Trustworthy Systems

Formalising the L4 microkernel API


Gerwin Klein and Rafal Kolanski

NICTA, Sydney, Australia
UNSW, Australia


This paper gives an overview of a pilot project on the specification and verification of the L4 high-performance microkernel. Of the three aspects examined in the project, we describe one in more detail: the formalisation of the kernel's Application Programming Interface using the B Method. We conclude that machine-supported formal verification of software is at a turning point; that it is now feasible, and desirable, to formally verify production-quality operating systems.

BibTeX Entry

    address          = {Hobart, Australia},
    author           = {Rafal Kolanski and Gerwin Klein},
    booktitle        = {Computing: The Australasian Theory Symposium (CATS)},
    editor           = {Barry Jay and Joachim Gudmundsson},
    month            = jan,
    pages            = {53--68},
    paperurl         = {},
    series           = {Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology},
    title            = {Formalising the {L4} microkernel {API}},
    volume           = {51},
    year             = {2006}