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What is Google Fuchsia

Google Fuchsia

Google Fuchsia

Google Fuchsia was quietly posted to online repository GitHub. The company has not explained too much what the Fuchsia operating system is destined for. However, digging around online brings up a few things. Fuchsia uses a different kernel than Android or Chrome OS. The kernel is the first thing that loads when an operating system is loaded. Google’s documentation says Fuchsia’s kernel would be able to run on modern phones and computers.

Google Fuchsia
Google Fuchsia

Google is working on a new operating system named Fuchsia

Google appears to have started work on a completely new operating system, but no one knows quite what it’s for. The project’s name is Fuchsia, and it currently exists as a growing pile of code on the search giant’s code depository and on GitHub, too. The fledgling OS has a number of interesting features, but so far Google has yet to comment on its intended function. All we really know is that this looks like a fresh start for Google, as the operating system does not use the Linux kernel — a core of basic code that underpins both Android and Chrome OS.

Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

Latest operating system project from Google Fuchsia, may be largely a mystery, but it reinforces a truth that platform vendors are having, grudgingly, to acknowledge: one operating system does not fit all. For a company which has put so much effort into making Android an OS for all purposes, Google has a remarkable number of potentially conflicting platforms, now including Chrome OS, Brillo and Fuchsia.

The failure of one-size-fits-all OSs

Many companies, of course, develop parallel systems, creating dilemmas for the marketing departments – especially companies with a culture of innovation and semi-open source activity like Google (though the same parallelism used to characterize the far more controlled Samsung too). But Google’s multi-headed OS hydra may well have a greater commercial logic behind it. If it can create a fully optimized platform for each key emerging area of connected experience, and then marry them all together at the applications layer with the ubiquitous Android, it might achieve what Unix, Linux and Java promised, but failed to deliver all these years.

Fuchsia’s early details

The details of Fuchsia are few and far between at this early stage, but it appears to be an ambitious project, with one core component drawing a lot of attention – it won’t be using the Linux kernel at all. It appeared on GitHub with just the description “Pink + Purple = Fuchsia (a new Operating System)”. It can be trialled on an ARM or Intel computer or a virtual machine, and its next port is said to be to a Raspberry Pi to test its low power credentials further. It uses Google’s own Dart programming language.

While a non-Linux OS might be commonplace for very low end embedded devices, Fuchsia is more than a simple RTOS (real time OS), since it has “grown-up” capabilities such as advanced graphics and 64-bit support and a capability-based security model. This points to an attempt to create a Linux-free OS and potentially create a whole new approach to open OS development (and IPR) a quarter-century after Linus Torvalds made his breakthrough.

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