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News Archive


Virtual faster than real — with Wombat on L4/Iguana (Posted by Gernot, 31 May 2006)

NICTA has demonstrated that Wombat, its architecture-independent paravirtualised Linux running on Iguana and L4-embedded can outperform native Linux. Wombat's context-switching overheads as measured by lmbench on an XScale processor are up to thirty times less than those of native Linux, thanks to Wombat profiting from the implementation of fast context switches in L4-embedded.

See the relevant NICTA news item for details.

NICTA releases specification of seL4. (Posted by kevine, 13 Mar 2006)

NICTA has released more information on its secure embedded L4 project - seL4. Updated technical information on the project, including a reference manual, is available here.


QUALCOMM uses L4! (Posted by Gernot, 24 Nov 2005)

NICTA today announced a collaborative effort with QUALCOMM Incorporated to use NICTA versions of the L4 Microkernel and the Iguana operating system together with select versions of QUALCOMM's Mobile StationTM chipsets. [Full press release...]

NICTA embedded OS framework released (Posted by Gernot, 24 Nov 2005)

The NICTA ERTOS team is pleased to announce the fist official release of its embedded OS framework, consisting of:

Presently the full package works on ARM and x86 platforms. MIPS64 is fully supported except for Wombat (which is due for release shortly) and an Alpha version is not far behind. See also the NICTA press release.

L4.Sec Preliminary Microkernel Reference Manual released (Posted by Bernhard, 19 Oct 2005)

The operating system's group at Technische Universität Dresden is pleased to announce the first draft of the L4.Sec Preliminary Microkernel Reference Manual.

The document is available at http://os.inf.tu-dresden.de/L4/L4.Sec/.

L4.Sec is a specification of a next generation microkernel interface targeted to co-host user-level servers implementing security-critical functionality next to untrusted and potentially malicious software.

NICTA L4-embedded API released (Posted by Gernot, 05 Oct 2005)

NICTA and the L4Ka Team are pleased to announce the release of the L4-embedded API. It is based on the X.2 API and aims to provide better support for embedded systems. Specifically, it aims to reduce complexity and memory overhead on architectures with limited resources, while keeping the API small, clean, and mostly compatible to X.2.

Reference and user manuals for the new ABI have been added to the Manuals section. A release of a first compliant kernel is planned for later this month.

New User Manual (Posted by gernot, 23 Aug 2005)

A manual describing the use of the X.2 API has been added to the Manuals section.

First release of Magpie (Posted by nfd, 23 Jun 2005)

National ICT Australia is pleased to announce the initial release of the interface compiler for L4.

Magpie joins the existing L4 interface compilers and . Its primary advantage over these compilers is its support for rapid, templated generation of new output modes.

Magpie currently supports the L4 V4 interface, with both generic and -optimised output. Additional output modes, such as component orientation and C++ support, are in development.


Beta release of Kenge, Iguana and Wombat (Posted by Benno, 4 12 2004)

National ICT Australia is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4 of the first stage of its Embedded Systems Framework for beta testing.

The software is fairly stable and in use in several commercial settings. However, no performance tuning has been done to date. This will be done for the 1.0 release, which is planned for February 2005.

The present release consists of the following components:

The software presently runs on x86 and ARM platforms, a beta-version for MIPS will follow shortly and further ports are underway. An experimental version of L4Ka::Pistachio is required to run the software, this is included. Driver support is limited at present, but more will be available soon.

L4Env 0.2 released (Posted by ron, 01 Sep. 2004)

The TU Dresden OS team is happy to announce the release of version 0.2 of . Additionally, new versions of the DDE and libstdc++ are provided.

For more information, check out the page.

L4Linux-2.6 released (Posted by adam, 24 Aug. 2004)

L4Linux based on Linux 2.6 has been released. This version of L4Linux is based on L4Env and available via anonymous CVS.

For more information about L4Linux go to l4linux.org.

L4 in the news (Posted by benno, 11 Aug. 2004)

The BLUEsat is using L4 as the basis for its computer system. This has generated some news in LinuxWorld.au, tecChannel, PC World, and Heise online.

L4Ka::Pistachio 0.4 Released (Posted by benno, 16 Jun. 2004)

The L4Ka team is happy to announce the release of L4Ka::Pistachio version 0.4. With L4Ka::Pistachio the L4Ka team aims at providing a robust, portable, high performance implementation of the L4 Version 4 API.

It has been a long time since our last release, but we hope that all the new functionality and bug fixes were worth the wait. Among other things, the version 0.4 release adds support for 3 new hardware architectures. All in all the L4Ka::Pistachio kernel now runs on the following architectures:

For more information see the full announcement.

Kenge released (Posted by benno, 15 Feb. 2004)

Kenge provides a set of useful libraries and example code for use with the kernel. It is released under a BSD style license by the UNSW/NICTA team.

L4Linux-2.4 released by the L4Ka team (Posted by jtl, 13 Jan. 2004) The L4Ka team is pleased to announce the availability of L4Linux 2.4, which is a deprivileged Linux kernel running on an L4 microkernel. The release contains support for the L4Ka::Pistachio and Fiasco kernels. It supports the IA32 architecture and features multi-processor support on L4Ka::Pistachio. L4Linux is available via anonymous CVS.

L4Linux is for the L4 developer community, and operating systems researchers and developers at large. L4Linux offers a great environment in which to develop and research with L4 microkernels. It offers the support infrastructure of Linux, yet the advantages of the L4 microkernel. This release should not be used in production environments nor for performance evaluations.

For more information about L4Linux go to


used as a teaching OS (Posted by kevine, 2 Sep. 2003) is being used as a base for an operating system project in the Advanced Operating Systems course at UNSW. Students build their own Simple Operating System (SOS :-) from scratch on top of the micro-kernel.

For those looking for an introduction to programming, the slides used to teach the API during the course are available in the documentation section.

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