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Wind River Completes Embedded Linux Metamorphosis

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the going-to-the-tiny dept.

Operating Systems 107

An anonymous reader writes "Embedded software powerhouse Wind River's metamorphosis into an embedded Linux vendor appears to be complete. The company will announce today that it is shipping a pre-release version of its first embedded Linux distribution, and that it has already delivered 1,000 "developer seats" for the Carrier Grade Linux 2.0 compliant software."

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New poll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668587)

which do you prefer?

1) 404 error.

2) "Move along, nothing to see".

Re:New poll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668650)

404 error

S E X (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668700)

w i t h _ a _ m a r e

4 words (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668600)

too little
too late

Re:4 words (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668847)

actually a little more than that needs to be said.

if they have a solid RT linux product for their embedded offerings then they might be able to tie things up and run with it. If it's a general purpose embedded linux then they just wasted a HUGE amount of time.

A slightly good linux person with 5 days of time and a copy of building embedded linux systems can throw down a good fast small embedded linux distro that will make ANYTHING that a commercial distro look silly and horribly overpriced.

We looked at embedded linux distros 4 years ago here and settled on a roll your own.

we have a better product that we KNOW works for us, is easily customized and is certianly much smaller than anything we could buy.

Re:4 words (2, Insightful)

ajrs (186276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669056)

Yours for only 5 days of developer time! < fast talk > maintenance and support not included. some restrictions may apply. some assembly required. </fast talk>

Re:4 words (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670739)

maintenance and support not included - redhat does.
some restrictions may apply - especially with restrictive commercial licenses.
some assembly required - all embedded systems are like that. its the nature of the beast.

Re:4 words (2, Funny)

ajrs (186276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671045)

your browser must not render the <sarcasm> tag

Re:4 words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11672360)

you know nothing about embedded linux.

maintaince and support = NOTHING. linux kernel, busybox and your custom needed apps. all = the same amount of support and updates you will get with any commercial kit.

you want to use an obscure memory flash system? Oops the distro does not have those patches or that kernel revision... you have to roll your own and try to SHOEHORN it in.

oh you are not running an intel x86 platform? here compile it all by hand, same as rolling your own..

Please before you make up bullshit that you have no knowlege of try learning first.

Re:4 words (4, Informative)

den_erpel (140080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671228)

Same here.

I joined a team working on functionality running on an embedded Linux distribution about a year ago. After doing major cleanup in the sources, including an upgrade to the newest release of the embedded distribution; I started looking under the hood.

Several portions of the distributions were replaced by busybox, uclibc and a gcc-3.4 based toolchain. In the process, we built our own Perl based build system (with CVS): we check in/out only the modified files (basically only platform files) and use the original tarballs (tar xkfj).

As a result, we were able to decrease the embedded compressed filesystem to less than 33%, our code is much closer to the upstream developments (e.g. for network drivers, this can be an issue) and our system is modular and flexible. (btw, size does matter in production and for field upgrades): smaller, faster and cleaner...

I am currently in the process of cleaning up the platform dependent files for release and inclusion into the upstream projects (hopefully they get accepted).

We moved away and have not looked back and saved over 25,000 Euros per year (and rising) in the process. Yes, the embedded distributions are terribly expensive. If you have money to spare, consider hiring teams from the companies selling expertise and releasing the code like http://www.denx.de/ [www.denx.de] , http://www.codepoet.org/ [codepoet.org] , http://www.pengutronix.de/ [pengutronix.de] , http://www.mind.be/ [www.mind.be] , ...

Yes. Other real time linux distro's (2, Informative)

zymano (581466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668937)

http://www.fsmlabs.com/
http://www.lynuxworks.com /

http://dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Operating_Sys te ms/Realtime/Linux/

Timesys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669453)

Timesys is another LINUX RTOS vendor, here in Pittsburgh. Definately a neat shop to work, I had a real short contract there a while back.
Although, the fucking HR cunt put me through a 4 month interviewing process for a 3 month contract. What an asshole!
I normally wouldn't feed bullshit into a forum, but thinking about this, but that shit makes me mad, it's extremely rude, and shows what an asshole that person is.
They've had several low-end positions since then, and my applications go unanswered. Meanwhile, they hire construction contractors to fix their network problems...

