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The ISRG Wants to Make the Linux Kernel Memory-Safe With Rust

Accepted submission by takyon at 2021-06-22 13:45:30

The ISRG wants to make the Linux kernel memory-safe with Rust []

The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG)—parent organization of the better-known Let's Encrypt project—has provided prominent developer Miguel Ojeda with a one-year contract to work on Rust in Linux [] and other security efforts on a full-time basis.

As we covered [] in March, Rust is a low-level programming language offering most of the flexibility and performance of C—the language used for kernels in Unix and Unix-like operating systems since the 1970s—in a safer way.

Efforts to make Rust a viable language for Linux kernel development began at the 2020 Linux Plumbers conference, with acceptance for the idea coming from Linus Torvalds himself. Torvalds specifically requested Rust compiler availability in the default kernel build environment to support such efforts—not to replace the entire source code of the Linux kernel with Rust-developed equivalents, but to make it possible for new development to work properly.

Using Rust for new code in the kernel—which might mean new hardware drivers or even replacement of GNU Coreutils—potentially decreases the number of bugs lurking in the kernel. Rust simply won't allow a developer to leak memory or create the potential for buffer overflows—significant sources of performance and security issues in complex C-language code.

Previously: Linus Torvalds: Don't Hide Rust in Linux Kernel; Death to AVX-512 []

Related: Microkernel, Rust-Programmed Redox OS's Devs Slam Linux, Unix, GPL []
Following Layoffs, Mozilla and Core Rust Developers Are Forming a Rust Foundation []

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