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Capability wrangling made easy: debugging on a microkernel with valgrind

Capability wrangling made easy: debugging on a microkernel with valgrind,10.1145/1735997.1736001,Aaron Pohle,Björn Döbel,Michael Roitzsch,Hermann Härt

Capability wrangling made easy: debugging on a microkernel with valgrind  
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Not all operating systems are created equal. Contrasting tr aditional monolithic kernels, there is a class of systems called microkernels more prevalent in embedded systems like cellphones, chip cards or real-time controllers. These kernels offer an abstraction very differ- ent from the classical POSIX interface. The resulting unfamiliar- ity for programmers complicates development and debugging. Val- grind is a well-known debugging tool that virtualizes execution to perform dynamic binary analysis. However, it assumes to run on a POSIX-like kernel and closely interacts with the system to con- trol execution. In this paper we analyze how to adapt Valgrind to a non-POSIX environment and describe our port to the Fiasco.OC microkernel. Additionally, we analyze bug classes that are indige- nous to capability systems and show how Valgrind's flexibili ty can be leveraged to create custom debugging tools detecting these er- rors. Categories and Subject Descriptors D.2.5 (Testing and De- bugging); D.2.7 (Distribution, Maintenance, and Enhancement ): Portability
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