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We've selected a topic for practitioners in the embedded and real-time domains, namely how to use Linux for real-time applications. The article is hands-on: it not only summarizes selection criteria and introduction schemes for RTLinux but also shows how Linux was actually integrated in an existing (legacy) architecture. For small and medium-sized businesses to stay competitive, they need communication systems that offer not only excellent telephone service but also Internet and data-handling capability. As a solution to this problem, we have built a comprehensive communication appliance called OmniPCX Office, or OXO - a preconfigured server integrating data, Internet, and voice communication capabilities. Rather than using proprietary software to support the OXO platform, we chose Linux with an RTLinux extension. This column explains why we chose it and how OXO uses it, focusing particularly on architecture and realtime aspects.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2004