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Presentation: Is It Time to Rewrite the Operating System in Rust?

Track: Modern Operating Systems

Location: Bayview AB

Duration: 5:25pm - 6:15pm

Day of week: Monday

Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Persona: Backend Developer, Developer, DevOps Engineer

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Abstract

Since its emergence in the 1970s, C has dominated operating systems development:  despite surges of enthusiasm for C++, Java, and others, operating systems -- kernels, drivers, libraries and system commands -- have been and continue to be developed in C.  But with the rise of Rust, that dominance is now rightfully being questioned: with its core values of robustness and blazing fast performance, could Rust reasonably replace C as the lingua franca of operating systems development?  And can the advantages that Rust conveys pay the significant cost of rewriting software that already works?  In this talk, we will seek to answer these questions:  we will explore Rust, explain why it has captured the imagination of so many systems software engineers, and outline where it might best fit in the deep stack of operating system software.

Speaker: Bryan Cantrill

Co-Creator DTrace, Co-Founder Fishworks Sun Microsystems, & Currently CTO @Joyent

Bryan Cantrill is the CTO at Joyent, where he oversees worldwide development of the SmartOS and SmartDataCenter platforms. Prior to joining Joyent, Bryan served as a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, where he spent over a decade working on system software, from the guts of the kernel to client-code on the browser. In particular, he co-designed and implemented DTrace, a facility for dynamic instrumentation of production systems that won the Wall Street Journal's top Technology Innovation Award in 2006 and the USENIX Software Tools User Group Award in 2008.

Find Bryan Cantrill at

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