Singularity: Rethinking the Software Stack
Every operating system embodies a collection of design decisions. Many of the decisions behind today’s most popular operating systems have remained unchanged, even as hardware and software have evolved. Operating systems form the foundation of almost every software stack, so inadequacies in present systems have a pervasive impact. This paper describes the efforts of the Singularity project to re-examine these design choices in light of advances in programming languages and verification tools. Singularity systems incorporate three key architectural features: software-isolated processes for protection of programs and system services, contract-based channels for communication, and manifest-based programs for verification of system properties. We describe this foundation in detail and sketch the ongoing research in experimental systems that build upon it.
Copyright © 2007 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept, ACM Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The definitive version of this paper can be found at ACM's Digital Library -http://www.acm.org/dl/.