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FAA Grants RSC Status to Linux-Friendly RTOS

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the still-can't-agree-what-real-time-computing-is dept.


BoulderDad writes " is reporting that a proprietary RTOS capable of running Linux binaries has been certified by the FAA as a re-usable software component (RSC). LynuxWorks says LynxOS-178's RSC acceptance will enable greater software reuse among integrators and developers of safety-critical aerospace and defense components."

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OMFG! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960665)

That's a lot of acronyms!

Re:OMFG! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960784)

Indeed, they appear to have exhausted the supply of TLAs and are mixing in some FLLAs for good measure.

Re:OMFG! (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961144)

OK, I'll bite. What's the second L in FLLA?

Re:OMFG! (1)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961172)

Four Letter Long Acronymn?

Re:OMFG! (1)

PugMajere (32183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962512)

That's properly spelled "ETLA".

Re:OMFG! (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15004903)

I'm more of the XTLA, because then DeXTLA flows nicely. As always, IANAAS (Acronym Specialist) and YMMV.

Actually. . . (-1, Troll)

the idoru (125059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961049)

To be a semantic Nazi, those are all abbreviations; there's not one anagram there. Anagrams are abbreviations that themselves form words, e.g.: LASER, RADAR. If it doesn't form a speakable word, it's just a plain 'ol abbreviation.

Re:Actually. . . (2, Informative)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961080)

Actually, anagrams are when you create a word or words out of another word or words' letters.

Re:Actually. . . (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961174)

You forgot NASA atleast I think it is a word now...

Re:Actually. . . (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961580)

No, acronyms are abbreviations that form pronounceable words. Examples are LASER and RADAR.

Initialisms use the first letters of words. Examples include WTF, OMG, and the things in the article.

Anagrams are words that are made by rearranging the letters of another word: Clint Eastwood -> Old West Action, Mother in-law -> Woman Hitler.

There were no acronyms or (intentional) anagrams in the article, just a bunch of initialisms.

Re:Actually. . . (1)

soapee01 (698313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14965194)

That seems interesting, but I couldn't find anything to verify. All of those are acronyms. Indeed in government writing, there's an acronym list at the end of every document. Such a list would include WTF (were it used), and AFLA is almost always included as a joke (another four letter acronym).


acronym n : a word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name

see also google define: acronym []

Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961905)

Abbreviation: Shortening a word (not using initials).
Initialism: Shortening a phrase by using initials.
Acronym: Initialisms which make a word (even some dictionaries use acronym and initialism identically. see:wikipedia).
Anagram: Mixing up the letters in a word.

Now, on with the content!

Re:OMFG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961170)


As Demonstrated by Robin Williams... (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15032192)

"Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn't we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? 'Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we'd all be put out in K.P."

Re:OMFG! (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961362)

Olbigatory [] link to a much bigger list.

Re:OMFG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962621)


By using a Kalman filter, I can couple GPS and IMU to give me a system with the benefits of both GNSS and INS.

There's another 4 acronyms (or more correctly, as has already been pointed out, initialisms) in a shorter sentence. The aerospace industry is full of them, as are many other specialised industries with common terms that are far too long to refer to in full every time they need to be referenced.

LANE BRYANT ADS? (0, Offtopic)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960672)


Re:LANE BRYANT ADS? (0, Flamebait)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961001)

Finally nerds can get laid! Go cow hearding!


Fuck_Firefox (850266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961119)

You're absolutely correct! If there weren't any fat chicks with no self esteem I wouldn't be getting any fucking pussy at all.


P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14966782)

They usually give great head too...

NGTH (2, Insightful)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960701)

The article says it allows for better integration into mission critical applications. However, I don't see this happening.

Realistically, mission-critical developers aren't going to trust code written by the public, certified or not. There's no responsibility to the developers if something goes wrong with that code.

Re:NGTH (4, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960725)

Of course you don't trust it. That's why you review the code and make sure it looks okay.

Even that can be a whole lot cheaper than writing it yourself.

Re:NGTH (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960872)

Or just take the code you know you can trust, and leave the rest behind.

Re:NGTH (2, Informative)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960795)

You know, there is an actual vendor selling this, right? As in, there is a company that sells it, that you could go to if something goes wrong.

