The Xen Project, the community which develops the Xen hypervisor under the GNU Public License (GPLv) and which is now part of the Linux foundation has released version 2.0 of its Mirage Operating System. Version 2 is the follow up of version 1.0 which was released in December last year.
The Mirage OS represents an approach where only the necessary components of the OS are included and compiled along with the application into a "unikernel", resulting in more efficient and lean "appliances" which the same or better functionality but a much smaller foodprint and attack surface. Application code is developed in a high-level functional programming language OCaml on a desktop OS such as Linux or Mac OSX, and compiled into a fully-standalone, specialized unikernel that runs under the Xen hypervisor APIs. Since Xen powers most public cloud computing infrastructure such as Amazon EC2, this lets your servers run more cheaply, securely and finer control than with a full software stack.
Version 2.0 adds the following new functionality:
- Support for ARM based devices
- Support for Irmin, Git-like distributed branchable storage
- Ocaml implementation of Transport Layer Security (TLS)
- New libraries