#AskError Do you think microkernel based OS such as Redox is the future?


Do you think microkernel based OS such as Redox is the future because of simplicity and security? Just as RISC-V is the future in hardware.


Hey @mystic - I honestly don’t know how to answer this! I feel I’m not equipped to answer security questions, and I glaze over when people talk about that kind of thing :slight_smile:


Hi @popey ,
Well the conversation can be about monolithic kernel vs micro kernel. The same conversation that happened all those years ago when Adrew Tanenbaum told to Linus Torvalds why micro kernels were better.


Yeah, I still don’t know what I’d say :slight_smile:


The main features of a Microkernel are not security, but real-time behavior and stability. You can prove that the kernel will handle an operation within a given amount of time, and you can always restart whole parts of the operating system, even drivers. Microkernel operating systems are already the most-shipped operating systems in the world. QNX alone has sold billions of licenses for embedded systems, L4/L4Sec is also used everywhere.

But on desktops and smartphones, performance is more important than real-time guarantees and stability. The hybrid kernel operating systems we have (Windows, Linux etc.) might have bugs and security issues and crash sometimes, but most of the time they are reliable enough and they’re fast. Mac OS X was built around an actual Microkernel, but they had to punch so many holes in it to make it fast that it no longer qualifies as being one.

RISC-V is also not the future of hardware, BTW. It is a nice thing to have for embedded developers, but building a competitive RISC-V desktop or server CPU and establishing a sustainable software ecosystem around it takes billions and billions and years and years. ARM and IBM’s POWER9 have both had those billions and years, but not even they have managed to make a dent in the desktop, notebook and server markets. RISC-V so far doesn’t even have a company intending to make something more powerful than a first-generation Raspberry Pi.