Web site:
Origin: USA
Category: Embedded
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: ARM, ARV Atmel, Motorola HCS12, MicroBlaze, Cortex, Cortus, Texas, RISC-V
Based on: Independent
Wikipedia: FreeRTOS
Media: Install
The last version | Released: active

FreeRTOS – a real-time operating system for embedded devices. Initially, it was distributed under a modified GPL license, which had one caveat and one exception. The reservation concerned the lack of permission to benchmark the system itself, and the exception allowed not to share the source code of applications using the open source kernel.

The FreeRTOS kernel was originally developed by Richard Barry around 2003, and was later developed and maintained by Barry’s company, Real Time Engineers Ltd. In 2017, the company passed stewardship of the FreeRTOS project to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Barry continues to work on FreeRTOS as part of an AWS team.

FreeRTOS was designed with the shortest and simplest source code in mind. The kernel consists of only three code files. To make the code readable, easy to port and maintain, it is written mainly in C. Assembly inserts are also used.

FreeRTOS provides methods for creating multiple threads or tasks, mutexes, semaphores and timers. It also has specialized functions for low-power applications. Exception priorities are supported. Applications can be completely allocated statically.

There are no more advanced features that are usually found in operating systems such as Linux or Microsoft Windows, such as device drivers, advanced memory management, user accounts, and networking. The emphasis is on compactness and speed of execution. FreeRTOS can be thought of as a “thread library” rather than an “operating system”, although a command-line interface is available.

FreeRTOS supports a wide range of platforms, such as: ARM (ARM7, ARM9, Cortex-M3, -M4, -M7, -A, -R4), Atmel AVR, AVR32, HCS12, MicroBlaze, Cortus (APS1, APS3, APS3R, APS5, FPF3, FPS6, FPS8), MSP430, PIC, Renesas H8/S, SuperH, RX, x86, 8052, Coldfire, V850, 78K0R, Fujitsu series MB91460, MB96340, Nios II, TMS570, RM4x, Espressif ESP32, RISC-V (e.g. SHAKTI).

The current license is MIT.
FreeRTOS has been used in space.

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