DeveloperETH Zurich with assistance of Microsoft Research
Working stateDiscontinued
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseSeptember 15, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-09-15)
Latest release2020.03.23 / March 23, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-03-23)
Kernel typeMultikernel
LicenseMIT License

Barrelfish is an experimental computer operating system built by ETH Zurich with the assistance of Microsoft Research in Cambridge.[1][2][3] It is an experimental operating system designed from the ground up for scalability for computers built with multi-core processors with the goal of reducing the compounding decrease in benefit as more CPUs are used in a computer by putting low-level hardware information in a database, thus removing the need for driver software.[4][5]

The partners released the first snapshot of the OS on September 15, 2009[6] with a second being released in March, 2011. Excluding some third-party libraries, which are covered by various BSD-like open source licenses, Barrelfish is released under the MIT license.[1] Snapshots are regularly released, the last one dating to March 23, 2020.[7][8][9]

While originally being developed in collaboration with Microsoft Research, it is now partly supported by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Labs, Huawei, Cisco, Oracle, and VMware.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "The Barrelfish Operating System".
  2. ^ Joseph L. Flatley (2009-09-29). "Microsoft unveils Barrelfish multi-core optimized OS". Engadget.
  3. ^ Jeremy Kirk (2009-09-30). "Microsoft 'Barrelfish' OS will speed multicore systems". InfoWorld.
  4. ^ Jason Mick (2009-09-28). "Microsoft Unveils "Barrelfish", a New Multi-core OS". DailyTech. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  5. ^ Mary Jo Foley (2009-09-25). "Microsoft and European researchers deliver a snapshot of multikernel 'Barrelfish' OS". ZDNet.
  6. ^ Julie Bort (2009-09-24). "Microsoft, researchers release new operating system project: Barrelfish". Network World.
  7. ^ Roni Häcki (2018-02-23). "New Barrelfish Release". Barrelfish-users (Mailing list).
  8. ^ Lukas Humbel (2018-10-04). "New Barrelfish Release". Barrelfish-users (Mailing list).
  9. ^ Lukas Humbel (2020-03-23). "New Barrelfish Release". Barrelfish-users (Mailing list).

Further reading