Will Google finance the Rust translation of the Linux kernel?

Logo Kernel Linux, Tux

The Linux kernel was written in C and other parts in ASM. Some time ago the initiative was taken to rewrite those old ASM parts in C as well, to make it easier for developers to understand and update. Now they are talking about another step, as it is using Rust in the kernel for security cuestions.

It is something that has been debated both internally in the community and externally. Without going any further, a year ago, Linus Torvalds He assured that he would witness the replacement of C by another programming language in the future: «It may or may not be at the hands of Rust«. And this year, Google has announced that it will fund part of this project, paying a full-time programmer to partially rewrite the code.

Your employer will be the Internet Security Group, the same non-profit organization responsible for running Let's Encrypt and issuing free SSL certificates. The programmer in question will be Spanish, Miguel Ojeda, who has already been involved in programming the software for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Although in principle it is only about some more critical parts that will be passed to Rust for security reasons, such as certain controllers and modules similar, in the future it is intended to be in its entirety. In this way, the kernel will end up benefiting from the advantages of this open source programming language created by Mozilla.

This operation is quite expensive, and it involves its risks, but surely there are quite a few corporations interested in financing this type of project. Now it's been Google, but more are likely to join. However, it must be made clear that the changes made by the Spanish developer do not ensure their implementation in the official version of the Linux kernel for the moment. They should get the go-ahead from the kernel admin team and Torvalds decide whether to release this code with Rust includes.

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