The recent release of RTnet brings real-time networking to Linux. Supporting standard IP networks, this development is a modification to the current Linux networking subsystems.
Capable of interfacing with Linux-2.2.x kernels, RTnet should be able to communicate with most existing network stacks as well. In addition, it will work with either of the major RealTime Linux extensions—RTAI version 1.3 or RTLinux version 2.3.
Developers will appreciate RTnet's hard real-time networking over standard IP networks. Similar real-time networking capabilities are available with several proprietary operating systems.
Among the protocols supported are the IP, ICMP, and UDP. While TCP also is supported, its design prevents it from being incorporated into the real-time networking support.
The RTnet sockets programming interface is almost identical to the standard Linux sockets implementation. Porting existing UDP-based applications is a straightforward process. Setting up real-time parameters when a socket is created is the primary change.
Much of the work for RTnet was funded and done by Lineo, which will be distributing RTnet as part of its Embedix Linux and Embedix SDK. Available under the GNU general public license, RTnet can be downloaded and used with most Linux distributions.
RealTime Linux is still striving to match features found in other real-time operating systems. RTnet represents a major step toward this goal. Check out realtimelinux.org and opensource.lineo.com for more information as well as RTnet downloads.
Lineo Corp., 390 S. 400 W., Lindon, UT 84042, (801) 426-5001; fax (801) 426-6166; www.lineo.com.