Sorry. My 15m of hate for today.

Goofy Company Names (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668618)

Whats with these outdoorzy inspired software company names ? Montague river, Wind River, Fog Creek. Sound a bit fruity to me

VxWorks (4, Insightful)

lxdbxr (655786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668620)

I wouldn't say their "metamorphosis", if they ever purported to want or aim to do such a thing, is complete - I mean they are still selling VxWorks right? I believe the top four platforms on their Product Directory [windriver.com] are based on VxWorks, not Linux. I think they can fairly be described as an embedded software vendor that supplies Linux platforms, rather than an "embedded Linux vendor".

Nasa wont switch to Linux (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668687)

NASA uses VXWorks, it is one of thir best customers. They are very conservative, wont switch to linux.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668777)

NASA uses VXWorks, it is one of thir best customers. They are very conservative, wont switch to linux.

When you've spent billions hardening a technology to extremes of reliability, a single failure costs you hundreds of millions and maybe several lives, and the technology you've hardened is more than adequate for the next job, you'd be a fool to switch.

You switch when the job can't be done without a switch, or when the benefits (including risk reductions) outweigh the costs and risks.

It's when you're starting from scratch that older and newer technologies are on a nearly level playing field. When an old tech is in place and performing well the new one needs to have a BIG advantage to displace it.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (0, Troll)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668939)

When you've spent billions hardening a technology to extremes of reliability, a single failure costs you hundreds of millions and maybe several lives, and the technology you've hardened is more than adequate for the next job, you'd be a fool to switch.

And they aint no fools, cuz they did not switch and of course they never had any failures. Fear of change is FATAL.

-Em

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669158)

Most.
Retarded.
Rebuttal.
Ever.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (2, Interesting)

fabu10u$ (839423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11672155)

a single failure costs you hundreds of millions and maybe several lives
Case in point, last I heard they're not even on VxWorks on the shuttle. I think they're still on IBM 360's, at least for the major systems.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11674052)

It's worth mentioning that the shuttles are old. 1970's design. Its avionics aren't something that take change too well, or in fact need it, since they're largely upgraded in Mission Control, not the shuttle itself (the shuttle practically doesn't work without ground control. It can, it just isn't really designed for it). NASA always provides a sexy example (hey, they ARE rocket scientists), but I think plain old aircraft avionics are a better technology area to follow. What are they running, what's their technology lifecycle, etc.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668811)

HELLO. Where do you think that a lot of linux technology came from. Ever work in the network driver sections of the kernel?
Ever hear of Beuwolf?
Back when I worked on the MGS client side, we did the work on Linux (but it had to port to Solaris for the final product).

NASA uses whatever works well. Linux works great.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668926)

Still they(NASA) shipped off a couple of rovers to Mars. Running vxWorks.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (1)

mrisaacs (59875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669327)

Nasa may very well find a compelling reason to switch to Linux at some point. Before that, NASA will need to complete a comprehensive validation of the port and the Linux platform. It doesn't matter if the drivers, apps and packages were already certified on another platform - the port needs to be tested to ensure that no bugs have been introduced.

As the parent indicated - when there are millions of dollars worth of mission and possibly lives at stake, you don't change unless you really have to.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11676024)

> Where do you think that a lot of linux technology came from?

SCO?

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (3, Informative)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670289)

NASA uses Linux for a lot of things, just not space probes (yet). You can see Linux quite heavily used on the desktop machines in mission control at JPL for various space probes.

Linux does fly on space shuttle missions though, various experiments have been run by linux embedded systems.

