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[Xen-devel] Enhancing Xen's Kconfig infrastructure to support tailored solutions


On the 11/14/18 Xen x86 community call a discussion was initiated about
using Kconfig to build minimized versions of Xen for security, safety
and other certification requirements. After some offline discussions
with Xen contributors I realized that a variety of efforts each with
their own respective goals are underway,

 - nested virtualization
 - mixed criticality architectures
 - reducing trusted componentary
 - combining hardware protection of virtualization with performance and
ease-of-use of containers

These efforts use hypervisors in different roles, all which Xen is
capable of meeting. Today Xen's utility comes at the expense of carrying
features necessary for one role to be present in another role where it
is not required, e.g. PV interfaces that may not be essential in an ARM
mixed criticality deployment.

The initial focus will be to explore and document the range of possible
use cases that are of interest to the Xen community. This will be the
input to a design document that is crafted in conjunction with the Xen
maintainers, to identify possible approaches to extend the existing
Kconfig infrastructure to produce tailored instances of Xen.

If you are interested in participating in this effort, please reply to
this thread to outline possible use cases, design constraints and other
considerations for improving Xen's Kconfig infrastructure to support
tailoring for specific use cases.

Daniel P. Smith
Apertus Solutions, LLC

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