An experimental operating system.


The NRkernel (formerly known as Bespin) is a new operating system kernel written from scratch with the goal to explore the following three main ideas:
  • A novel multi-core design based on data-structure replication with operation logging. It aims to combine the best of two prevalent approaches: shared memory, monolithic kernels and multi-kernel architectures.
  • The use of a safe language (Rust) for OS implementation to gain better security and correctness guarantees at compile time, while not impacting performance negatively.
  • Library operating-systems as a form of light-weight virtualization for containerized/serverless workloads.

The OS is a joint project that originated at VMware Research and is developed with academic collaborators from University of Utah, EPFL, University of British Columbia, and University of Colorado Boulder.

The NRkernel is open-source on github. You can find more information about it on the website.

Our current, ongoing efforts on the kernel focuses on three areas:

  • Integrating persistent byte addressable memory
  • Extending the OS to work on a cluster of machines
  • Trying to verify core kernel data-structures to proof the absence of bugs

Contact gzellweger at vmware dot com for more information or internship opportunities.


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Related Publications


  • Active VMW Software Systems Projects

Research Areas

  • Hypervisor
  • Operating Systems