Kernel Mode Linux (KML)

Dear Types readers,

We are pleased to announce the release of an alpha version of Kernel
Mode Linux (KML, in short) at:


KML is not a joke.  Of course, Linux is an operating system kernel and
runs in the kernel mode, but KML enables even *user* programs to run
in the kernel mode.  Thus, those user programs have direct access to
the kernel, which is faster than ordinary system calls in an order of
magnitude.  Unlike kernel modules, KML allows standard mechanisms such
as preemptive process scheduling and paging to work as usual.

But isn't this dangerous?  Well, it depends.  As all of you know very
well, there are technologies to guarantee safety of programs without
depending on hardware protection, such as static typing, proof
carrying code, software fault isolation, etc.  We hope that KML will
be of use for people who want to apply those technologies to OS
kernels but don't have enough resources to hack them or develop one
from scratch.

Comments and questions are welcome.  In particular, if you have
complaints about the documentation, please tell us - it may not
improve otherwise!

Best regards,

    Toshiyuki Maeda
    Eijiro Sumii

P.S.  Unfortunately, KML doesn't work on the current version of VMware
because of a bug in VMware.  This bug is already reported to the
vendor, so it will hopefully be fixed in the near future.