Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI Assure
Start: 2021-12
End: 2022-09


Bringing the trustworthy bootstrap to RISC-V

GNU Mes was created to address the security concerns that arise from bootstrapping an operating system using large, unauditable binary blobs, which is common practice for all software distributions. Mes is a Scheme interpreter written in a simple subset of C and a C compiler written in Scheme that comes with a small, bootstrappable C library. The final goal is to help create a full source bootstrap for any interested UNIX-like operating system. This funding will enable GNU Mes to work on the RISC-V platform, an instruction set architecture (ISA) that is provided under open licenses. Combining GNU Mes with an open ISA will provide an extra level of security and trust by extending the auditability of the system from the software to also the hardware.

RISC-V is a relatively new architecture so this effort requires the backport of many tools that were already available for GNU Mes in other architectures. Also the modular nature of RISC-V makes it an specially complex bootstrap target, because it needs to support all the possible RISC-V implementations. This project aims to overcome the current limitations to prepare GNU Mes and all the associated projects for a full RISC-V port.

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This project was funded through the NGI Assure Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 957073.