Re:Nasa wont switch to Linux (4, Informative)

GileadGreene (539584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671414)

Uh, yeah, you might want to take a look at NASA's FlightLinux [nasa.gov] project before you make statements like that.

Besides, this story is about WindRiver adding Linux to its lineup, not replacing VxWorks.

Re:VxWorks (3, Insightful)

saider (177166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668719)

They still run VxWorks and then run something else on top. In this case, Linux. But VxWorks is still handling the hardware, etc. This is also how RTLinux works as well.

Re:VxWorks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668782)

It'd be more correct to say that the first step of their metamorphosis is complete. On the other hand, given that this isn't a dupe, "metamorphosis" is spelled correctly and the basic facts seem mostly correct, I'm not inclined to complain.

Re:VxWorks (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668813)

I think they can fairly be described as an embedded software vendor that supplies Linux platforms, rather than an "embedded Linux vendor".

Right on.

They haven't switched. (At least they haven't if the management is on the ball.) They've just added a new product line. Maybe it will pick up. Meanwhile the old standby is still there. Take your pick. Whichever way the market goes they're in the game.

Now they're a two-trick pony.

Critical Technology & China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668856)

Embedded operating systems (OSes) appear in many military systems: e.g. nuclear missiles. We should ensure that such technology does not "accidentally" leak to China [phrusa.org] . The Chinese would certainly use the technology of our very best embedded OSes to improve their military systems.

I still don't know why Wind River bought out BSDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669479)

About 3 years ago, Wind River bought BSDI, a commercial supplier for an x86 BSD based OS. With the appearant focus on Linux by Wind River, why did WR buy out BSDI and the BSD/OS?

They won't dump VxWorks (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674658)

It is not really metamorphesis. They have not stopped VxWorks. They just offer Embedded Linux too.

Smart Move (4, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668647)

I think Wind River is making a smart move. They could have easily dug their heels in and raged against the Linux tide. Instead they're going with the flow and building to take advantage of new opportunities and serving their customers' needs. Good show!

Re:Smart Move (2, Informative)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668783)

They DID dig their heels in and raged against the Linux tide. I remember some of their public statements being fairly barbed too! I have to admit I had just switched from VxWorks to NetBSD so maybe I was paying attention a little more closely

Re:Smart Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668913)

are you confusing greenhills with windriver? there was a story a while back about greenhills ceo saying something to the effect that foss cant compete with the high quality emedded software os that they produce...

Re:Smart Move (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11670058)

That was the old regime. I worked at Wind River in 2002, when they were in dire straits, and met the then-CEO, Tom St. Denis, who was firmly anti-Linux--to the point that, if someone in a meeting mentioned Linux, he would just ignore you, as if you hadn't spoken. (Wasn't just me--other people told me the same thing happened to them.) A while after that, St Denis got fired (okay, "left the company to pursue other opportunities") and the new CEO (Ken Klein) is very pro-Linux. I was at a meeting in December where he spoke enthusiastically about open source, and reminded us that the company wants to maintain a "good neighbor policy" (i.e., let developers devote company time to open source projects.) I think this attitude is the single biggest difference between the struggling Wind River of 2002 and the stable Wind River of 2005.

Re:Smart Move (1)

njyoder (164804) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668965)

Why is this a "smart move"? Why do you automatically assume that linux is this great messiah for embedded systems? That's completely dumb and this shows your clear bias. Frankly, I'd rather use VxWorks, which has been around a lot longer, been more closely scrutinized and better developed for embedded systems. When you're talking about multi-billion dollar projects like the Mars Rover stuff, I don't want a fuck up just because some pipsqueak who has no real incentive to rigorously harden embedded linux fucked something up. Also, I hope you, the linux zealot, realize that VxWorks is based on FreeBSD. So apparently you think that linux is this magical beacon of open source that is superior to all the rest. Good job on making a comment that is pure zealotry and has absolutely no basis in reality. What "new opportunities" are they serving anyway? What "customers needs" HAVEN'T they been serving? It's because of their great product quality of VXWORKS (with excellent embedded debugging capabilities) that NASA was able to fix a bug on their Mars Rover system that would have otherwise completely blew the multi-billion dollar mission. That sounds like serving their customers needs pretty damn well. Why was this moded up as 4, interesting? It's just a blind praise for linux. If someone said this about Windows it'd be moded down as a Microsft market droid. Just change "linux" to "microsoft windows" and it's no different than a microsoft ad.

