)" link. The most interesting thing is that badware like viruses will not work in singularity
{name here}
Here's the article in english: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singularity_%28operating_system%29 for those that don't understand Polish(though I do).
Panthrowzay
Ok now the name makes sense. They shelled up the os so virus attacks are weaker and only can attack programs, not the os.
zorindart
Anyway, there will be a long, long way from these first statements to the final product, but I think at last Microsoft is working on a completely new and fresh idea.
{name here}
Concepts of this Os are not new, and were applied on the successor of UNIX - Plan 9. It wasn't fancy, nor was it popular later in its life, but it uses the exact same concepts, and it is open source. Its successor Inferno, which is much more refined, is also open source. It's nothing new, and MS will manage to screw it up later.
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