Real-Time Linux Moves Toward the Mainstream

Lora Bentley

Shortly after Red Hat representatives discussed the forthcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Real Time edition at the Linux on Wall Street conference, execs from embedded Linux vendors MontaVista and Concurrent were making their positions in the real-time space clear as well.


Understandably, MontaVista took offense when Red Hat indicated that its contribution to the real-time enhancements in the Linux kernel were insignificant. CTO Jim Ready rebutted Red Hat's claim in an article:

Linux was not designed to be a real-time system by any means and when we started MontaVista in 1999 it clearly had no real-time capability. Since then, there has been a continuous process in which MontaVista has been an active and continuous contributor...

In the same article, Concurrent responded to Red Hat's claims that its real-time enhancements were forking the Linux kernel and that it wasn't really "play[ing] in the open source space." Real-time marketing director Gary Beerman said simply:

Concurrent would never consider a fork of the Linux kernel. Doing so would not benefit us or our customers.

He also clarified that all of the company's real-time enhancements to the Linux kernel meet the requirements of the GNU General Public License.


In a recent phone briefing with IT Business Edge, Concurrent representatives also emphasized that real-time Linux can no longer be considered a solution only for military applications. It is moving into the financial realm, where traders will leverage real-time results to make better decisions. Moreover, real-time Linux is now used in systems that ordinary people use every day -- including video on demand from cable providers.


It seems the time for arguing about who leads the niche is passed.

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