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Device Driver Reuse via Virtual Machines

LeVasseur, Joshua

Abstract (englisch):
Device drivers constitute a significant portion of an operating system's source code. The effort to develop a new driver set is a sobering hurdle to the pursuit of novel operating system ventures. A practical solution is to reuse drivers, but this can contradict design goals in a new operating system. We offer a new approach to device-driver reuse, with a focus on promoting novel operating-system construction, which insulates the new operating system from the invariants of the reused drivers, while also addressing development effort. Our solution runs the drivers along with their original operating systems inside virtual machines, with some minor reuse infrastructure added to the driver's operating system to interface with the rest of the system. This approach turns the drivers into de-privileged applications of the new operating system, which separates their architectures and reduces cross-influences, and improves system dependability.

Virtual machines help reuse drivers, but they also penalize performance. The known solution for improving virtual machine performance, para-virtualization, modifies the operating system to run on a hypervisor, which has an enormous cost: substantial development effort, and abandonment of many of virtualization's benefits such as modularity. ... mehr

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Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technische Informatik (ITEC)
Publikationstyp Hochschulschrift
Publikationsjahr 2009
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator KITopen-ID: 1000129869
Umfang viii, 166 S.
Art der Arbeit Dissertation
KIT – Die Forschungsuniversität in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
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