Trustworthy Systems

Kernel data – first class citizens of the system


Dhammika Elkaduwe, Philip Derrin and Kevin Elphinstone

NICTA, Sydney, Australia
UNSW, Australia


Kernel memory is a resource that must be managed carefully in order to ensure the efficiency and availability of the system. The use of an inappropriate policy would lead to suboptimal performance and even make the system susceptible to denial-of-service attacks. In this paper, we argue that user-level managers, with their domain specific knowledge, can better manage the kernel memory consumption of their clients than a static in-kernel policy; and we present the kernel memory management scheme of seL4, where kernel memory is represented as named, first class objects which are created and managed by user-level managers according to a suitable policy. The scheme is flexible enough to express a wide range of policies, and allows multiple policies to coexist.

BibTeX Entry

    address          = {Victor Harbor, South Australia, Australia},
    author           = {Dhammika Elkaduwe and Philip Derrin and Kevin Elphinstone},
    booktitle        = { Workshop on Object Systems and Software Architectures },
    month            = jan,
    pages            = {39--43},
    paperurl         = {},
    title            = {Kernel Data -- First Class Citizens of the System},
    year             = {2006}