Re:NGTH (4, Informative)

Fly (18255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960835)

I think he must be referring to the applications, not the OS itsef. LynxOS is not Linux. It's proprietary real-time OS that can run Linux applications. The LynxOS itself is backed by the vendor, and it's pretty good from what I hear. However, the applications built on it depend on the skill of the application developers, not the OS vendor.

Re:NGTH (2, Informative)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960820)

I hope that you weren't implying that LynxOS-178 was "written by the public" -- the summary and the article were both indicated that LynxOS is a proprietary RTOS capable of running binaries compiled for Linux. Despite the name (LynuxWorks), the system is not derived from Linux in any way.

Re:NGTH (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960897)

Derived? No. Use the same code that Linux uses? Yes. The core kernel is mostly their work. But the API and all the supporting tools are mostly from GNU/Linux.

Re:NGTH (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960859)

Oh give me a break. The code is right there. It can be reviewed unencumbered. This anti-Linux bigotry just gets goofier by the minute.

Re:NGTH (1)

eddison_carter (165441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961900)

So, what code do you review? And what kernel version? And what happens when there's the next big kernel version jump? How many people and how much time does it take to review all that code?

The advantage of an RTOS like LynxOS or Green Hills Integerity, or VxWorks, is that it just works, sure that price sounds pretty big, but compare it to the time of digging through all the code yourself. It is possible to get a version of Linux that could pass DO-178B certification, but it's something else entirerly to keep the kernel tree anywhere close to up to date while maintaing certification.

It's really easy to say something about the code being readily avilable. It's another thing for a given orginization to actaully review it, or even a small enough subset of it for the core kernel and a small number of drivers.

Re:NGTH (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960884)

Actaully, certification is all you really have. To obtain OS-178B is very difficult.

Microsoft was approached by my company to get OS-178B. Once they looked at what it would entail, they called back a week later and told us that they had a good laugh. In their own words, not even Vista will come close. And XP was not even a consideration.

Be sure to read the article. This is LynxOS with Linux API on top. That is much easier to do.

But if you check google, you will find that there are several other companies with OS-178B version of Linux. They are a pain to work with as they are nothing but a stripped down redhat with a few re-written parts. Do you think that before I write code for any of these, that I am going to check over all the code? Not one line. I trust that the FAA and the company that sell these did that already. Why do I do that? Because, I do not have the time to do that and write my code.

That is why we use certificated OSs in critical areas of the cockpit.

Re:NGTH (2, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961024)

Navigational systems are fairly critical things (especially when IFR). I was slightly shocked to see that a friend's Apollo panel mount GPS ran on Windows NT 4.0!

Re:NGTH (1)

sadr (88903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961130)

Handheld and panel mount GPS systems are typically not certified for use in aircraft. They may be used to "aid situational awareness" but are not to be used to navigate the aircraft.

Everyone does, but they're not certified.

Re:NGTH (2, Informative)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961186)

Huh? Ghee thats why we have GPS approaches?

Just about anything permanently mounted to an aircraft requires FAA approval, most early GPSs were not IFR approved, but now almost all panel mount GPSs have certification for enroute navigation, and many have approval for approach use (on GPS approaches).

I know this for a fact because I had a field inspector yelling at me about a camera mount until I showed him that it was removable, and not a hazard to flight.

We're not happy, until you're not happy.

Re:NGTH (3, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961246)

FAA Aproval is nothing. There are various classes and certifications of instrumentations. I am a developer, so I do not really get into all that stuff, but here is the general breakdown;
  • Class A; a laptop that you carry with aviation equipment or a GPS.
  • Class B; an instrument that is IN the dashboard. But all it gets is POWER. It is not allowed to interact with anything else.
  • Class C; In the dash and ability to read the data from the aircraft bus; that is it can display the status of the aircraft.
  • Class D/E; in the dash, and not only reads, but writes data on the bus; that is it can be used for control.
If anybody else has the real scoop, go for broke on it.

Re:NGTH (1)

eddison_carter (165441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961921)

Weird, what cert is that for? And why is it the opposite of the ratings for DO-178B, where A is the most critical level?

