Talk:Microkernel

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AIX is not microkernel based[edit]

AIX is not based on a microkernel. The closest commercial server UNIX to a microkernel is tru64, and that's EOLed.

There was quite a bit of discussion about this at www.realworldtech.com, and all the big commercial UNIXes (solaris, hpux, aix, irix) are NOT based on microkernels.

Merging with "Kernel" article[edit]

A merging of the article "microkernel" with the "kernel" article was proposed because of the possibility of producing "redundant information" between the two. Redundancy did exist at the time of the proposal. Moving the material permanentyl to "kernel" would have resulted in a redirect from "microkernel" and avoidance of such redudancy.

However, many agreed the microkernel concept is "best discussed as a topic by itself" and warranted "independent discussion". One was hesitant to adding material on microkernels to the "kernel" article because it consequently "would seriously weigh down" the latter.

The article originally also had material that slighted microkernels, rather than explaining. Since then, more descriptive material on microkernels found on the L4 kernel and Mach kernel pages has been transferred to the microkernel article. The material at "Kernel" has been moved to the "microkernel" article, and reduandant edits should now be avoided.

The merger has been averted for now, but the article still needs other work.


Adding Singularity[edit]

Shouldn't Singularity be on the list of microkernels? 7-nov-2005 20:33 CET


I would concur with the addition of Singularity and the merging of the topics until the size of the content dictates otherwise. dru

Windows NT and Mac OS microkernels[edit]

Sorry, they are not. NT started off as a microkernel design (I believe that's where the "NT" for "New Technology" comes from, using an approach that was only about 25 years old), many core services, including most device drivers, were put back into the kernel for performance reasons. Similarly, Mac OS X (derived from Next) uses what was long ago a virtualised BSD Unix on top of Mach, but due to the poor performance of Mach the BSD kernel was put back into kernel mode, together with Mach. Mac OS X is very much a monolithic kernel, despite using Mach IPC for communication between some userland components. There once was the Darbat project that started replacing Mach by L4 and running Unix as a userland server (i.e. a proper microkernel design, see this semi-informed article, but it never saw the commercial light of day (despite rumours that it was taken much further than our proof of concept). heiser (talk) 05:50, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Windows NT started out as something of a microkernel; in NT 3.51, the graphics subsystem was outside the kernel. In NT 4, the kernel became much larger as much code from Windows 95 was ported over and put in the kernel.[1]. This was done mostly to make Windows 95 programs work on NT. NT was originally much stricter about many kernel calls than Windows 95, and many applications wouldn't run. [2]. In the end, NT's successor OSs, all the way to Windows 10, were not microkernels. John Nagle (talk) 06:39, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
OP blocked as a sock. --NeilN talk to me 06:46, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Something of a microkernel, but with the file system, storage device drivers, networking stack, and networking device drivers running in kernel mode rather than as user-mode servers. Perhaps a bit closer to a microkernel than OS X, with e.g. image activation done by the CSRSS process rather than in-kernel as with OS X, but still not all that microkernelish. (Most UN*Xes have the graphics subsystem outside the kernel with X11; the distinction between a "hybrid kernel" and a monolithic kernel is a bit fuzzy.) Guy Harris (talk) 07:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
True. One big problem in OS design is that few systems are good at calling outward; if something in the kernel needs a service, that service usually has to be in the kernel. So either you have a minimal microkernel like L4 or QNX, or a big kernel with file systems and device drivers inside. NT started out halfway in between, but went big-kernel. Anyway, it appears the original post was considered a troll by a now-blocked user, and there's no action required on the article. John Nagle (talk) 08:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)