News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

LynxOS 4.0 attains “holy grail” of Linux ABI compatibility

Mar 11, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Delivering on a promise made in November 1999, LynuxWorks today unveiled a major upgrade to its LynxOS real-time operating system (RTOS), which the company claims is now the first hard real-time operating system to provide binary compatibility with Linux — meaning that Linux applications can run unmodified… directly on LynxOS. Version 4.0 of LynxOS, LynuxWorks' real-time operating system (RTOS), also boasts significant enhancements in networking, performance, and porting support (see full press release, below).

LynxOS has long provided compatibility with the UNIX processing model and POSIX conformance which are shared by Linux, allowing LynuxWorks to previously claim application programming interface (API) compatibility with Linux. API compatibility required that Linux applications be recompiled in order to run on LynxOS. Now, with the addition of application binary interface (ABI) compatibility with Linux, many applications written for Linux will run on LynxOS without recompilation — including, according to LynuxWorks CEO Inder Singh, window managers like GNOME and KDE, and the Opera 6.0 web browser. Additionally, the new Linux ABI support allows both Linux and LynxOS (real-time) applications to run side-by-side on LynxOS, allowing developers to use a combination of applications within one system.

LynuxWorks publicly demonstrated a working prototype of the new Linux ABI compatibility a year ago at LinuxWorld Expo in New York, running identical binary images of the popular game, Quake, on two side-by-side systems — one running on top of Linux, and the other on LynxOS.

LynxOS' Linux ABI compatibility was implemented through the use of dynamically linked shared libraries which, the company says, results in “minimum intrusion into the kernel, providing flexibility while maintaining stability and compatibility.”

LynuxWorks expects that the new Linux ABI compatibility and enhanced performance of of LynxOS 4.0 will “attract customers away from using similar products offered by Wind River, QNX, and other off-the-shelf or in-house proprietary operating systems.” The company also stated that new ABI compatibility with Linux “eliminates porting and maintenance issues when migrating existing Linux applications to the hard real-time LynxOS platform.”

The full text of today's LynxOS 4.0 announcement from LynuxWorks appears below.

Press Release

LynuxWorks ups the ante in RTOS market with introduction of LynxOS 4.0

Popular Real-Time Operating System Sets New Industry Benchmark for Performance, Enhanced Networking and Linux Compatibility

San Francisco; Embedded Systems Conference — Building upon its expanding success with the most advanced and open embedded operating systems and tools solutions portfolio, LynuxWorks today announced the general availability of its next major revision to its popular LynxOS real time operating system (RTOS). LynxOS 4.0 raises the bar for RTOS vendors by adding Linux binary compatibility and enhancements in networking, porting support, and performance.

Squarely positioned to set a new industry benchmark for performance and openness, LynxOS 4.0 adds an array of new enhancements that have been designed to attract customers away from using similar products offered by Wind River, QNX, and other off-the-shelf or in-house proprietary operating systems. LynuxWorks is offering LynxOS 4.0 as a stand-alone solution with a selection of tools, or as part of seven new industry specific software solutions designed to further streamline the development process (see related release).

“With this new version of LynxOS, our customers can leverage significant technological advances such as increased real-time performance and the latest in networking technologies,” said Inder Singh, CEO of LynuxWorks. “In addition, with the application binary interface (ABI) compatibility, we offer unprecedented levels of openness and compatibility between Linux and LynxOS, which gives customers a strategic advantage when using our products. For the first time, embedded developers can truly plan long-term and be assured that as their products and market requirements change, they can quickly migrate between operating systems, or add new products that are compatible with very little effort.”

LynxOS has a long history of technology leadership, meeting the most rigorous performance and compatibility demands of real-time and embedded applications. The operating system has been a popular choice among embedded developers for more than thirteen years in key industries, including telecommunications, Mil/aero, automotive, and office, industrial, and retail automation. Unparalleled in its hard real-time response, stability and open standard interfaces, LynxOS provides the full determinism and reliability necessary for mission-critical and real-time embedded applications.

Unique in the high performance RTOS world, LynxOS also offers its users the UNIX processing model, POSIX conformance and open, standard application programming interfaces (APIs). The result is that OEMs have access to a larger pool of programming talent, and a greater choice of compatible applications and tools decreasing overall development times and related costs for new embedded products.

25 Percent Performance Boost

Recent internal tests show that LynxOS 4.0 interrupt response has been improved over the previous release by over 30 percent. It exhibits true linear scalability, remaining deterministic regardless of the number of tasks performed at any point. Absolute determinism and kernel threading allow for interrupt routines to be short and fast, ensuring predictable response even in the presence of heavy I/O. Systems based on LynxOS are able to perform their multiple tasks more reliably and deterministically than previously possible.

True ABI Compatibility

The only hard real-time operating system to offer true application binary interface (ABI) compatibility to Linux, LynxOS 4.0 lets users run Linux applications unmodified under LynxOS or to augment real-time applications on LynxOS with applications from Linux. The innovative capability eliminates porting and maintenance issues when migrating existing Linux applications to the hard real-time LynxOS platform. The compatibility is implemented through the use of dynamically linked shared libraries for minimum intrusion into the kernel, providing flexibility while maintaining stability and compatibility.

Updated for Advanced Networking

LynxOS 4.0 gives developers access to state-of-the-art networking technology. The full-featured networking capabilities of LynxOS 4.0 are derived from the feature-rich FreeBSD 4.2 TCP/IP stack, enhanced for re-entrancy, determinism and performance, and includes the latest protocols for networking and routing, such as OSPFv2, BGP-4 and RIPv2. The FreeBSD TCP/IP stack contains more features and contains the most advanced concepts of all the BSD implementations. The new TCP/IP stack tests, with small packets where 100BaseT wire speed is not a limiting factor, showed performance increases by more than 90 percent over the previous LynxOS release. This is due to enhancements to the new stack for better throughput and drivers optimized for speed. Furthermore, Gigabit Ethernet support is also provided. This will enable LynxOS users to quickly deploy systems with the latest in networking technology.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.