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1. Introduction

1.1. Background

TimeSys Linux is a derivative of Linux created by TimeSys Corporation. It includes a fully preemptible kernel, a constant-time scheduler, fully schedulable interrupt handlers, fully schedulable soft-IRQs, and reduced interrupt disable times. These features reduce latency to a point where TimeSys Linux can be used as a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS).

TimeSys Linux comes in four flavors:

  • TimeSys Linux/GPL — The basic TimeSys Linux kernel; offers full preemption at the kernel level, prioritized interrupt handlers, and so on.

  • TimeSys Linux/Real-time — Makes Linux a true RTOS by adding priority inheritance and a POSIX-based high-resolution timer API.

  • TimeSys Linux/CPU — Adds support for CPU reservation, which gives a thread, process, or process group exclusive use of the CPU.

  • TimeSys Linux/Net — Adds support for network bandwidth reservation, guaranteeing that your thread or process will get the bandwidth it requires, regardless of network activity in other processes.

This document deals with the first variant, GPL, as it is the only one available for free. The GPL version is unsupported by TimeSys Corporation (unless you purchase a support contract, of course), and thus the documentation for it is a bit lacking.

To be fair, the documentation for installing TimeSys Linux onto an embedded board and cross-compiling code for it is fairly good. The problem is that TimeSys charges for the toolchains necessary for cross-compiling, and even then, many first-time users may not wish to start compiling for a target board right away. They may just want to try out TimeSys Linux, or they may not even have an embedded board to begin with. TimeSys Corporation's documentation does not help these users.

In this mini-HOWTO, I try to rectify this situation somewhat by explaining how to install TimeSys Linux/GPL onto a typical "beige box" desktop workstation. Although this is clearly not the intended platform for TimeSys Linux, installing the kernel onto a plain-vanilla desktop is an easy way to get started quickly and play around with some real-time applications, such as the RTSJ Reference Implementation.

1.2. Copyright and License

This document, TimeSys Linux Install mini HOWTO, is copyrighted (c) 2005 by Trevor Harmon and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 License. Terms and conditions for distribution can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

TimeSys is a registered trademark of TimeSys Corporation.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

1.3. Disclaimer

No liability for the contents of this document can be accepted. Use the concepts, examples and information at your own risk. There may be errors and inaccuracies that could be damaging to your system. Proceed with caution, and although this is highly unlikely, the author does not take any responsibility.

All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

1.4. Feedback

Feedback is welcome for this document. Send your additions, comments, and criticisms to .