Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Tools Operating Systems Microkernels vs Monolithic Reply To: Microkernels vs Monolithic

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Its not at all premature to be asking this 🙂

We are porting L4 which is a microkernel. We anticipate that other microkernels will also be ported.

There Are a couple of new opportunities too:

Even if you have a monolithic kernel, you can start to adopt finer-grained isolation on the Mill and become more microkernel-like, or even split up user apps into services.

There is also the exciting possibility to keep isolation without actually going via syscalls for IPC: with the Mill, you can build a new kind of OS where calls between clients and servers – or peers – goes straight across in the same thread via portals. However, this challenges how a lot of conventional OSes think about thread to process/task mappings and what kill() does and preemption and time sharing accounting and so on. So an exciting future research area!

Classic monolithic and micro- kernels will run as-is on the Mill architecture and run very well. The Mill allows for a evolutionary migration to greater isolation too. But the Mill also makes technical room for new innovation and experimentation 🙂