Historically, real-time performance has come at the expense of usability. Luckily for NI Linux Real-Time, the usability benefits that Linux offers carry over in large part because much of the benefit arises from the Linux kernel, which is largely intact. NI Linux Real-Time thus offers compelling real-time performance on par with dedicated RTOSs but without sacrificing usability. An example of the increased usability the RTOS provides is the proven and stable network stack it offers, borrowed from generic Linux. With the improved network stack, Real-time targets that support this RTOS can support true dual-DHCP network interface cards (NICs) and do not require a reboot to apply changes to networking or time settings, and offer richer support for communication protocols such as IPv6 and SNMP. Yet another compelling example is the display support for local HMIs that NI Linux Real-Time offers on the CompactRIO Performance Controller.
Additionally, as Linux is far more ubiquitous than even the most popular of dedicated RTOSs in the marketplace, this new RTOS offers a much richer ecosystem of IP and tools along with a significant base of experienced users capable of harnessing the potential of the RTOS. When using a real-time target that supports the NI Linux Real-Time OS, you have greater freedom to augment the functionality of your solution with the ecosystem that Linux provides and can take advantage of the vast base of experienced Linux users if you lack the talent in-house. From more easily adding support for third-party peripheral hardware such as specialized sensors to much more easily integrating C/C++ code, NI Linux Real-Time empowers users.
Beyond usability and ecosystem, unlike many dedicated RTOSs, NI Linux Real-Time is a true dual-mode OS. As a dual-mode OS, NI Linux Real-Time offers a significantly more resilient experience; should an application crash, the system continues to run and can recover from the application failure without significant disruption. NI Linux Real-Time also facilitates true multitasking support, allowing you to run multiple programs in parallel. For example, you can run a database directly on the real-time target alongside your LabVIEW Real-Time application.
Lastly, drawing again from Linux, this RTOS offers a much improved ability to manage user account control and user file system permissions. User activity can be more easily logged on embedded devices, which support NI Linux Real-Time. Additionally, security features such as VPN and Firewall can be implemented, preventing the need for additional external hardware solely for the sake of improved network security.