Building a self-healing embedded system in a multi-OS environment

Tomohiro Katori*, Lei Sun, Dennis K. Nilsson, Tatsuo Nakajima

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this paper we describe our approach to improve dependability of a commodity OS for embedded systems. Usually it is too difficult for end-users to resolve the problem inside a single OS, especially for embedded systems. We propose a self-healing mechanism for Linux kernel to improve the system dependability without any operations by administrators. This paper presents our white box approach for monitoring and recovering Linux kernel. Key components are a system monitor and a virtual machine monitor. The system monitor is used to detect the inconsistency of data structures inside Linux kernel. The virtual machine monitor provides a multi-OS environment and it isolates the system monitor from Linux kernel. In a multi-OS environment, the system monitor is able to resolve failures inside Linux kernel without stopping crucial services running on another OS. We have developed a prototype for an embedded system to verify our approach. The experiment results show that our system can remove hidden processes and reload buggy kernel modules. The performance evaluation results show that our self-healing mechanism can be used even when Linux kernel is heavily-loaded and the overhead of the system monitor is vanishingly small in actual use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2009
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event24th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2009 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 2009 Mar 82009 Mar 12

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing


Conference24th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


  • Monitoring
  • Multi-OS environment
  • Self-healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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