Re:Smart Move (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670655)

Hmm, no zealotry here! I'm a veteran of the OS/2 Windows wars, so I've had enough of that! I use whatever works to get the job done. My point is that in a constantly changing technological world, one ignores the tide at your own peril. Linux is not the second coming by any stretch, but it is an important part of the tech landscape now. Ignoring customers who may prefer Linux based solutions is just leaving money on the table. Large companies may be able to afford to ignore developing markets, but small companies can't.

Nobody said VxWorks was a bad product, but I still think that Wind River is making a good move to play the embedded Linux side of the street too, especially if their customers are asking them to do so. Looks like a win win to me, and Wind River too apparently.

Re:Smart Move (2, Informative)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671108)

They could have easily dug their heels in and raged against the Linux tide.

this is in fact what they did do [linuxdevices.com] . they used to be one of the most vocal anti-linux vendors around, next to microsoft.

Re:Smart Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11674607)

I think Wind River is making a smart move. They could have easily dug their heels in and raged against the Linux tide.

...like their competitors are doing. [linuxworld.com]

Considering they did the Mars Rover (3, Interesting)

kbahey (102895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668715)

Considering that it is the same company that did the Mars Rover software [windriver.com] , this is a big thing.

For a company with such a high profile product to adopt Linux is only a good thing.

Re:Considering they did the Mars Rover (4, Informative)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668791)

Wind River DID NOT do the Mars Rover software. JPL did. JPL only used Vxworks as the OS. Any mature real time OS would have worked. JPL did the hard part.

Re:Considering they did the Mars Rover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668871)

Yes, and JPL screwed it up... Wind River's tools did bail them out though with target debugging all the way to Mars!

Re:Considering they did the Mars Rover (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670913)

"Wind River DID NOT do the Mars Rover software. JPL did. JPL only used Vxworks as the OS. Any mature real time OS would have worked."

Yea but the big deal here is that VxWorks is a mature real time os that does work well enough for NASA to use for the Mars Rovers.

Kind like saying any real time os that is good enough to use for the mars rover is good enough to use for the mars rover.

Re:Considering they did the Mars Rover (1)

szelus (580884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11675574)

Yea but the big deal here is that VxWorks is a mature real time os that does work well enough for NASA to use for the Mars Rovers.

Considering my own experience with VxWorks I would gues, that it took JPL *a lot* of effort to harden their particular OS instance so it could be used for Mars Rover.

Re:Considering they did the Mars Rover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11674640)

Wrong.

They did not have anything to do with the rover.
The vxWorks OS was in the LANDER, not the rover.
sheesh.

WIND stock price rebound ... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668722)

Re:WIND stock price rebound ... (2, Interesting)

Y2 (733949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669664)

The Market thinks they are turning it around.

With a trailing P/E of 276, the market must think WindRiver has a philosopher's stone up its sleeve! Even darling GOOG is only half that pricey.

Pure ignorance: Carrier grade benifits? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668737)

In the next few months, if we win the contract, I'll be responsible for tweaking an embedded telcom system. While I have no problems with that, I'd like to make sure that I use the right tools for the job.

At what point would Wind River's tools become helpful beyond the normal tweaking and tuning? (Ex: changing buffer or table sizes, removing parts of the kernel that aren't necessary, ...)

I realize that much of this would be project-specifc, though any general tips would be helpful.

