The performance of μ-kernel-based systems

Hermann Härtig, Michael Hohmuth, Jochen Liedtke, Sebastian Schönberg
1997 ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review  
First-generation p-kernels have a reputation for being too slow and lacking sufficient flexibility. To determine whether LA, a lean second-generation p-kernel, has overcome these limitations, we have repeated several earlier experiments and conducted some novel ones. Moreover, we ported the Linux operating system to run on top of the L4 p-kernel and compared the resulting system with both Linux running native, and MkLinux, a Linux version that executes on top of a first-generation Mach-derived
more » ... -kernel. For L4Linux, the AIM benchmarks report a maximum throughput which is only 5% lower than that of native Linux. The corresponding penalty is 5 times higher for a co-located in-kernel version of MkLinux, and 7 times higher for a user-level version of MkLinux. These numbers demonstrate both that it is possible to implement a high-performance conventional operating system personality above a p-kernel, and that the performance of the p-kernel is crucial to achieve this. Further experiments illustrate that the resulting system is highly extensible and that the extensions perform well. Even real-time memory management including second-level cache allocation can be implemented at user-level, coexisting with L4Linux.
doi:10.1145/269005.266660 fatcat:peptnrmws5dvvk5a4m6hbbgbjm