Trustworthy Systems

The seL4 microkernel: Provable security for the real world


Gernot Heiser

    School of Computer Science and Engineering
    Sydney 2052, Australia


Keynote at the International Workshop on Advanced Industrial Science and Technology


In 2009, the seL4 microkernel became the world’s first operating-system (OS) kernel with a formal, machine-checked proof of implementation correctness. This was followed by proofs of security enforcement, extension of the correctness proofs to the binary (taking the compiler out of the trusted computing base) and the first proofs of worst-case execution-time (WCET) bounds for a protected-mode OS. The work on seL4 received multiple awards, including the 2019 ACM SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award and the 2022 ACM Software System Award. This talk will present seL4 and its assurance story discuss real-world deployments and on-going work at UNSW at expanding the functionality of seL4-based operating systems, pushing assurance into higher level components and easing the deployment of the technology.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {Gernot Heiser},
    howpublished     = {Keynote at the International Workshop on Advanced Industrial Science and Technology},
    location         = {Yokohama, JP},
    month            = sep,
    title            = {The {seL4} Microkernel: Provable Security for the Real World},
    year             = {2023}