Re:NGTH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963011)

I think you should review your classification :-)

Each software subsystem should be certified with the relevant class depending on its importance
CLASS A: software whose failure will produce catastrophic consequences (ex: impossible to land)
            B: severe/major consequences
            C: major consequences
            D: minor consequences
            E: no consequences (ex: the DVD player in the plane is not working)

Achieving level A or B certification is a very costly and difficult task. The whole system should be certified (OS + soft + hardware). (OS vendor provides you only certification material)
Note also that if on your OS you are running both critical stuff and the mp3 player then the mp3 player soft will need to be certified to the same level as the critical stuff
(having a level A certification for a mp3 player is not really possible I think).

That's why usually software that requires different level of certification are run on different hardware.
(or use ARINC OSes: time and memory partitionned oses like VxWorks AE653).

If you're talking about RTCA DO-178.... (1)

PhineusJWhoopee (926130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14963534) got it backwards.

Level A software is on the most critical systems, while Level E is non-interference (i.e., if the system fails, it's a minor nuisance, and just needs to be shown that it cannot take out any more critical systems).


Re:NGTH (1)

sadr (88903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961306)

You are correct. If it is actually panel mounted, and not "removable", it will be certified to some degree. It maybe just be for "situational awareness" and not connected to any kind of flight guidance or be certified for GPS approaches or even WAAS.

I'm just more familiar with the "handheld" units (Frequently semi-permanently mounted) that aren't certified at all.

And something running NT4.0? *shiver*

Re:NGTH (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14970005)

Umm, i have a GPS enabled/radio autopilot installed on my boat. It says right on it "not a navigational system" "it is up to the user to ensure proper charts and navigation is being followed"

The strange thing is that the reciever and controlers are certified for aviation use with the same warnings. Supposedly this system can be used to control small aircraft with a little different hardware and hookup. Ohh yea, and suprisingly it is reletivly cheap. The control unit and recievers cost around $5,000 us to buy and around another thousand to get installed. There are cheaper ones availible that the end user can install too.

My boat came with it preinstalled and i inherited the boat from my uncle who had it installed. It uses somethign called Navnet wich is basicaly a 10baseT ethernet conection with a propriatary protocal. The auto pilot can conect to the fishfinder, plotter and several different touch screens that can be controled from different locations on the boat. I can even set a prefered depth and set the course and it will cross referense the marine charts and steer the boat around shallow areas and obsticals. It alerts me when the radar picks up another object in the way and will even make corective course changes if someone doesn't respond in enough time. Of course i'm confused by the disclaimer about how it isn't a navigation system and such. It realy is remarkable. last year I took some friends out on Lake Erie (in ohio), we punched in the location of some ship recks and other points of interest, it took us right there and they scuba'd while I fished. I just wish i could conect my friends humingbird [] to it. I'm thinking of gettign one.

Re:NGTH (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980933)

Thats because your unit wasn't IFR certified. There are plenty of GPSs with that label, all aviation oriented handhelds should have that label, along with many of the early GPSs.

The aircraft I fly had a duel Garmin 530 outfit with TCAS, certified for both ILS Cat I and GPS Enroute, and Approaches.

Re:NGTH (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961192)

That is just one part of a total system. Keep in mind that the nav. part that you saw was not connected into anything. All it did was have a self contained GPS and displayed a moving map. To be able to touch ANYTHING beyond the power of an aircraft, requires an OS178B cert. OS. Right now, the company that I work at owns their market (about 98% of all aviation navigation; guess who). Currently, we have a great deal of windows products. But we are in the process of moving them into the cockpit. So we are using LynxOS and several others Linux OS178B OSes. Why them? Same API. (if we had use greenhill, it would mean a great deal more work).

Interestingly, there is one big aircraft maker who is willing to put a none OS178B in their glass cockpit for none critical system, but all others insist on OS178B stuff throughout. From here on out, I will be trying to fly nothing but the good one even if it costs slightly more to me.

Re:NGTH (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964360)

TomTom GO series run on linux - they boot it off the SD card in the case of the Go300 and Go500. Google for "opentom" for a team of people who are rolling their own images.

Re:NGTH (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961998)

That is why we use certificated OSs in critical areas of the cockpit.

Famous last words.

