[TRACKING] Genode & Sculpt OS

We started developing the first version of Genode (back then named Bastei) in the context of a research project in 2006. There was quite some debate about our decision to use C++ only for all custom libraries and components. However, the opponents did not favor any modern more robust or security-centric programming language. The other option was to use C like most of the software in the project did. The prominent exception was the NOVA microhypervisor, which was developed in C++ too. For us, it was never a real option to take a step backwards to C. Over the years, we peered at some of the hot stuff in programming languages [1] [2] but never felt to went full charge into one of them.

The current situation of Genode and C++ from our perspective is an almost perfect balance of knowledge about almost every dirty corner of the language (runtime) and their impact in our use cases, efficiency of development as well as security and robustness of single components and the system as a whole. With proper care and coding conventions C++ is a good fit for Genode this day [3].

[1] C++ and SPARK as a continuum
[2] Genode - Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 16.05
[3] Genode's Conscious C++ dialect


Whilst his “licence” might invoke the days of computer science being associated with open-toed sandals, beards and strongly held marxist views, isn’t that the same as the GPL? :rofl: To give him his due, I think he maintains one of the few commercial software packages (probably the only one) to survive from BeOS to Haiku. In fact I believe his decision to port it to Genode raised a few eyebrows.

Thank you for your in-depth response. I found your links very helpful and certainly gives an idea of the care that has gone into the design of your OS.

My attention was drawn by your linked articles to the reading to be enjoyed on Genodians blog. The posts are well written; not only satisfyingly in-depth but quite illuminating as to the culture of Genode development.


I’m not commenting on the politics, but just saying, every free software license guidelines (the FSF, OSI, and DFSG) do not allow field of use restrictions. So this is not free / open source software.

The GPL doesn’t have such restrictions, whether you consider it Marxist or not

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Indeed. The GPL (v2, as relevant to a certain operating system kernel) can basically be summarized as: “You can use my code for whatever you want, as long as you pay me back by making your changes available under the same terms.”

This is a bit… different. And probably not quite up to par with legislation. (Pretty sure “fair use” will void that “license” in almost any jurisdiction.)

Code will stand on its own merits though.

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Your quote omitted the smiley at the end of the sentance, which denoted that it was none too serious. Neither did I say it was “Free software”.

Agree, it is not something I would lose too much sleep over. Whilst I don’t condone using a political rant as a licence for your work, and it is probably unenforceable, I guess it is the developer’s right to do so. I do think it is regrettable for the credibility of his work and hope he changes his so-called licence in due course.

I wouldn’t have a problem with free software generally being called Marxist. In fact I would consider it a badge of honour as I think we need more socialism generally. Framework claims to offer its customers more control over their tools of production and that is also a somewhat Marxist aspiration!

I hope we can all agree on this. Being able to adopt Haiku - knowing that the same apps could work on Genode - is a great incentive to try Haiku now whilst keeping a weather eye on Genode.

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Yeah, even if the software is good, this is regrettable as it will likely hamper uptake

Agreed that more Marxism in licenses and products are not a bad thing!

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Hey guys,

I just want to report back on this topic as my Framework made it to Genode Labs today. Of course the first OS we booted was the fresh Sculpt OS version 22.04. After some fiddling with the USB ports we successfully started the system and I can confirm working drivers for USB, Intel graphics, NVMe and last but not least Intel wireless!

If you try it out by yourself, please be patient after the gray Genode logo is displayed as we still wrestle with XHCI handoff on some devices (incl. the Framework it seems).

Sculpt Leitzentrale admin console

Sculpt desktop running Nano3d demo (right) and Linux VM with Firefox (left)



That’s a fantastic job, it sounds like if I were to get a Framework everything would work under Sculpt with the exception of the trackpad? I consider that a pretty good show for such a new OS.

I will have to read those release notes, download myself a copy of the new Sculpt, and see if it runs on any of my own hardware. As for Framework laptops, I trust you will continue to post updates here.

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Does the October release of Sculpt have good functionality on the Framework?