Re:Pure ignorance: Carrier grade benifits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668864)

if you need Real time capabilities, then BUY an embedded linux distro.

otherwise they offer nothing and generall LESS than a copy of building embedded linux systems from o-riliey.

Re:Pure ignorance: Carrier grade benifits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669267)

  1. if you need Real time capabilities, then BUY an embedded linux distro.

    otherwise they offer nothing and generall LESS than a copy of building embedded linux systems from o-riliey.

Thanks! At this point, I don't know the details on the project, only that it's telecom related and they need someone to tune the kernel. I can do that, though I don't know what hardware and response times they are looking for or what load the app will add to the system.

Re:Pure ignorance: Carrier grade benifits? (1)

gnalre (323830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673554)

Vxworks do provide a lot of good tools. There windview tool is a must if you want to find performance bottle necks.

People forget embedded development is a lot harder than normal PC based stuff, because it can be difficult to get into the device when its running.

I went to a presentation by wind river on there new tools and despite my sceptsism I was quite impressed.

Re:Pure ignorance: Carrier grade benifits? (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674929)

The place where WindRiver tools really shine is bringing up an OS on a custom board from scratch. The JTAG ICE based debuggers that WR sells are good for debugging ISRs, bootloaders, etc. I have written device drivers without source-level ICE debugging :{ a good ICE debugger can save you months and months and months of efforts when it comes to doing that type of low-level development. The task level debuggers are better for application development, profiling, etc. The Tornado front end to gdb was better than the open-source alternatives several years ago, I am not sure if that is still true or not. Hope that helps some, like you said it's very project specific.

Interesting move... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668764)

...but is Linux really the platform for hard real-time embedded control? I like Linux as much as the next /.er, but it's not the ultimate solution for everything. VxWorks does something very different to most Linux boxes. Let's keep some variety in the world, so we can choose the tool for the job.

Re:Interesting move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668902)

Aren't you contradicting yourself?

By definition, Wind River offering Linux in addition to VxWorks increases variety.

Re:Interesting move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669239)

He's trying to become a marketing executive. Are you trying to stomp his dreams to dust?

Re:Interesting move... (4, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669202)

No, it's not. I used to think Linux would be all that and a bag of chips for embedded systems, but working with it dissuaded me of that fantasy.

It doesn't have a nanosecond clock, and there aren't any patches available for the 2.6 kernel.

There's no real-time support without patching the living hell out of your kernel, and then possibly running a mini-kernel underneath.

And, while not strictly relevant, it also doesn't have PPS API support built-in, which means you're also in for a wonderful round of patching to get something even remotely workable for synchronized systems. There's still no hardpps() support, so even that's just a maybe.

If you want something suitable for critical, real-time embedded systems, you'd have to patch the kernel so much that it'd barely look like Linux at the end.

-Erwos

Even WinCE is better... (2, Informative)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670135)


People rag on M$FT architectures to no end, but WinCE does surprisingly well in real world tests, and Linux does surprisingly poorly:
RunTime: Context switching, Part 1 [ibm.com]
High-performance programming techniques on Linux and Windows

RunTime: Context switching, Part 2 [ibm.com]
High-performance programming techniques on Linux and Windows

COMPARISON BETWEEN QNX RTOS V6.1, VXWORKS AE 1.1 AND WINDOWS CE .NET [qnx.com]
PDF DOCUMENT

Re:Even WinCE is better... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11670424)

It should be pointed out that Wind River doesn't even sell Vxworks AE any more, and hasn't for about 2-3 years.. it was a branch that 'died on the vine' so to speak. AE added lots of features that probably slowed it down a lot. I suspect the results would be quite different if VxWorks 5.5 were used in the comparisons...

Re:Even WinCE is better... (1)

nchip (28683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671614)

However moderated you insightful, didn't do their homework. Scheduler performance between redhat 7.3 and windows 2000 is hardly relevant these days. Especially since on Linux the threading library and kernel scheduler has rewritten ( the latter several times..).