Re:NGTH (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961399)

Realistically, mission-critical developers aren't going to trust code written by the public, certified or not. There's no responsibility to the developers if something goes wrong with that code.

Let's think about this for a second. Would you rather ride in a plane that has the autopilot running on Windows or Linux?

Somehow the fact that MSFT has the money to pay off my weeping family does not inspire me to trust them more. It's not who writes the code, it's who certifies the code if something goes wrong.

Re:NGTH (1)

eddison_carter (165441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961819)

No one would ever design a critical flight system for commerical aviation based on windows. Thats why they make DO-178B'able OSs :)

Re:NGTH (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962448)

How about neither? The certification mentioned in the article is used for mission-critical applications. Windows doesn't have it, Linux doesn't have it. Proprietary OS's power stuff like that.

Re:NGTH (1)

Mr. Feely (23410) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962012)

As others have mentioned, this is a proprietary OS that supports the Linux ABI, not any version of Linux.

I've developed and shipped software certified to DO-178B level A on a likewise certified OS (on two different aircraft), and I can state categorically that no widely-used general purpose OS will ever be certified to that level. The requirements are just way too stringent to apply to anything that wasn't developed from the ground up with the intent of achieving certification. For level A software for example, you need (among many other things):

  • Traceability: Written system-level requirements that provably map to the code and vice-versa. No requirements can be unimplemented and all code must support at least one requirement. This must be proven by inspection, possibly with the assistance of automated tools.
  • Code Coverage: Proof of Modified Condition Decision Coverage, where test cases must cover every decision point in the program, plus each of the two possible states for every boolean condition within every decision.
  • Reviewed Changes: Every change to a requirement document or the source code must be reviewed and signed off on, usually by multiple individuals.
  • Documentation: not only for all your system and software level requirements, but for every review performed on changes to those requirements or the source code.

Darn Acronyms (0, Redundant)

wetfeetl33t (935949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960714)

FAA Grants RSC Status to Linux-Friendly RTOS

Having a fun time with the acronyms today?
Oh wait, we're talking about computers, never mind...

Re:Darn Acronyms (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960763)

Nothing beats Aviation acronyms.

Re:Darn Acronyms (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961219)

I'm sorry, but the NBA acronym is copyrighted. Please rephrase your comment or we will take the necessary actions to remove the offending post.

Re:Darn Acronyms (2, Informative)

misleb (129952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960800)

If you think IT uses a lot of acronyms, aviation is 10x worse.

Want a weather report?

KPWK 202253Z 04015KT 10SM SKC 01/M06 A3018


Re:Darn Acronyms (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960832)

It's not just acronyms. It's mixed units. A METAR in North America (Canada, at least) will get you the temperature in degress Celsius, windspeeds in knots, visibility in statute miles, and cloud bases in feet. (We'll leave the altimeter setting as mmHg as a side issue.)

Of course, TAFs are worse. And lets not forget the shorthand for weather conditions (rain/showers/etc) comes from French.

Re:Darn Acronyms (1)

iogan (943605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962459)

yes, you gotta love the met speak weather reports. Wonder why that is though, that aviation is so full of acronyms, I have a licence myself and half the theory exams felt like they were just about recognizing acronyms..

oh, and to all you people writing weather applets -- CAVOK doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be sunny, just that the Ceiling And Visibility is above a certain level (and hence deemed OK). It can be completely overcast, just as long as the clouds are high enough.

Re:Darn Acronyms (1)

jskiff (746548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962525)

Let's see how my METAR translation skills are holding up...

PWK (Pawtucket? Paulwaukee?) airport weather information for 03/20/2006, 2253 UTC. Winds 040 at 15 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies. Temperature 1 degree centigrade, dewpoint -6 degrees centrigade, altimeter 30.18 inches of hg.

Oh, great. (4, Funny)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960731)

/dev/altimiter not found
GE-xxxx: scsi2: AEN: WARNING: SMART threshold exceeded: Engine #3
Kernel panic: defect on /dev/wing/left - printer on fire?

But at least.. (1)

packetmill (955023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961233)'s not windoze or something. Talk about a thrill ride.


[passenger flushes toilet]

All screens go blue, in-flight movies turn blue, no-smoking signs go blue.

