L4 microkernel family

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L4 is a family of second-generation microkernels based on the original designs and implementations by German computer scientist Jochen Liedtke. Originally implemented as highly tuned Intel i386-specific assembly language code,[1] the API has seen extensive development in a number of directions, both in achieving a higher grade of platform independence and also in improving security, isolation, and robustness.

There have been various re-implementations of the original binary L4 kernel interface (ABI) and its higher level successors, including L4Ka::Pistachio (Uni Karlsruhe), L4/MIPS (UNSW) and Fiasco (TU Dresden). For this reason, the name L4 has been generalized and no longer only refers to Liedtke's original implementation. It now applies to the whole microkernel family including the L4 kernel interface and its different versions.

L4 is used in production in some mobile phones.

Contents

Design paradigm

Specifying the general idea of a microkernel, Liedtke states:

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