Re:Even WinCE is better... (2, Interesting)

Omega Blue (220968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674967)

I don't know what you are talking about.

The first two articles compared RH7.3 with W2K Advanced Server and Windows XP, no WinCE was involved. The third article does not compare Linux with anything else.

I must say RH7.3 does admirably well, seeing that it was compared with Microsoft's high-end products, and it's not an optimised kernel like W2K AS.

Re:Interesting move... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671154)

I talked to the developers of the Linux PPS kernel patches as to whether they were porting to 2.6. The answer they gave was "something is in progress, just hang on".


2.4 did have PPS support, through the patches, which was cool. 2.6 will apparently be getting PPS support in the not-too-distant future, but I wasn't able to get a timeline for any patches.


I agree that PPS is essential. All we have to do is find out exactly who is working on it, and apply enough pressure to get it done (but not so much that the developer breaks under the strain).

Re:Interesting move... (1)

can56 (698639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11672767)

I've developed several real-time aquisition
and control systems using RT-Linux on x86
hardware (using Slackware x.x), and it rocks.
10 KHz rates for a/d and d/a control with ~10
microsecond latency, under *any* kind of load
(disk, network, video, ...).

Granted, you have to know how to apply a patch
to the kernel, (and write a driver for your
application), but in the end, it will work 24/7,
and all the other linux/gnu/... stuff on top
will not know/see the difference in the kernel.

So, if it smells like a linux, looks like a
linux, and waddles like a linux, is it a linux?

What about RTAI (was: Re:Interesting move...) (1)

StefanoB (775596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11676343)

Check out RTAI [rtai.org] . Yes, you have to patch it, but those guys are doing an incredible job to make your linux kernel real-time.

The Real-Time Application Interface is a hard real-time extension to the Linux kernel, contributed in accordance with the Free Software guidelines. It provides the features of an industrial-grade RTOS, seamlessly accessible from the powerful and sophisticated GNU/Linux environment.

Greets,
Stefano

Re:Interesting move... (1)

Rattencremesuppe (784075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669423)

It depends on your requirements. We're using RTAI [rtai.org] for a few applications and it gives us some 10 or 20 microsecond maximum interrupt jitter on a 100MHz PowerPC. For a lot of applications, this is OK. Why stick to a commercial RTOS if Linux solves the problem as well (at least if your RT requirements are not as tight).

Re:Interesting move... (2, Insightful)

sysadmn (29788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670083)

This is Slashdot, don't let the fact that you didn't read the article slow you down. The article, in fact, said
Wind River has said that it expects PNE Linux Edition to popular with makers of telecommunications equipment who use Linux on the control plane along with VxWorks on the data plane, and that the platform would include middleware allowing Linux and VxWorks processes to communicate with each other.
. So VxWorks does what it's good at - hard realtime, and Linux does what it's good at - general purpose computing.

Re:Interesting move... (1)

microbrew_nj (764307) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671849)

To clarify some more: Linux is running on the host processor, while VxWorks or some other RTOS is running on device doing the heavy lifting (ARM, some DSP, PowerPC, etc.). Windriver is hardly unique; TI offers Linux and their own RTOS (know as BIOS) as a possible solution. See, for example, http://dspvillage.ti.com/docs/catalog/software/det ails.jhtml?templateId=5121&path=templatedata/cm/sw detail/data/swbios_link [ti.com]

Re:Interesting move... (2, Informative)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671069)

Standard Linux doesn't do hard real-time, but it is good for parts of the system which don't require hard real-time. If you write a hard real-time system suitably, also, you can use large and valuable portions of Linux with it. The point is really that you can get a programmer familiar with Linux to do all the relatively easy parts of the embedded system, instead of taking up your real-time specialist's time or needing to train someone on special-purpose APIs.