"a fatal exception has occured at 0xeb00fb0021.. "

In economy class, a man wearing a tinfoil hat screams.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961748)

This is why I use Gentoo. Just a simple "emerge -u left-wing no-engine-fire", wait for it to compile... ...{long wait for compile to finish, even with my riced out os} ... ... problem fixed.

Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14975039)

USE="no-engine-fire" emerge left-wing

Re:Gentoo (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14976564)

Thanks. Although I thought the "no-engine-fire" package was part of the new Modular X packages.

Less worried about /dev/altimeter (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961884)

It's when the plane becomes overcrowded and the OOM Killer starts deleting passengers that take too much room that you might have to be concerned. Or selinux is enabled and the pilot doesn't have the right security label for the brakes...

Back to the LynxOS stuff, though. If LynxOS can run Linux binaries, then people can develop on Linux and run under LynxOS. (Duh!) As the hardware for development is orders of magnitude more expensive than the development tools, I'm not sure it'll have much short-term impact in that direction. HOWEVER, it may result in top-of-the-line developers for aviation software migrating to Linux for basic development, which may pull some more of the commercial sector in that direction, as those developers HAVE to have money to burn. It may also result in bug reports from a new set of power-users, as the additional stresses reveal problems that more conventional usage isn't exposing. That may lead to improvements in Linux that wouldn't otherwise occur.

It would be nice if LynxOS could do the same thing SGI and IBM did eight to ten years ago, now, which is to release kernel code fragments that people could experiment with and adapt into Linux or one of the BSDs. (Yes, they both did filesystems too, but I was thinking more of SGI's OB1 code release - an open-source set of Orange Book B1 security modules. I don't believe anyone ever used the code, which I think was stupid, but I feel confident that enough people learned from it that the security enhancements in Linux and the BSDs today are further along than they would have been.)

It would also be nice if the few aviation electronics companies that produced Linux drivers either updated them (Linux 2.2 is old and wasn't the most stable series anyway) or they should Open Source them. If nobody can use the drivers as they are, it's pointless to have them on the website. If the drivers are free downloads anyway, it's impossible for the company to make a loss if someone were to produce a driver that worked better. And if someone DID produce a driver that worked better, the company might sell more hardware (either with a big stack of indemnities, or a higher pricetag to cover the re-certification).

Playing Net Hack in the Cockpit.... (1, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960745)

Does that the plane will crash when the engine control unit auto shuts down the engines due to a seg fault?

Re:Playing Net Hack in the Cockpit.... (1)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960786)

Reminds me of Peter Griffin as a flight captain:

- Heh, where are we right now?
- The control room?
- Noooo.
- The flight deck?
- Noooo...
- The cockpit?

Just you wait for the OOMK (1)

kerecsen (807268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961060)

These guys must have read the parable [] about the Out of Memory Killer!

Re:Playing Net Hack in the Cockpit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961113)

Planes have this, you know, tendency to glide when the engines are shut down... usually a RAT (Ram Air Turbine) will activate if the power systems are off, and you have enough potential+kinetic energy to gline a few hundred km in a large jet.

Not even funny.

Re:Playing Net Hack in the Cockpit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962418)

actually, usual configuration of flight control system involves multiple independent computers. Failure of engine control should result only as failure of multiple coupled and independent systems?

I just thinking how orbiters (space shuttle) systems are designed. There are for example three or four main computers, into which two independent teams have developed software. Each task is given to several computers, if results from these differ, it's rejected, and host calculating differing results is evicted from cluster.

Acronym overload (3, Informative)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960750)

* FAA [] .
* RTOS []

Superb hosting [] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

Excellent news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960770)

This is great news for those of us who want the stability and flexibility of Linux, without having to deal with its obnoxious political agenda.

Re:Excellent news (-1, Flamebait)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960812)

stability of Linux - hahahaha on the day MORE syscalls were added

If you don't like the political agenda then you should be using something more suitable - there are the BSDs and many flavours of Unix

Re:Excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960874)

Nobody's forcing them to use Linux 2.6.16, dumbass.

