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We report on a set of performance measurements executed on VMEbus MVME5500 boards equipped with MPC7455 PowerPC processor, running four different operating systems: Wind River VxWorks, Linux, RTAI, and Xenomai. Some components of RTAI and Xenomai have been ported to the target architecture. Interrupt latency, rescheduling and inter-process communication times are compared in the framework of a sample real-time application. Performance measurements on Gigabit Ethernet network communication have also been carried out on the target boards. To this purpose, we have considered the Linux IP stack and RTnet, an open-source hard real-time network protocol stack for Xenomai and RTAI, which was ported to the considered architecture. Performance measurements show that the tested open-source software is suitable for hard real-time applications.