[vbox-dev] Genode 14.02 supports VirtualBox on Nova microhypervisor

Alexander Boettcher alexander.boettcher at genode-labs.com
Fri Feb 28 13:16:38 UTC 2014

Hello all,

today we released [0] a new version of Genode [1], which, beside many
other stuff, adds experimental support for VirtualBox as user-level VMM
on top of the NOVA microhypervisor [2].

For years, Genode addressed virtualization beginning with OKLinux on the
OKL4 microkernel. Later, we added support for L4Linux on Fiasco.OC
microkernel and the Vancouver/Seoul VMM on NOVA. All these solutions had
strong points in distinct usage scenarios but we always missed support
for a wide range of guest OSes, guest-host integration features, ease of
use, active development, and, finally, support for MS Windows guests.

Therefore, we decided to undertake the adventure to bring VirtualBox as
VMM on top of Genode/Nova and it turned out to be doable, luckily. In
the current state of the port [5] we are happy to report that various
OSes as GNU/Linux, Android/x86, Windows XP, Windows 7, HelenOS, Minix-3,
GNU Hurd, and of course Genode works on VirtualBox at Genode/Nova with
hardware virtualization (VT-x) support.

Of course - this is just feasible because VirtualBox is structured in a
way that made it possible to understand and to conclude which parts are
necessary to port and which are necessary to write by our own - thanks
to your well separation of the r0, r3, front-end, device model and
hardware acceleration source code.

We are grateful of your work on VirtualBox, especially as open source.
Thank you ! Keep up your good work.

Finally, of course, we have some patches for the generic (non Genode
specific part) of VirtualBox source code we would like to contribute
back. Assuming that this is welcome - have I to follow the description
of [3] before I can send patches to this mailing list or I have just to
open requests in the bugtracker [4] ? Or both ? Thanks in advance.


Alexander Boettcher.

[0] http://genode.org/documentation/release-notes/14.02
[1] http://www.genode.org
[2] http://www.hypervisor.org
[3] https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Contributor_information
[4] https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Bugtracker
[5] https://github.com/genodelabs/genode/tree/master/ports/src/virtualbox

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