North America Research Interest Group Meeting [February 2023]
Materials from Meeting
Ethan’s slides – Unikernel Linux and the Secrecy Project
Date: February 7, 2023
Collaboratory Student Projects
Arlo Arbelli, Boston University
Title: Dispatches From the Rocky Road to Open Source Education
Abstract: In this presentation, we provide an overview of our recent efforts to enable core computer systems education constructed in an open and accessible fashion. Central to this effort is a combination of software, content, and service provisioning to create an environment for students, instructors, and authors to create and operationalize high quality open source educational materials. Specifically, we will review four projects – spanning the effort of several RedHat interns, engineers, and mentors – that have driven this effort over the last 8 months. The first of these projects integrated support for presenting lecture content in this platform, a feature that was previously only supported in deprecated versions, and moved towards developing an authoring interface to standardize a method for developing slides. Another project involved standardizing the building, development, and curation of container images to be used in both author and student environments. Next we will discuss the work that went into building a robust testing infrastructure to ensure correctness of content across different software versions and services, and providing template content to guide authors in their development of new materials. Finally, we will highlight our experiences – our successes and also our struggles – in deploying these tools to teach computer systems in a large university class setting.
Ethan Klein, Boston University
Title: Unikernel Linux and the Secrecy Project
Abstract: This Summer I contributed to two important and interconnected projects, Unikernel Linux and the Secrecy Project. Unikernel Linux is a project seeking to improve the performance of programs by moving them from userspace and into the kernel. Doing so allows programs to avoid many significant performance throttles, such as repetitive system calls and interrupts. Without these events throttling a program, runtime performance often shows dramatic improvement. I also worked on the Secrecy Project, which is a multi-party computation(MPC) program designed to allow many parties to combine their data for analysis without sharing any sensitive information they might have. These projects are related as Secrecy can be run inside Unikernel Linux allowing for Secrecy to benefit from the various performance enhancements.