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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:25:19 +0000
From: Justin Cormack <>
	"" <>
Subject: Re: kernel design

On 28 January 2015 at 17:12, stephen Turner <> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 11:19 AM, Nathan McSween <>
> wrote:
> Unikernels is that bare metal stuff is it not? so then that elk project (is
> it elk?) is a unikernel + Musl + what ever linkage (syscalls and api?) is
> needed to support native linux apps?
> If i am understanding this still out of my element programming jargon, exo
> kernels don't manage the apps they take a step back and simply supervise.
> this leaves the existing gnu applications to speak directly with hardware
> which they were not made for by using syscalls that the existing kernel
> recognizes. so there would need to be a userspace kernel (now were getting
> into mach kernels) of sorts to intermediate for old school apps while
> allowing new built for exo kernel apps to do their unencumbered duties.

I am not sure the terms are defined that well - every project seems to
define a term for its architecture, have never seen two using the same
term. Some provide traditional Posix APIs, while some like Mirage are
language specific with custom interfaces. Then you can run them on
bare metal, or Xen (which ships with a stub interface which makes it
easier). I work on the NetBSD rump kernel ( which is a
slightly different architecture again.


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