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  1. #1
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    Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    Hi,

    I wanted to know whether is it possible to develop your own kernel and design an Operating System using that kernel for Symbian. I want to do this for academic purpose only and it requires me to do so. I will be really grateful if you can help me with this query regarding the kernel. Also please let me know what language (C, C++, Java) should I use to develop this kernel.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Navneeth Baliga.

  2. #2
    Nokia Developer Moderator
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    You can try registering and getting the code on http://symbian.nokia.com
    If it does not work, check http://www.developer.nokia.com/Commu...source-anymore, and you will be able to get an older one.

  3. #3
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    I wish to write my own kernel, for a Symbian platform, I am asking whether is it possible for me to write my own kernel and device driver and also I checked out the links which you gave me earlier and it still doesn't answer my question.

  4. #4
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    If you get the full source code for Symbian, then yes, of course, it is possible to write your own kernel, and also your own device drivers. That doesn't mean that you can run your creation on a commercial phone, though, because you can't. It is also a separate question whether such an exercise is worth the effort or not; even for academic purposes, I'd pick some other target than Symbian, but it is of course your decision.

  5. #5
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    @petrib : Thank you so much for your advice and suggestion, also could you let me know whether I can run my creation on any other device apart from my commercial nokia phone. I was actually considering of running my creation on a separate device entirely built for off shelves hardware components (like using beagle boards, modem etc). What do you think of it ? Also could you let me know what tools I should use to create a kernel . Do I have to use any particular tool such as PDK and also use C as a language to write my kernel ?

    I would be really grateful if you could help me out with these questions.

  6. #6
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    You can, indeed, run your version on a Beagleboard, or some such device. Just not on (at least) Nokia phones, where the hardware prevents installing your own firmware (that has not been signed by Nokia).

    As Symbian is more or less passé these days, you're fighting an uphill battle as far as documentation and help goes; few people have any interest in making it run on any hardware. Your only official way for getting current OS sources and the tools is through http://symbian.nokia.com ( + of course from the hardware supplier you choose, such as TI or whomever ).

    If you want more help/assistance, trying to make your own kernel bits for some other operating system (such as Linux/Android, for example) is probly going to be much, much easier.

    In any case, you must learn and know C/C++ very well, and I'd say also the target processor's instruction set (assembly language). There's no way you'd do something like this in Java, without also writing your own Java compiler and language extensions that'd allow you to get to the hardware level.

  7. #7
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    @petrib: Thank you so much for your suggestion, it is really helpful.

  8. #8
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    Re: Writing your own Kernel for Symbian for academic purposes only.

    Quote Originally Posted by navneeth_b View Post
    I wish to write my own kernel, for a Symbian platform, I am asking whether is it possible for me to write my own kernel and device driver and also I checked out the links which you gave me earlier and it still doesn't answer my question.
    Hi,
    Reading all responses I get the feeling that people are not answering the question really.

    Yes - you can download and build (and customise) the Symbian Kernel, - and later use it with symbian platform (check out WildDucks project, who were using beagleboard with some lcd/modemmodules to run it.

    But if you want to write your own kernel to replace the existing one it might be a lot of work (it was years and many people who were working on various bits of the Kernel).. and why re-invent the wheel?

    If you want to write your own kernel, I would suggest to pick a hw platform with a processor that is simpler (a microcontroller maybe?)
    There are nice LPCXpresso (ARM Cortex m3 processor based) that is cheap and easy to use. Also many other options with even simpler microcontrollers.

    If you want to see how to start / what needs to be done to write your kernel I would suggest try to see how FreeRTOS is implemented. It has a great documentation explaining the implementation of the context switch and interrupts and this gives a great idea on how operating systems work and how to implement your own system (as implementing interrupts and contex switches is the bare basics). http://www.freertos.org/implementati...on/a00006.html

    Be aware, however, that if you want a flashy UI and User-Kernel, loadable applications operating system, like LInux, Symbian - I don't believe if you could write everything from scratch yourself as an academic project. You can of course re-use many of existing implementations of various components, but many of them have been integrated already into runnable distributions (Android, other linux-based environments and to some extend Symbian on a beagleboard). And forget about the Java, C is a must, C++ if you're know what you're doing (in some low-level bits). YOu can run away without knowing the assembly if using gcc (see signal, sp_switch and saveall attributes in gcc), but knowing at least some basics will help you debugging it (e.g. dumping registers, looking at the fault codes etc.)

    Good luck
    Last edited by formiaczek; 2011-10-17 at 09:43. Reason: typo

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