Considering that @chelmuth reports that Genode now has an in-house example of this laptop, I am surprised it is not included as supported hardware in either the v22.10 release notes or the (admittedly rather old) hardware compatibility page. Is this merely an oversight?

Hi @David_Eastham ,

we did not yet include the Framework in the official list as we are not there yet. This is mostly because of the Intel Gen12 upgrade we want to support before this step. But, we are working on this in our free time and also ogle the Ethernet expansion card as it’s our daily use case to plug into LAN. Nevertheless, the Gen11 board worked great for some less simple tests in the past, except an annoying issue with the PS/2 emulation for the touchpad that materializes now and then.


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Is anyone still monitoring this thread? I’d like to update the state of Sculpt OS on the Framework laptop as quite operational and in daily use by one of our main developers on Gen 12. A missing piece in the official release is a native driver for the I2C-attached touchpad and we still rely on PS/2 emulation. But, we have a functional prototype in the works and could release a specialized system image for Framework if there’s interest.

You may read more about the fresh Sculpt 23.10 release at genode.org


I’m not a Framework employee, but I would refer you to the Framework knowledgebase article on the topic. Officially Supported vs Compatible Community Supported Linux Distributions

The Framework Linux Support team is quite small (currently a total of 2 people). They’re focusing on Ubuntu and Fedora for officially supported distros because they need to keep that list small enough that they can constantly evaluate it.

Even the community supported list is unlikely imo. For one thing, while I don’t have specific information on it, I would think a fully-functional touchpad would be a requirement as it makes a huge difference to the user experience. Also, even for the community-supported distros on that list, Framework maintains install guides (updated periodically) and occasionally tests to ensure functionality, which is time consuming and likely not worth it for such a niche OS.

If you’re interested in showing the OS’s compatibility and making it easy for people to use Sculpt OS, I encourage you to create a guide thread here on the forums, like the ones that the community has made for OpenSUSE, Debian, Nix and Arch

Other useful reading: Neutrality in the Framework Support Linux Expectations Guide - #7 by Matt_Hartley

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Nothing to add short of reaffirm what Morpheus indicated above. Neat project, certainly interesting as a community project should anyone wish to test it against their Framework 13 Laptop.


I am finding that it works very well on my old Asus S400C, with the trackpad and wifi working nicely.

I will have to play with the CPU core frequency and power monitor sometime, but for now you can see I even managed to load the Framework homepage on the browser!

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Do you have plans for a Discourse forum (i.e. like this one) or Discord server? Reddit allows superficial comments on official communications and Genodians posts, and I understand there is a mailing list, but I think something in-between is required for creating wider community. I am a regular on that of another non-unix OS, the Haiku Discourse, and find it pleasantly lively.

Even for the relatively unskilled enthusiast, the graphical configuration screen of Sculpt does offer promise to make setup of complex things quite easy, and I look forward to playing with it more.

We had a forum on Sourceforge ages ago that was deserted for years, so we shut it down. Later, we organized Genodians.org and the Reddit channel. Currently, I don’t see any ambitions in the core team to adopt other community tools beyond Reddit, GitHub, and the mailing list, because the existing channels demand quite an amount of our attention.

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I agree that Genodians is a great resource, but I never really “got” Reddit.

As a comment, I find the colour palette used in Genode rather “cold” with a lot of blue and grey. Haiku for instance feels a lot “warmer” and more welcoming with its bright colours. There are also more concerns nowadays about the affect of blue light on mood and sleep patterns.

Nothing to add, just changing the status to tracking.

The last blog post discussing the ins and out of the new Sculpt on various hardware is most interesting. The Framework is of course of most relevance to this forum, especially the implications of core power management on battery life and fan noise. But porting to NMT reform shows that you guys are ready for when Framework release an ARM mainboard, which will not be long now I hope.

Talking of NMT reform, I really like the little Pocket Reform model, its so cute! And please take note of that sleep-friendly warm orange hue on both the key backlighting and text interface in this pic!

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This sounds extremely interesting!

We think so too, but we have to be patient for at least another 4 months…

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