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Article: A comparative analysis of RTLinux and RTAI

Sep 26, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

This technical whitepaper by Ismael Ripoll is intended to provide a detailed comparison between RTLinux and RTAI. Ripoll set out to put together all of the relevant facts about both implementations, in order to assist developers in deciding which approach better fits their specific application's requirements.

Quoting from the introduction . . .

“In this document I have tried to put together the most relevant (in my opinion) characteristics of RTLinux and RTAI. I did my best, but I know there may be errors . . . This document do not intend to be the last word on this issue.”

“There are two different approaches to provide real-time performance with Linux: (1) Improving the Linux kernel preemption; (2) Adding a new software layer beneath the Linux kernel with full control of interrupts and processor key features.

“There are two working groups on each approach: TimeSys and Linux kernel preemption project (supported by MontaVista) took the first approach; both groups are working in parallel to produce a similar result. The second approach is supported by RTLinux and RTAI . . .”

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About the author: Ismael Ripoll has served as professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia since 1994. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science from the same university in 1996, having done his thesis on the subject of real-time dynamic scheduling algorithms. Ripoll's current research interests include real-time scheduling, RTLinux, and Linux security. Ripoll's work related to Linux and real-time Linux in his research group is available here.

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