Master Thesis Seminar: Migration from a Real-Time Operating System to Embedded Linux

Date: October 18, 2005 (Tuesday) at 14:15

Av: Håkan Kvist, Maria Larsson

Many embedded systems today are built around off-the-shelf components which are both fast and inexpensive. With every new generation of components, performance increases and the price/performance ratio decreases. The extra amount of resources available in new systems opens up a door for more general operating systems for embedded devices, Linux being one popular alternative. But replacing a real-time operating system specially developed for use in embedded devices with a general purpose operating system comes at some costs.

This thesis investigates the considerations that have to be made when porting to Linux, and some of the improvements and drawbacks that come with a migration. The investigation was carried out by partly migrating an embedded software product currently running on a real-time operating system (RTOS), and by evaluating the ported system. It could be concluded that the porting difficulties are solvable, and that a total migration to Linux is feasible.

Measurements showed both positive and negative effects of the migration, and it was found that a decrease in real-time performance had taken place. Most notable were the context switching times, which were at least 14 times lower when performed by the RTOS. Network communication was on the other hand 76% faster under Linux. Although a decrease in real-time performance was observed, it could be concluded that Linux is able to provide sufficient real-time properties to satisfy the requirements of the application.

Room: E:2116

Last modified Dec 9, 2011 12:59 pm