GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011

HelenOS group at Department of Distributed and Dependable Systems, Charles University in Prague

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Update: Our code repository can be found at

Department of Distributed and Dependable Systems is responsible for research and education in the advanced techniques for building reliable component-based software especially in the field of distributed and dependable systems. This also comprises our work on HelenOS, a state-of-the-art operating system based on microkernel multiserver design principles.

[IMAGE]HelenOS decomposes key operating system functionality into many isolated but intensively communicating server processes that reside entirely in user space. HelenOS thus provides a computing environment that has several virtues, such as flexibility, increased robustness, well defined explicit interfaces and reduced complexity as compared to other operating system architectures.

HelenOS does not aim to be another clone of Unix or some other legacy system and is not POSIX-compliant (even though it may seem POSIX-similar at times). Instead, we try to design it according to our taste and sense for what is the most elegant and right thing to do. What makes HelenOS unique among the other multiserver operating systems is its multiplatform and multiprocessor microkernel. HelenOS runs on 7 different processor architectures, ranging from a 32-bit uniprocessor little-endian ARMv4 and a commodity PC with an x86 or x86-64 processor to a 64-bit multicore big-endian UltraSPARC T1.


  • C compiler toolchain and library improvements for HelenOS At the moment, the only way to build software for use in HelenOS is to cross-compile it as part of the operating system's source tree from another operating system. The intent of this project, should it be accepted, is to provide a functional C compiler for use natively within HelenOS, as well as to improve the native C library and to provide a compatibility layer for legacy POSIX software.
  • Enhancement of libc implementation driven by porting binutils Porting GNU linker and GNU assembler to the HelenOS environment. Implementing necessary HelenOS libc functions that are currently missing or POSIX incompatible.
  • FAT server improvement: FAT12, FAT32, exFAT, LFN By improving support for other FAT formats, HelenOS will be able to mount them and access data stored on them.