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Running Linux Applications In An Embedded, Real-Time Environment

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Software

Following its success in the server market, Linux is generating a lot of interest as the new OS of choice in embedded and real-time devices. However, because the Linux kernel was not originally designed for these types of applications, it faces a number of interesting technical challenges that must be over-come if it is to gain widespread acceptance in this market. This paper starts with a discussion of the architectural features of the Linux kernel, with particular emphasis on showing where there is a good match with the requirements of the embedded market and where problems exist. The paper then goes on the present a comparison of the different approaches that have been used to adapt Linux for real time and embedded systems.

Linux is the rising star among operating sys-tems. Mergers, IPOs and surging growth have catapulted Linux from the comfortable realms of Universities and research labs into the bright lights of the business world at breakneck speed. Windows assailant, Unix saviour, the reasons for Linux success in the server market are as many as they are diverse.

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