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This category is on operating systems (OSs) which main trait is that they have a microkernel architecture. A microkernel is a minimal OS kernel providing only basic OS services (system calls), while other services (usually done by kernels) are done by user-space programs called servers. Usually, microkernels provide services such as address space (memory) management, thread management, and inter-process communication, but not networking, or display. Later extensions of microkernel designs led to new architectures such as nanokernels, exokernels, and hardware abstraction layers (HAL). Monolithic kernels (DOS, Linux, most Unix, Windows, etc.) go in their own category. On this page, OSs are arranged in three groups and levels: 1) Top group: types or classes of OS. 2) Middle group: OSs for which there are more than one instance of an OS of this name/type, an OS family. 3) Bottom group: specific OSs, individual instances; there is only one OS of this name/type.
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The Open Group: Advanced Research - Page listing several research projects: microkernel OSs (MK7, MK++, AD3) and other modules (CONVERSANT, CORDS, GIPC, SHAWS). ShagOS - Portable object-oriented microkernel OS, dynamically loaded device drivers, fully redesigned and rewritten many times in C++, runs on VAX, x86. Ongoing experiment in using O-O paradigm as framework for full OS, with distributed computing as main aspect in most design decisions. Topsy - Teachable Operating System: tiny multithreaded messaging microkernel, in ANSI C; protected threads, memory managed, and thread/process control. From undergraduate course on concurrency, device programming, OS concepts. Descriptions, documents, theses, downloads, contacts, links. [Open Source, GPL] Microkernel - Growing article, with links to many related topics. Wikipedia. K42 - Growing article, with links to many related topics. Wikipedia. The MicroEmpix Fan Site - One user microkernel (nearer an exokernel), very small, version of Empix Unix-like OS developed at the Computing Systems Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens. Sartoris Microkernel Tutorial - Explains about making a policy-free microkernel; multipart series. HelenOS project - A multiplatform, multiserver operating system for multiprocessor and uniprocessor computers. It is half research and half hobby system, mostly developed by staff and former students of Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague. K42 - High performance, general-purpose research OS kernel for cache-coherent multiprocessors, for next generation servers ranging from small-scale (to grow ubiquitous), to very large-scale non-symmetric (growing important in commercial and technical environments. IBM Research. Open source.
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