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Re: Device drivers in Mach?

From: Constantine Kousoulos
Subject: Re: Device drivers in Mach?
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 21:01:35 +0200
User-agent: Icedove (X11/20061220)

leslie.polzer@gmx.net wrote:

Hello Leslie

  when I went to the task page with notes on the coming sound system, I
noticed that it's written there that device drivers go into Mach.

  Why is that?  I thought a big point of micro kernels was that a single
malfunctioning driver couldn't affect the whole system because it
doesn't sit in �admin� space.

Your observation is correct. All of Mach's drivers currently reside inside the kernel. AFAIK, Mach's IPC is too slow to support user space drivers. When Mach was created at Carnegie Mellon, they had experimented with user space drivers and observed the above conclusion. I'm sure that the senior members of this project can give you more detailed info on the subject than me.

However, processors have gotten *a lot* faster the last ten years since Mach's creation, so i have a few reservations if the current IPC system is completely unusable with user space drivers. Once again, the senior members of this project can shed more light on the subject.


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