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Open Source Web Engine Servo to be Hosted at Linux Foundation

The popular and lightning-fast web engine built using the Rust programming language will grow the community and expand its platform footprint

KubeCon  The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced it will host the Servo web engine. Servo is an open source, high-performance browser engine designed for both application and embedded use and is written in the Rust programming language, bringing lightning-fast performance and memory safety to browser internals. Industry support for this move is coming from Futurewei, Let’s Encrypt, Mozilla, Samsung, and Three.js, among others.

“The Linux Foundation’s track record for hosting and supporting the world’s most ubiquitous open source technologies makes it the natural home for growing the Servo community and increasing its platform support,” said Alan Jeffrey, Technical Chair of the Servo project. “There’s a lot of development work and opportunities for our Servo Technical Steering Committee to consider, and we know this cross-industry open source collaboration model will enable us to accelerate the highest priorities for web developers.”

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Servo is an open source project that delivers components that can load, run, and display web pages, applications, and immersive WebXR experiences. Developers can integrate the Servo web engine — including a parallelized CSS engine that speeds page load times and improves stability and a rendering engine called WebRender — into their own user interfaces, 3D experiences, and other products. Servo currently runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and has been ported to devices such as Android phones, Oculus, Magic Leap, and Microsoft’s HoloLens. Servo was instrumental in building Mozilla’s Gecko browser engine that powered the launch of the Firefox Quantum web browser in 2017, and is still core to Firefox’s DNA today.

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In 2012, Mozilla started the Servo project, a community effort to create a new, open source browser engine that can take advantage of multicore hardware to improve speed, stability, and responsiveness. Today, Servo is more efficient than most web engines because it takes advantage of low-power multi-core CPUs. This is enabled by the open source Rust programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism. Rust and Servo co-evolved, and during their early days, Servo was the only large-scale Rust program other than the Rust compiler itself. Rust’s memory safety guarantees mean that Servo presents a smaller attack surface for security vulnerabilities such as buffer overflow attacks. Rust and Servo were both incubated by Mozilla, and the next step for Servo is through the Linux Foundation.

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“Mozilla is a champion of the open source movement, working to unite passionate communities to build software that keeps the internet open and accessible to all,” said Adam Seligman, Chief Operating Officer at Mozilla. “We’re pleased to see Servo graduate from Mozilla and move on to the Linux Foundation where we know this technology will continue to thrive and power web-based innovation in the future.”

“Servo is the most promising, modern, and open web engine for building applications and immersive experiences using web technologies, and that has a lot to do with the Rust programming language,” said Mike Dolan, senior vice president, and general manager of projects at the Linux Foundation. “We’re excited to support and sustain this important work for decades to come.”

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