It has been more than four years since we first discovered that Google is developing a new operating system called “Fuchsia“. Its uniqueness is that it is not based on the Linux kernel, but uses a microkernel called “Zircon“. In addition, it was developed on a publicly browseable repository. But no one really understands the purpose of the operating system. Google executives are very secretive about all this.
Today, the company has announced that it will expand its opening by seeking more participation from outside the company. Google stated that it “created a new public mailing list for project discussions, added a governance model to clarify how it made strategic decisions. It opened an issue tracker for participants to view work in progress.”
Although there are some early UI examples, we have seen the code and documentation provided by Google for some time. Google’s recent announcement emphasized that “’Fuchsia” is not ready for general product development, nor has it become a development target”. But this announcement is likely to trigger more external discussions.
We know that “Fuchsia” is not necessarily a one-to-one replacement for Android or Chrome OS. Regarding the practice of “Fuchsia”, the most interesting clue comes from the fact that we know that it has been tested on the hardware of Google smart speakers. They did not run Fuchsia at the time of release. People involved only cited a few examples of fuchsia codes lined up with “Made by Google” devices.
Google simply refers to “Fuchsia” as “a safe, updatable, inclusive and pragmatic production-level operating system”. We are studying what a new operating system will look like. Generally, when people know, they will be excited to say: “Oh, this is the new Android system” or “This is the new Chrome OS”. But “Fuchsia” is not about this. It is about promoting advanced operating systems and what we learned from “Fuchsia” can be integrated into other products.
In addition to the new mailing list and the call for contributors, Google also released a “technical roadmap. But it mainly focuses on the underlying operating system, such as “a driver framework independent of the driver update kernel” and “‘ Fuchsia’s interface definition language”. The roadmap of “Fuchsia” shows that many of the original subsystems are being transformed. They use a new IO library and component architecture. Google runs many open source projects.
In the new strategic direction, they said to the outside that “Fuchsia” leads the purple-red direction. It makes platform decisions”, but encourages the participation of more external industry forces. “Starting today, we are expanding the open source model of’Fuchsia’ to make it easier for the public to participate in this project.”
“We created a new public mailing list for project discussions. We also added a governance model to clarify how we made strategic decisions. And we also opened an issue tracker for public contributors to view work in progress. As an open source effort, we welcome high-quality, well-tested contributions from everyone. Now there is a process to become a member to submit a patch or become a committer with full write access.”
The company also pointed out that “Fuchsia” is not ready for general product development, or even as a development target. However, anyone with real technical skills can clone the repository and build the code. Google has provided a lot of documentation on how to do this, as well as an emulator.
The operating system supports Flutter applications and C, C++, Dart, Python, Go and Rust programming languages. DahliaOS is a branch of Fuchsia OS. The Zicron kernel variant is still under development, and its Linux version is already available.
Google also pointed out that its goal is to build an open source community around this project. Fuchsia is an open source project. The project is still developing rapidly. But the basic principles and values of the system remain relatively unchanged throughout the project. So, why does Google, which already has the Android operating system, want to build a new brand-new “Fuchsia”?
According to public information, although the Android system belongs to Google, it is still built on Linux. Google has also been sued for Java issues. The “Fuchsia” operating system is different from the Linux kernel, which Android uses. On the contrary, it uses a relatively new Zircon kernel and the Flutter engine and Dart language. It is worth mentioning that compared with the current Android the “Fuchsia” operating system has greatly reduced hardware requirements such as memory and memory. It also meets the needs of its terminal use. The “Fuchsia” operating system can also run on IoT devices such as smart homes to achieve cross-platform operation and operation.