Re:Excellent news (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962208)

> If you don't like the political agenda then you should be using something more suitable - there are the BSDs and many flavours of Unix

Because the BSDs NEVER change. OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Darwin, and NetBSD are all exactly the same. Write once, run anywhere!

um... (-1, Redundant)

Spytap (143526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960813)


The Other Game (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960841)

The Other Game!

In summary (1, Interesting)

zenst (558964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960867)

A non Linux OS that can run Linux software has been approved for use on Aircraft computer systems.

The Linux applications would also need to be certified but a base OS that can handle realtime input (IE dont lag up mouse movement and your MP3's should glitch ever type of OS realtime) and has library compatibility to Linux enabling it to run applications written for Linux has been approved by the powers that be.

Now there is a use of an OS were I'd welcome DRM.


Re:In summary (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961069)

Holy run-on confusing sentence with garbled wording and random nonsensical DRM reference with strange out of place parenthesis (that just serve to confuse the sentence even more) in the middle of the already long and mangled run-on, batman!

Acronyms (2, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960882)

I for one welcome our new acronym... OL's.

Re:Acronyms (0)

ill stew dottied ewe (962486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961051)

That's AOLs to you!

Learn to abbreviate better (1, Funny)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961109)

i41 WON AOL's.

Re:Learn to abbreviate better (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962195)

Dude, nobody wins with AOL. Heck they have to give away the software!

Toe WHAT? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961680)

I for one welcome our new acronym... OL's.

Over LORDS? Or over LOADS?

Is this really new news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960896)

Am I correct in the assumption that the new part of this news is that the use of the Application Binary Interface (ABI) now being called RSC has been FAA approved?

If I am correct then this makes little to no impact on new software being developed, only old and already compiled for Linux software.

Pronunciation?! (0, Offtopic)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961023)

LynuxWorks: linn-UCKS? line-UCKS?

Sorny? Panaphonics?

And pricing... (3, Informative)

sadr (88903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961176)

And a little research turns up per-developer pricing, although not the per-unit run-time license cost. That's not actually unreasonable, given the cost of DO-178B Level A documentation, but still. Ouch.
Price and Availability
In addition to the LynxOS-178 kernel, the offering also includes a complete artifacts package for the kernel and user library, DO-178B required documentation, code coverage test suites and analysis for 100% modified condition/decision coverage of the kernel and libraries, a full suite of standards-based development tools, and support. The company will also soon release the industry's first commercial-off-the-shelf certifiable TCP/IP stack. Development seats, including the LynxOS-178 kernel and one year of priority support, start at $18,000.

But cash strapped developers ... (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961735)

And a little research turns up per-developer pricing, although not the per-unit run-time license cost. That's not actually unreasonable, given the cost of DO-178B Level A documentation, but still. Ouch.

Note that, because it's a Linux API, the bulk of the development can be done on Linux platforms WITHOUT per-developer licenses.

You'd need occasional testing against the real OS by someone "sitting in a licensed seat" - to check the behavior under the real OS's scheduling regime and detect reliance on missing or divergent features. And of course you'd have to hammer on it ifn licensed seats (and real or excelently hardware modeled aircraft devices) for final test. But if the licenses are sufficiently dear you concevably might end up ahead. (You wouldn't need per-seat licenses for initial prototyping work, either.)

(The "reliability tested in later" nature of such an effort wouldn't be an extra burden if machines connected to prototype hardware or timing-accurate models of them also aren't available at all seats all the time.)

A lot of software might not need close modeling thoughout development to get right.

Re:But cash strapped developers ... (1)

sadr (88903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14964004)

I haven't investigated this product, but I think this is "per developer", not a floating seat license.

Realistically, when the time comes to do debugging, you wouldn't want fewer seats than developers anyway.

And you're not really running on a PC here. You'd almost certainly be running on proprietary hardware, hooked up to special power supplies, with bizarre aviation hardware interfaces. Each target box might run a substantial fraction of $18k.

And to be honest, the cost of generating DO-178B Level A documentation on any substantial body of code is certainly worth the a couple hundred thousand dollars they're charging. (Depending on the costs of integrating their documentation into your process.)

But it's still a LOT of money. (Which is why people don't write open source aviation equipment..)

