Current Research by
The Computer Systems Research Group
Marshall Kirk McKusick
Michael J Karels
The release of 4.3BSD in April of 1986 addressed many of the performance problems and unfinished interfaces present in 4.2BSD [Leffler84] [McKusick85]. The Computer Systems Research Group at Berkeley has now embarked on a new development phase to update other major components of the system, as well as to offer new functionality. There are five major ongoing projects. The first is to develop an OSI network protocol suite and to integrate existing ISO applications into Berkeley UNIX. The second is to develop and support an interface compliant with the P1003.1 POSIX standard recently approved by the IEEE. The third is to refine the TCP/IP networking to improve its performance and limit congestion on slow and/or lossy networks. The fourth is to provide a standard interface to file systems so that multiple local and remote file systems can be supported, much as multiple networking protocols are supported by 4.3BSD. The fifth is to evaluate alternate access control mechanisms and audit the existing security features of the system, particularly with respect to network services. Other areas of work include multi-architecture support, a general purpose kernel memory allocator, disk labels, and extensions to the 4.2BSD fast filesystem.
We are planning to finish implementation prototypes for each of the
five main areas of work over the next year, and provide an informal
test release sometime next year for interested developers.
After incorporating feedback and refinements from the testers,
they will appear in the next full Berkeley release, which is typically
made about a year after the test release.