Windows Research Kernel @ HPI

Browse Through the WRK Sources

In a recent post, we introduced PXR, a cross-referencing source code documentation compiler. If you are interested in how the results look like and how it feels to interactively browse through the sources, the generated HTML files are now available on Microsoft's Faculty Connection. We decided to publish these files in that way because we need to make sure that only eligible persons access the source code. Faculty Connection already provides this kind of service.

In the meantime, we are working on a release of the PXR sources, so that you can start building a documentation of your own projects.

Introducing PXR: A Cross-Referencing Documentation Compiler

Quite some time ago, Michael posted an article about our filter for the Doxygen documentation compiler. While Doxygen is a great tool for documenting large source code repositories, we had some issues with the results that were generated. For example, we had several cases, where Doxygen linked to the prototype declaration of a function instead of its definition. We also wanted a Web site that leverages Web 2.0 capabilities such as AJAX to further enhance the user experience, which is why we decided to build our own documentation compiler: PXR. In this article, we want to briefly introduce PXR and to give you an impression of what it looks like:

screenshot of PXR Welcome Screen
The start page generated by PXR for the WRK sources.

Read more

WRK System Service Calls Made Simple

Michael created an exhaustive tutorial on how to create a new system service call in the Windows Research Kernel in his HowTo series. An important part is to define the system service dispatch table that contains the new system call, otherwise no user mode application could use it. Creating this dispatch table requires modifying two assembly language files, sysstubs.asm and systable.asm, which in our opinion has proven error prone and tedious.

Therefore, we created a tool that generates the system service table automatically when the WRK is built. It is available as binary for x86 platforms and as sources. It can be downloaded from

Read more

Using Visual Studio with the Windows Research Kernel - 2008 Update

Alexander created a new version of the Visual Studio project files. Some makefiles were adapted, now double clicking entries in the "Error List" window will bring you directly to the source code location.

Just copy the files from the archive to your WRK-v1.2 directory and use the WindowsResearchKernel.sln solution file.

Building Complete Call Graphs with Phoenix

In my last post, I told you that we use Phoenix for building the WRK, which allows us to apply Phoenix' comprehensive set of analysis capabilities to the WRK. One particular analysis might be the construction of complete call graphs for functions interest.

Unfortunately, the build process of the WRK compiles each module separately and links it into a static library. As a final step, all static libraries will be linked together with pre-compiled libraries to the ntoskrnl.exe executable image. So building complete call graphs may be a problem, especially when a function calls or is called by a function within another module as Phoenix is only aware of functions within the compiled module.

But fortunately, Phoenix provides a solution to this problem!

Read more

System Service Call Wizard for Visual Studio

We created a project wizard for Visual Studio 2005 that will guide you in creating a system service call for the WRK.

Read more