There's also a substantial market for non-real-time embedded systems. Just last week, a SuSE engineer released support for a number of different touchscreens, useful for stores and restaurants. Obviously, you don't need real-time on a cash register, but you have very limited resources and unusual peripherals (e.g., a computer with two touchscreens, a magnetic card reader, a barcode scanner, a lock, a cash drawer, and a line printer; no keyboard or mouse). And you want a pretty simple program, and you want it to be easy to write, easy to customize, and easy to test.

Legacy issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668809)

There are SO many CE developers out there. We've seen many guides to migrating to Linux on the desktop or the server. Has anyone seen a migration guide for embedded? Is there a way to make it easy for CE developers to use Linux?

One of the things that bug me is that, even if you are producing stand alone code that totally doesn't use CE resources, the IDE still runs only on Windows. Maybe this development will make a few other companies wake up and smell the coffee.

hauppage (1)

smallguy78 (775828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668841)

Used by Hauppage [hauppage.com] for all you media mvp users. The Wind River side of things is reliable, the windows service side of things is not so good.

Re:hauppage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11674495)

Actually when I last looked, MediaMVP ran on Linux (Hard Hat Linux from MontaVista to be precise). IIRC they had less than stellar compliance with the GPL and a lawsuit was threatened against them, so they may have switched to VxWorks since then.

Firefox hostile web site (0, Troll)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668896)

Wind River's web site makes a maximized Firefox browser window shift a little to the left and down with every link click.

Re:Firefox hostile web site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669284)

It works fine for me on Linux Firefox.

Re:Firefox hostile web site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11674073)

Not for me (windows user here). Maybe you've got some funky extension.

Re:Firefox hostile web site (1)

peterlu (859480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674294)

Hi, I'm unable to duplicate this at http://www.windriver.com (I tried several areas of the site). Can you provide the link to a page that is exhibiting the problem? I'm using Windows XP, Firefox 1.0 [Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0] Regards, Peter.

Linux on Mars? (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11668921)

Didn't Spirit and Opportunity run a Wind River RTOS? So now that a NASA supplier offers Linux, is there some possibility that the next generation of Mars rovers will run Linux?

Re:Linux on Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669104)

No, not in the short term at least. Nasa is still using a version of vxworks that is about ten years old ... newer versions are not yet considered OK. When something works, they stick with it.

probably not for a while (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669422)

NASA uses very old, stable versions. Partly because the design-to-landing cycle can take a decade or so.

The replacement of magnetic tapes drives with flash memory exposed a flaw in a newer part of the operating system that sidelined the rovers for two weeks in early 2004. Fortunately they were able to upload a patch.

Re:Linux on Mars? NO (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674972)

Linux isn't suitable for hard-real time control. I could see Linux eventually having a place in robotic systems above the level of actually controlling motors and actuators, but you are still going to need a RTOS running on a dedicated processor to actually control the robot's movements.

Carrier Grade Linux (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668941)

"The CGL is described as a public reference blueprint for Linux distributions, major end users, and Linux kernel developers to build Linux kernel features and associated libraries that are required by telecommunication carriers in their next-generation network infrastructure."

More on Carrier Grade Linux Spec. [eweek.com]

But.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11668980)

Who cares? Linux sucks. Microsoft rules.

Re:But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11670772)

Your are right. Microsoft rules you (you clicked I accept on the ELUA)... not me.

Subtle ad? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669434)

An anonymous reader writes "Embedded software powerhouse Wind River..."

$20 says the "anonymous reader" is a Wind River employee or shareholder.

Of course, I'm sure that someone will suggest that this anonymous posting is from a Wind River competitor...

Re:Subtle ad? (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670556)

Wind River is an embedded software powerhouse. I don't know if the anonymous poster works for them or not, but what he (or she) said is genuinely true.

