Google Fuchsia

Fuchsia is a capability-based operating system currently being developed by Google. It first became known to the public when the project appeared on GitHub in August 2016 without any official announcement. In contrast to prior Google-developed operating systems such as Chrome OS and Android, which are based on the Linux kernel, Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called "Zircon".

The GitHub project suggests Fuchsia can run on many platforms, from embedded systems to smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. In May 2017, Fuchsia was updated with a user interface, along with a developer writing that the project was not a "dumping ground of a dead thing", prompting media speculation about Google's intentions with the operating system, including the possibility of it replacing Android.

The logo of the Fuchsia operating system, a fuchsia-colored, tilted, two loop infinity symbol. The left loop is larger and higher. The right loop is smaller and lower.
Screenshot of Google Fuchsia (July 2017)
Screenshot of the Armadillo user shell, part of Fuchsia
Written inC, C++, Dart, Go, Rust
OS familyZircon
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen-source
Initial release15 August 2016
Available inEnglish
PlatformsARM64, x86-64
Kernel typeMicrokernel
LicenseBSD, MIT, Apache License 2.0


In August 2016, media outlets reported on a mysterious codebase post published on GitHub, that revealed that Google was developing a new operating system called "Fuchsia". While no official announcement was made, inspection of the code suggested its capability to run on universal devices, including "dash infotainment systems for cars, to embedded devices like traffic lights and digital watches, all the way up to smartphones, tablets and PCs". The code differs from Android and Chrome OS due to its being based on the "Zircon" kernel (formerly "Magenta")[1] rather than on the Linux kernel.[2][3][4]

In May 2017, Ars Technica wrote about Fuchsia's new user interface, an upgrade from its command-line interface at its first reveal in August, along with a developer writing that Fuchsia "isn't a toy thing, it's not a 20% project, it's not a dumping ground of a dead thing that we don't care about anymore".[5] Multiple media outlets wrote about the project's seemingly close ties to Android, with some speculating that Fuchsia might be an effort to "re-do"[6] or replace Android[7][8][9] in a way that fixes problems on that platform.[5]

In November 2017, initial support for the Swift programming language was committed.[10]

In January 2018, Google published a guide how to run Fuchsia on Pixelbooks.[11][12] This was done successfully by Ars Technica.[13]

In October 2018, it was reported that the recently announced Google Home Hub may be a known Fuchsia OS test device, code named "Astro".[14]

In January 2019, it was confirmed that Android App support had been added to the codebase[15].


Fuchsia's user interface and apps are written with Flutter, a software development kit allowing cross-platform development abilities for Fuchsia, Android and iOS. Flutter produces apps based on Dart, offering apps with high performance that run at 120 frames per second. Flutter also offers a Vulkan-based graphics rendering engine called "Escher", with specific support for "Volumetric soft shadows", an element that Ars Technica wrote "seems custom-built to run Google's shadow-heavy 'Material Design' interface guidelines". This OS is even used in the driverless car by Google.

Due to the Flutter software development kit offering cross-platform opportunities, users are able to install parts of Fuchsia on Android devices. Ars Technica noted that, while users could test Fuchsia, nothing "works", adding that "it's all a bunch of placeholder interfaces that don't do anything", though finding multiple similarities between Fuchsia's interface and Android, including a Recent Apps screen, a Settings menu, and a split-screen view for viewing multiple apps at once.[5]

The second review by Ars Technica was impressed with the progress, noting that things were now working, and was especially pleased by the hardware support. One of the positive surprises was the support for multiple mouse pointers.[13].

A special version of Android Runtime for Fuchsia will be developed. It will run on machines with this system from a FAR file, the equivalent of the Android APK.[16]


Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called "Zircon". Zircon is derived from "Little Kernel",[17][18] a small operating system intended for embedded systems. "Little Kernel" was developed by Travis Geiselbrecht, a creator of the NewOS kernel used by Haiku.[19][20]

See also


  1. ^ McGrath, Roland (12 September 2017). "[zx] Magenta -> Zircon". zircon - Git at Google. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  2. ^ Etherington, Darrell (August 15, 2016). "Google's mysterious new Fuchsia operating system could run on almost anything". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Fingas, Jon (August 13, 2016). "Google's Fuchsia operating system runs on virtually anything". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Szász, Attila (November 8, 2017). "Dive into Magenta – fuzzing Google's new kernel". Youtube. Hacktivity.
  5. ^ a b c Amadeo, Ron (May 8, 2017). "Google's "Fuchsia" smartphone OS dumps Linux, has a wild new UI". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Fingas, Jon (May 8, 2017). "Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS looks like an Android re-do". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  7. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (May 8, 2017). "Google's mysterious new Fuchsia OS has a UI now". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Davenport, Corbin (May 8, 2017). "Google's "Fuchsia" operating system is taking shape with a new design". Android Police. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "First Look at all new Fuchsia OS from Google". IB Computing. IB Computing. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Add Fuchsia OS support". GitHub PR for Swift. 2017-11-15.
  11. ^ "Yes, Google Is Running Fuchsia On The Pixelbook: Calm Down". Chrome Unboxed - The Latest Chrome OS News. 2018-01-01. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  12. ^ Contribute to docs development by creating an account on GitHub, Fuchsia, 2018-01-03, retrieved 2018-01-03
  13. ^ a b Amadeo, Ron (8 January 2018). "Google's Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook: It works! It actually works!". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 22 January 2018. Right now, Google's built-from-scratch kernel and operating system will actually boot on the Pixelbook, and some things even work. The touchscreen, trackpad, and keyboard work and so do the USB ports. You can even plug in a mouse and get a second mouse cursor.
  14. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (2018-10-10). "The newly-launched Google Home Hub is 'Astro,' a known Fuchsia OS test device". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  15. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (2019-01-03). "Google's Fuchsia OS confirmed to have Android app support via Android Runtime". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  16. ^ "Google's Fuchsia operating system to run Android apps". Geeky Tips. 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  17. ^ Sims, Gary (August 17, 2016). "What we learned from running Fuchsia, the mysterious new OS from Google". Android Authority. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  18. ^ Mahate, Shakeel (October 24, 2016). "Introduction". GitHub. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Travis Geiselbrecht (Projects section)". October 24, 2016. Retrieved Nov 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Travis Geiselbrecht – Staff Software Engineer – Greater Seattle Area". Retrieved 2018-11-26.

