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Technical Update

Addressing Space Isolation for Enhanced Safety of the Linux Kernel (Video)

By Blog, Technical Update, Working Group

Written by Igor Stoppa, Senior Software Architect at Nvidia

For more than two decades, Linux has made inroad in new fields of applications, from data centres, to embedded. We see now a growing demand for Linux in safety critical applications, ranging from automotive to robotics, to medical appliances.

However, Linux was not designed with these applications in mind, and unsurprisingly it is not an ideal fit, at the moment.In particular, one major pain point is the very limited resilience to spatial interferences originating from within the kernel itself.

Furthermore, the code base if much larger than what can be found in other operating systems traditionally found in safe applications. This is also compounded by the fact that Linux does not follow the processes traditionally in use for Functional Safety.

Summary

In the video, I describe my ongoing experiment of modifying the Linux kernel, to introduce a form of Address Space Isolation, meant to provide a mechanism enforcing freedom from interference. The presentation describes the problems, possible means to address it, and the current progress with the implementation. You’ll see a methodology for the safety analysis of a Linux system and mechanism for improving the safety of selected components.

This presentation ties both into the scope of the Linux Features for Safety-Critical Systems Working Group and the Critical SW track at Open Source Summit Europe. Though this work is not formally sponsored nor endorsed by ELISA, it is something I shared with the community for brainstorm and discussion purposes.

If you’d like to learn more about the Linux Features for Safety-Critical Systems Working Group or you’d like to continue this conversation, please join the mailing list or a WG meeting here.

Welcome to the ELISA Project Technical Steering Committee!

By Blog, Technical Update

Written by Shuah Khan, Chair of the ELISA Project Technical Steering Committee

Please join me in welcoming Jason Smith, Paul Albertella and Philipp Ahmann to the ELISA TSC. They have made significant contributions to the ELISA project and their addition will strengthen the TSC and help us continue to make progress with our mission.

A brief summary of their background and contributions are as follows:

Jason Smith

Jason Smith, the Principal Engineer for Robotics and Control Systems Consumer Technology at UL LLC., has:

– Participated in ELISA since the launch of the project in 2019

– Contributed a Linux in Basic Safety White paper to the project

– Participates in the Medical Devices Working Group regularly

 – Contributed the analysis of 62304 SOUP

– Speaks frequently at ELISA Workshops and is an ELISA ambassador

Paul Albertella

Paul Albertella, Consultant at Codethink, has:

– Participated in ELISA since the inception.

– Presented technical content at the last two ELISA workshops

– Contributes in the TSC and other working groups, where he’s been a constructive collaborator

– 20+ years of software engineering experience and understands the open source ecosystem challenges

Philipp Ahmann

Philipp Ahmann, a manager at ADIT (a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and DENSO Corporation) has:

– Participated in ELISA since the start of the project

– Took the lead in helping the project to improve communication and set up our LinkedIn presence

– Volunteered to be an active ambassador on behalf of the project

– Participates in the TSC and other working groups, where he’s known to be a very constructive contributor with an excellent overview across all the different areas we’re working on

– Demonstrates a helpful attitude by being willing to step in and host meetings when the chair is not available

– He is able to actively listen, and helps bring focus to the key elements we need for the project

I look forward to collaborating more closely with all three of our new TSC members. As a reminder, all are welcome to join the bi-weekly public technical community meeting and to contribute your perspectives. You can find the meeting details and subscribe to the calendar here: https://lists.elisa.tech/g/devel/calendar.