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Second USENIX Conference on Object-Oriented Technologies (COOTS), 1996

Extending a Traditional OS Using Object-Oriented Techniques

Jose M. Bernabeu-Auban, Vlada Matena, and Yousef A. Khalidi
Sun Microsystems Laboratories


This paper describes a new object infrastructure designed for tightly-coupled distributed systems. The infrastructure includes an object model, interface-to-C++ translator, an object request broker (ORB) based on the CORBA architecture model, and a transport layer. The infrastructure allows the use of multiple data marshalling handlers, includes object recovery features, and provides remote communication through a mechanism called xdoors. The object infrastructure has been used to extend the Solaris operating system into a prototype clustered operating system called Solaris MC. This illustrates how the CORBA object model can be used to extend an existing UNIX implementation into a distributed operating system. It also shows the advantages of defining strong kernel component interfaces in the IDL interface definition language. Finally, Solaris MC illustrates how C++ can be used for kernel development, coexisting with previous code.
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