External links

Capability-based security

Capability-based security is a concept in the design of secure computing systems, one of the existing security models. A capability (known in some systems as a key) is a communicable, unforgeable token of authority. It refers to a value that references an object along with an associated set of access rights. A user program on a capability-based operating system must use a capability to access an object. Capability-based security refers to the principle of designing user programs such that they directly share capabilities with each other according to the principle of least privilege, and to the operating system infrastructure necessary to make such transactions efficient and secure. Capability-based security is to be contrasted with an approach that uses hierarchical protection domains.

Although most operating systems implement a facility which resembles capabilities, they typically do not provide enough support to allow for the exchange of capabilities among possibly mutually untrusting entities to be the primary means of granting and distributing access rights throughout the system. A capability-based system, in contrast, is designed with that goal in mind.

Capabilities as discussed in this article should not be confused with POSIX 1e/2c "Capabilities". The latter are coarse-grained privileges that cannot be transferred between processes.

Flutter (software)

Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework created by Google. It is used to develop applications for Android and iOS, as well as being the primary method of creating applications for Google Fuchsia.

Gerrit (software)

Gerrit is a free, web-based team code collaboration tool. Software developers in a team can review each other's modifications on their source code using a Web browser and approve or reject those changes. It integrates closely with Git, a distributed version control system.

Gerrit is a fork of Rietveld, another code review tool. Both namesakes are of Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld.

Google OS

Google OS can refer to:

Chrome OS, a software platform that incorporates the Google Chrome web browser

Android (operating system), the most widely used mobile operating system

Goobuntu, a Linux distribution that Google uses internally

Google Fuchsia, a Capability-based operating system based on the Zircon microkernel currently being developed by Google


Halium is a collaborative project to unify the Hardware Abstraction Layer for projects which run GNU/Linux on mobile devices with pre-installed Android. The project aims to standardize the middleware software used by various projects to talk with android daemons and make use of hardware on installed devices.


LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for set-top boxes, smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform. It is the successor to the custom ROM CyanogenMod, from which it was forked in December 2016 when Cyanogen Inc. announced it was discontinuing development and shut down the infrastructure behind the project. Since Cyanogen Inc. retained the rights to the Cyanogen name, the project rebranded its fork as LineageOS.LineageOS was officially launched on December 24, 2016, with the source code available on GitHub. Since that time, LineageOS development builds now cover more than 185 phone models with over 1.7 million active installs, having doubled its user base in the month February–March 2017.

List of Google products

The following is a list of products and services provided by Google.

Next Unit of Computing

Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is a line of small-form-factor barebone computer kits designed by Intel. The NUC has had eight generations so far, spanning from Sandy Bridge-based Celeron CPUs in the first generation through Ivy Bridge-based Core i3 and i5 CPUs in the second generation to Gemini Lake-based Pentium and Celeron CPUs and Kaby Lake-based Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs in the seventh and eighth generations. The NUC motherboard measures 4 × 4 inches (10.16 × 10.16 cm).The barebone kits consist of the board, in a plastic case with a fan, an external power supply, and a VESA mounting plate. Intel does sell just the NUC motherboards, which have a built-in CPU, although (as of 2013) the price of a NUC motherboard is very close to the corresponding cased kit; third-party cases for the NUC boards are also available.

Trusted execution environment

A trusted execution environment (TEE) is a secure area of a main processor. It guarantees code and data loaded inside to be protected with respect to confidentiality and integrity. A TEE as an isolated execution environment provides security features such as isolated execution, integrity of applications executing with the TEE, along with confidentiality of their assets. In general terms, the TEE offers an execution space that provides a higher level of security than a rich mobile operating system open (mobile OS) and more functionality than a 'secure element' (SE).Industry associations like GlobalPlatform (working to standardize specifications for the TEE) and Trusted Computing Group (working to align GlobalPlatform TEE specification with its Trusted Platform Module (TPM) technology for enhanced mobile security) have undertaken work in recent years.

Zircon (disambiguation)

Zircon is a mineral.

Zircon may also refer to:

Zircon (satellite), a British signals intelligence satellite

Zircon affair, an incident surrounding the British signals intelligence satellite

Zircon (composer), a.k.a. Andrew Aversa — a composer and music producer

Cubic zirconia, a synthetic diamond substitute

USS Zircon (PY-16), a United States Navy vessel

3M22 Zircon, Russian hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile

Zircon (OS kernel), microkernel for Google Fuchsia

OS kernels
Programming languages
Specialised hardware

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