Trustworthy Systems

High-performance networking on seL4


Lucy Parker

    School of Computer Science and Engineering
    Sydney 2052, Australia


Modern operating systems undergo rapid development on an extensive code base. This growth has steadily introduced bugs and security vulnerabilities into the trusted computing base, and the growing array of security patches and new features has led to a decline in system call performance. Unfortunately, monolithic kernel design means a single exploitable vulnerability can compromise the entire kernel. The alternative in microkernel-based design has historically been unpopular due to its impact on performance as it requires significantly more context switches than its monolithic counterpart. This thesis evaluates the seL4 Device Driver Framework which rectifies this concern, showcasing superior networking performance compared to a standard Linux system, while leveraging the security guarantees of the seL4 microkernel to provide a secure and performant networking subsystem. We extend the framework to flexibly and securely support multiple client applications and scale to multi-core systems, highlighting a number of ways in which system designers can enforce use-case specific policies.

BibTeX Entry

    address          = {Sydney, Australia},
    author           = {Lucy Parker},
    month            = nov,
    paperUrl         = {},
    school           = {School of Computer Science and Engineering},
    title            = {High-performance Networking on {seL4}},
    year             = {2023}