Google has been developing Fuchsia OS for years, which is an operating system that is not explicitly based on Linux.
The latest Fuchsia OS proposal outlines how it can run unmodified software for both Android and Linux.
One of the biggest problems with creating a new operating system, especially one built from scratch, like Fuchsia, is that people want to be able to run their favorite apps via that operating system.
And in the case of Fuchsia, which could theoretically be a successor to both the Chrome and Android OS, people would likely expect to be able to run Android and Linux apps, along with the original Fuchsia apps.
The expectation so far has been that Fuchsia can achieve this in the same way that Chrome OS can currently run Linux applications, by running a full copy of Linux in a virtual machine.
And Chrome OS is set to use this same strategy for its ability to run Android apps, thanks to a project called arcvm.
However, there are some downsides to the virtual machine approach, as managing files between host (Fuchsia) and guest (Android) can be difficult or cumbersome.
In addition, Fuchsia OS focuses on security, in an effort to keep programs isolated from one another wherever possible.
To maintain this level of isolation with Linux applications, Fuchsia needs more than one virtual machine to run, which can hinder performance.
This week, an introduction Suggestion Fuchsia OS alternative solution for running Linux and Android software.
Instead of running Linux itself, Fuchsia OS gets a system called Starnix, which would act as a translator between the instructions for the Linux kernel and the instructions for the Zircon kernel for Fuchsia OS.
Linux programs are supposed to function as normal, and Starnix makes sure the application is capable of running in Fuchsia exactly as it is supposed to run under Linux.
The proposal outlines how the developers intend to use Starnix, and the proposal speaks on multiple occasions of using Starnix to run code from Android directly via Fuchsia OS.
It is clear that Google intends that Fuchsia OS be able to deeply support Android applications, without the need to make exceptions.
In the long run, Starnix should only be used as a temporary measure to allow Google’s Fuchsia OS to be more widely usable while waiting for developers to move their apps to the new OS.
In almost every situation, the original Fuchsia app should perform better than the Linux or Android app powered by Starnix.