And, no, I don't work for Wind River. But I did work as a programmer on a product that used vxWorks as the OS for about 3 years. Really nice RTOS.

and another type of penguin metamorphosis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669603)

Gay outrage over penguin sex test

Gay rights activists have protested at a north German zoo's plans to test the sexual orientation of six male penguins which have displayed homosexual traits.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4264913. st m

Business Plan for Dying Companies (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669900)

1) Go Open Source
2) ???
3) Go out of business
4) Profit! (??)

Wind River's Linux strategy (3, Informative)

richard_willey (79077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11669927)

Couple points here that I think need to be made:

1. Historically, Wind River's success in the embedded market was based on the strength of its tool chain rather than the strength of its embedded OS. I suspect that the company's decision to broad the number of OS's that it is supporting is a reflection that the management team has figured this out.

2. As networking becoming more and more important, the requirement for a hard real-time operating systems decreases. You can't get deterministic performance out of a TCP/IP, which means that you can't get it out of a networked application. As a result, a number of designs are going in a different direction, combining a hard real-time hardware component coupled with an embedded Linux control/management plane...

Re:Wind River's Linux strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11670867)

"...You can't get deterministic performance out of a TCP/IP..."

Well, with a slight modification, you can... AFDX (Avionics Full Duplex Switched Ethernet).

Re:Wind River's Linux strategy (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11675010)

"2. As networking becoming more and more important, the requirement for a hard real-time operating systems decreases. You can't get deterministic performance out of a TCP/IP, which means that you can't get it out of a networked application. As a result, a number of designs are going in a different direction, combining a hard real-time hardware component coupled with an embedded Linux control/management plane..." Yeah that was the theory, unfortunately it hasn't been working out so well. The quality of hardware development tools is still to primitive to build complex decision making logic straight into fabric. It's actually turning out to be easier to put a low-complexity cpu in the fabric and use a RTOS on top of that to do the complicated stuff.

Wind River (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11669983)

Wind River? I thought they were named Win Driver.

YOU FAIL IT!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11670027)

And it only took... (2, Interesting)

TheRealMadScientist (850473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670723)

...suing the shit out of Green Hills Software http://www.ghs.com/news/20050118_WRS.html in express violation of a business contract to make this new product even remotely viable in the marketplace. Kudos to you...mini-SCO!

Source code? (0, Redundant)

jrutley (723005) | more than 9 years ago | (#11670829)

Does anyone know how Wind River Systems is going to make their source code available?

Re:Source code? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674451)

In a sealed container than can be bought for the price of a WindRiver System?

Linux in Space? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671074)

Does this mean that we will soon have Linux systems running on other planets and moons? Didn't Wind River supply the OS for the Mars rovers? It would be cool if we could say that "Linux powers 34% of servers on Earth, and most computers elsewhere."

gpl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671132)

Sir, we had to release the source code to the classified satellite because it was gpl.

Damn, those commies are always one step ahead of us.

Guilt? (1)

birdman17 (706093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671438)

From TFA: "...really leverage our Workbench development suite and all of the capabilities that we've guilt into that."

Some vendors use FUD, others use good ol' guilt...

Stupid me (1)

fabu10u$ (839423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11672201)

For a little while there, I kept wondering, "Why do they keep mentioning this WinDriver [windriver.com] site and what do they care about VxWorks or Linux?"

Duh...

!Learning Advice Wanted! (1)

Mana Mana (16072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11674776)

I am learning C and wanting to seriously get into embedded systems (I searched Oreilly [atomz.com] but its sparse), can someone knowledgeable point me into a series of books, and websites, give me some great advise to begin down the path of apprenticeship and onto expertise? Much obliged if you would; and if you would moderate this post up just till it starts getting replies.

Re:!Learning Advice Wanted! (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11675064)

First of all get a degree in Computer Science Engineering, Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering from an Engineering College. A Computer Science/IT degree from a non-egineering school isn't going to cut it. You need to build some hardware along the way. While your in school get internships at telecos, robotic, heavy equipment manufacturers, consumer electronics, defense/avionics companies, etc - which ever you think you might prefer.
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