Computer Sciences Dept.

Infokernel: An Evolutionary Approach to Operating System Design

Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau

Although information about the internals of the operating system is useful to applications, such information is rarely exposed. In this paper, we argue that all information about the internal state, algorithms, and costs of the OS should be exported. We term an OS that exports this information an infokernel. We show that access to information is useful so that applications can both adapt to and control the behavior of the 0S. Given that it is relatively easy to modify existing systems to expose information, we believe this is a practical way to obtain many of the benefits of more radical extensible systems.

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