Last Updated on: 5th November 2023, 12:45 pm
Web site: research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/singularity (not active)
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: x86, x86_64
Based on: independent
The last version | Released: 2.0 | November 14, 2008
Signularity – a research project focused on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools. It is a research operating system prototype (called Singularity), extending programming languages, and developing new techniques and tools for specifying and verifying program behavior.
Advances in languages, compilers, and tools open the possibility of significantly improving software. For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernel’s address space.
Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Broader application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.
The first Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK), RDK 1.1, was initially released on March 4, 2008, being released under a shared source license allowing academic non-commercial use and available from CodePlex. RDK 2.0 was later released on November 14, 2008.