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Re: Real-time operation of Mach microkernel?

From: Richard Braun
Subject: Re: Real-time operation of Mach microkernel?
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:37:54 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 03:58:40PM -0400, John Wason wrote:
> I am a robotics engineer and find Hurd's design interesting.  It is  
> difficult to run robotic software on a full operating system because the  
> kernel is way to complicated to specialize for a real-time robot system.  
> Real-time linux does exist, but you still end up dealing with all the 
> complexity of linux at the low-level control loop.  Are there any plans 
> for doing a real-time version of the Mach kernel?  I think it would 
> actually be a "relatively minor" change to a microkernel when compared to 
> the full linux kernel.  Basically certain callback function would need to 
> be executed at exactly the right time, and have the ability to read and 
> write to hardware very quickly at a low level.  I curretly use a program 
> that is more or less dos, and uses raw pci equivalents of "inp" and 
> "outp".  Some DMA control may be useful as well.

First, don't confuse Mach and the Hurd, what you're asking has actually
little to do with the latter.

There already are real time versions of Mach (see [1] for an example),
but they're mostly abandonned. Concerning GNU Mach, the current priority
is userspace drivers through DDE (which makes real time hardware
accesses even harder), and there are no plans to make it real time in
the near future.

Richard Braun

[1] http://www.rtmach.org/index-e.html

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