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11 February 2013, 11:32

D-Bus is coming to the Linux Kernel

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IPC penguin Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has reported on his plans to extend the Linux kernel to include a system for inter-process communication (IPC) that will be reliable, quick and secure and will allow for both direct point-to-point and multicast communications. According to Kroah-Hartman's blog post, the goals include providing a "libdbus" interface, which will allow existing D-Bus applications to work with the kernel implementation without modification.

On current Linux desktop systems, there are typically two D-Bus instances; one handles system bus communication between system components such as udev, upower and udisks, while the other is a session bus which provides a route for communications between the, normally user desktop, applications in a session. The new IPC systems, says Kroah-Hartman, will be implemented in the kernel in such a way that applications will not need to remember whether they communicate through a traditional D-Bus or the kernel.

The Android kernel already has Google's kernel-based IPC mechanism, Binder, but so far the Binder code for the default kernel is still in the staging area of the kernel tree, where the developers put code that they feel is not mature enough for general use. In a Google+ discussion, Kroah-Hartman confirms that Binder will not be the basis of the new kernel IPC, but that he hopes to implement the Binder protocol on top of the new code. The socket address family, AF_BUS, which is used in the automotive sector as the basis for a faster IPC, has been ruled out because the kernel developers have previously refused to integrate the AF_BUS patches into the standard kernel.


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