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The L4/Alpha port of the L4 microkernel, currently supports the entire range of Alpha 64-bit processors including the 21064, 21164 and 21264. Multiprocessor support exists for 21264. L4/Alpha is distributed under the GPL.

L4 is a general purpose microkernel implementing address spaces, threads and inter-process communication (IPC). Ports of L4 exist for other platforms also. See L4 Ports for details.

L4/Alpha features

  • Fast, secure inter-process communication (under 80 cycles)
  • Recursive virtual memory model
  • Extremely light weight threads
  • Symmetric Multi-Processing support
  • Remote GDB debugging
  • Custom PALcode

What L4 does not provide

L4 does not provide features that you would normally expect from an Operating System such as:

  • Device drivers
  • Page swapping
  • File system
  • Network and so on.
These are all implemented at user level.

L4/Alpha authors

L4/Alpha development started at the Technical University of Dresden by Sebastian Schönberg and Volkmar Uhlig. Since late 1998, the current development work including SMP support has been done at the University of New South Wales by Daniel Potts and Simon Winwood.

Recent contributors include:

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