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Coyotos is a capability-based security-focused microkernel operating system developed by The EROS Group, LLC.[1] It is a successor to the EROS system that was created at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.


Coyotos is considered by its creators to be an “evolutionary step”[2] beyond the EROS operating system, which in turn was derived from KeyKOS, itself coming from GNOSIS (Great New Operating System In the Sky). The primary developer of EROS was Jonathan S. Shapiro, who is also a driving force behind Coyotos and the BitC programming language. A more in-depth history is located at History:"The Path to Coyotos". In 2006 the Coyotos developers worked with the developers of GNU Hurd to make Coyotos a suitable microkernel for GNU Hurd[citation needed]. However, the Hurd project returned to the Mach microkernel instead.

From April 2009[3] to March 2010,[4] Jonathan Shapiro was employed by Microsoft[5] and was not working on Coyotos or BitC.


Since March 2010, the main development effort has been[6] on the BitC language being designed for use in Coyotos: as of April 2016, the last change[7] to Coyotos was in June 2010.[8]


One of the Coyotos project's many objectives was to become the first formally verified operating system. To support this, the project contributed to developing a new programming language called BitC and a new compiler called BitCC.

This title now belongs to seL4, an L4-family microkernel developed by researchers from NICTA and the University of New South Wales.


Coyotos has a microkernel design which “retains the atomicity and pure capability-based design of the EROS system”,[9] but which “introduces a more efficient memory mapping mechanism”.


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