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Encyclopedia > Singularity (operating system)

Singularity is a Microsoft Research project to build a highly-dependable operating system in which the kernel, device driver, and applications are all written in managed code. Microsoft Research is a division of Microsoft that is devoted to researching various computer science topics and issues. ... Early computers lacked operating systems. ... In computer engineering the kernel is the core of an operating system. ... A device driver, often called a driver for short, is a computer program that enables another program, typically, an operating system (OS) (e. ... Managed code is code executed by a . ...

The lowest-level x86 interrupt dispatch code is written in assembly language and C. Once this code has done its job, it calls the kernel, whose runtime and garbage collector are written in C# and run in unsafe mode. The hardware abstraction layer is written in C++ and runs in safe mode. There is also some C code to handle debugging. The computer's BIOS is only called during the 16-bit real-mode bootstrap stage; once in 32-bit mode, Singularity never calls the BIOS again, but rather calls device drivers written in C#. During installation, CIL opcodes of the C# kernel are compiled into x86 opcodes using the Bartok research project. Bartok is an optimizing compiler written in C# for translating CIL into x86. x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... Assembly language commonly called assembly or asm, is a human-readable notation for the machine language that a specific computer architecture uses. ... The C Programming Language, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, the original edition that served for many years as an informal specification of the language The C programming language is a standardized imperative computer programming language developed in the early 1970s by Dennis Ritchie for use on the Unix operating system. ... In computer science, run time (with a space, though often its spelled without one) describes the operation of a computer program, the duration of its execution, from beginning to termination (compare compile time). ... In computer science, garbage collection (also known as GC) is a form of automatic memory management. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) is an abstraction layer between the physical hardware of a computer and the software that runs on that computer. ... C++ (pronounced see plus plus, IPA: ) is a general-purpose computer programming language. ... This article is about the software. ... Common Intermediate Language (CIL) is the lowest-level human-readable programming language in the . ... Microprocessors perform operations using binary bits (on/off/1or0). ... A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language compiler. ... Common Intermediate Language (CIL) is the lowest-level human-readable programming language in the . ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ...

There has been no mention of releasing the source code or binaries. Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... Computer files can be divided into two broad categories: binary and text. ...


Singularity is a microkernel operating system; however, unlike most historical microkernels, the different components do not run in separate address spaces (processes). Instead, there is only a single address space in which Software-Isolated Processes (SIP) reside. These SIPs behave like normal processes, but do not require the overhead penalty of task-switches. Protection in this system is provided by a set of invariants, such as the memory-invariant which states there will be no cross-references (or memory pointers) between two SIPs. These rules are checked during the installation phase of the application, and must be fulfilled in order for Singularity to allow the installation (note: in Singularity, installation is managed by the operating-system). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Kernel (computer science). ... Invariant may have meanings invariant (computer science), such as a combination of variables not altered in a loop invariant (mathematics), something unaltered by a transformation invariant (music) invariant (physics) conserved by system symmetry This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the...

Most of the invariants rely on the use of safe languages, such as the Java programming language or C#, where a garbage collector is employed, there are no arbitrary pointers, and code can be verified to meet a certain policy. Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Computer security is an ongoing process - 24/7/365 days a year. ...

See also

  • Inferno, an older operating system that uses some of the same concepts as Singularity.
  • Sing#
  • Spec#

Inferno is an operating system for creating and supporting distributed services. ... Sing♯ is a concurrent programming language that is a superset of the Spec♯ programming language; in turn, Spec♯ is an extension of the C♯ programming language. ... Spec♯ is a programming language that extends the capabilities of the C# programming language with object invariants, including preconditions and post-conditions. ...

External links

  • Official home page
  • Singularity Design Motivation (pdf)
  • An Overview of the Singularity Project (pdf)
  • Channel9 thread, with interview of Jim Larus and Galen Hunt
  • Channel9 debate started by the Niner Eagle
  • The JX Operating System (pdf), another operating system similar in concept
  • Singularity Revisited, an interview of the Channel 9 team to 4 researchers of the Singularity Project Team (video & thread)

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