Re:And pricing... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962040)

IIRC, compared to other aviation & avionics software, that's a bargain. The support there is probably a significant portion of that cost too. Still, peanuts compared to the cost of a coder's time in the aviation industry. I'm not IN the avionics industry, but I know several people that work for a couple such companies.

Tee Hee (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961438)

"FAA Grants RSC Status to Linux-Friendly RTOS"

What'd they do to make Return of the Sith more friendly to Linux users? ltsbr -rf?

Re:Tee Hee (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14961638)

kill -66 /dev/clones

The article got it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961612)

I am a LynxOS-178 developer and I think I should clarify a couple of things. The version of LynxOS-178 certified by FAA (2.0.0) is NOT able to run Linux binaries. That capability will only be added in LynxOS-178 3.0.0, which is NOT going to be DO-178B certifiable.

So, no Linux in DO-178B environment any time soon, sorry folks.

Off Topic...Lingerie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961622)

Is it just me, or are all the slashdot stories having Layne Bryant full-figure Bra ads today? It certainly doesn't seem to be the correct demographic for that ad, unless there's something going on in the /. community that I don't know about. Since it is a bra ad, I wonder what the click-through rate is?... On second thought, maybe it was intended to be the audience. Though it's only good for OSDN, not the advertizer.

More hype than substance (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14961693)

LynuxWork's press releases are much more impressive than what they actually deliver. My company is trying to use their 178 OS for one of our products. The current version of the 178 OS does not have Linux ABI compatibility. It doesn't even use ELF binaries, it only runs XCOFF, which hasn't been supported by GCC for years. We're stuck with GnuPro 2.95, and are having lots of performance problems. When they gave us the first delivery, they didn't have the cache enabled! The compiler also didn't align floats properly, resulting in a interrupt and a software routine being called to realign operands for many floating point operations, which brought everything to a crawl. We still have lots of unresolved performance issues.

The ARINC-653 features are (IMO) poorly implemented. Misconfiguration of 653 interfaces results in the processor resetting, without any meaningful error message, or indication of what the problem may be. A single process crashing in one partition can crash all the processes in that partition, or even the whole OS. We can't get the OS to produce core dumps or stack tracebacks, and are reduced to debugging with printfs.

Don't get me wrong, this OS may be great when all the bugs are worked out. I just wish we weren't using it until then. I'm sure by the time they give it to Boeing, they'll have all the problems we are fighting with straightened out. If you decide to use LynxOS-178, think carefully, you won't be getting a simple turn-key OS, at least not any time soon.

Re:More hype than substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14965856)

That's because you should have talked to tech support and ask how things are done. Partitions/OS are being duefully reset by Health Monitor due to the way you configured them.

Everything else except stability issues is, sadly, true. Once you start certification process you can't change a lot, and for this one certification efforts started back in 1999. The OS is largely outdated, but it works and it's there, unlike others.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962043)

How much did they pay for this plug?

fucKer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962059)

Are there? Let's So7tware lawyers its readers and Is mEFNet, and you give BSD credit

Trademark infringement!(tm) (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962111)

LynuxWorks? Yes, I'm sure that's a complete, good faith coincidence... How am I supposed to pronounce that without saying Linux? I don't like the use of confusion here.

Re:Trademark infringement!(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14962282)

LynuxWorks? Yes, I'm sure that's a complete, good faith coincidence... How am I supposed to pronounce that without saying Linux? I don't like the use of confusion here.

LinuxWorks was founded in 1988. Linus Torvalds began work on Linux in 1991.

From the LynuxWorks website [] :

"Established in 1988, the company is a technology leader in the real-time operating systems (RTOS) industry....LynuxWorks is a trademark and LynxOS and BlueCat are registered trademarks of LynuxWorks, Inc. Other brand or product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective holders. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds."

I fail to see the friendliness (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14962181)

Some OS that's able to run Linux binaries might be (rightly) judged as showing that Linux is something to be taken seriously, but I really don't see how this feature makes it "friendly" to Linux. It's a bit like saying Microsoft was being "friendly" to Netscape with the release of Internet Explorer.

no USB in lynx (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14963765)

lynxOS did not have drivers for USB the last time i worked with it

QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14964557)

QNX []
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