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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Barrelfish Operating System

Barrelfish is a new research operating system being built from scratch and released by ETH Zurich in Switzerland, with assistance from Microsoft Research. We are exploring how to structure an OS for future multi- and many-core systems. We are motivated by two closely related trends in hardware design: first, the rapidly growing number of cores, which leads to a scalability challenge, and second, the increasing diversity in computer hardware, requiring the OS to manage and exploit heterogeneous hardware resources. For more information, please read our research papers below and see the FAQ.

Barrelfish currently runs on:
 * x86 CPUs in either IA-32 or AMD64 mode. The following are known to work:
+   * Intel Xeon: Clovertown, Gainestown, Beckton
    (X5355, E5520, X7560, L5520, L7555)
+   * AMD Opteron: Santa Rosa, Barcelona, Shanghai, Istanbul, Magny Cours
     (2220, 8350, 8374, 8380, 8431, 6174)
+ * Intel Single-Chip Cloud Computer (SCC), both Copper Ridge and Rocky Lake are known to work.
The biggest compatibility problems are likely to be in the PCI/ACPI code. We
usually discover new quirks (or missing functionality in the ACPI glue code)
on each new machine we test. The following systems are known to work:
+ * Intel x5000XVN
+ * Tyan n6650W and S4985
+ * Supermicro H8QM3-2
+ * Dell PowerEdge R610 and R905
+ * Sun Fire X2270 and X4440
+ * Intel/Quanta QSSC-S4R
+ * Lenovo X200 and X301 laptops
+ * ASUS Eee PC 1015PEM netbooks

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