On Fri, May 03, 2002 at 10:43:00AM +0100, Matthew French mentioned:
> I would not be surprised if Linux adopts more and more micro-kernel features
> as it ages. Likewise it is not unreasonable to expect a real-world
> microkernel implementation to stray a little and become more monolithic over
> time. The Windows NT kernel is a good example of this.
And, there are other alternatives to microkernel vs. monolithic.
For a start, five years ago, most monolithic unix kernels didn't have
kernel threads or dynamically loadable modules, which are some of the
benefits of microkernels. Other benefits of microkernels are that losing
one subsystem doesn't take the whole system down; something mirrored in
Linux by the idea that a panic in "ext3fs" subsystem doesn't stop you
reading from the network or from ext2fs filesystems.
Both Linus and Alan Cox, that I've noticed, seem to be big into the "that
should be in user space" idea - building kernel support for pushing as
much functionality /as makes sense/ into user space; again, a big
advantage of micro kernels.
Once you have factored in all those things, what's the point in working
on microkernels, proper ?
John Looney Chief Scientist
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