In this study, we describe obtaining hard real-time performance and rich Linux features together in a compounded real-time operating system (cRTOS). This system creates two realms with a partitioning hypervisor: a normal realm of Linux and a hard real-time realm of a swift RTOS (sRTOS). A rich real-time process running in the real-time realm can use not only the hard real-time performance of the RTOS but also the rich features of Linux through remote system calls. Unlike existing approaches for real-time Linux including the PREEMPT_RT patch and using interrupt-dispatching layers, this approach requires no modifications to Linux.

We implemented the cRTOS by running Nuttx, a POSIX-compliant RTOS as an sRTOS and Jailhouse as the partitioning hypervisor. We ported base Nuttx to the x86-64 architecture and added support for multiple address spaces with MMU. This allows developers of rich real-time applications to use the same toolchains and executables with Linux, which reduces the cost and complexity of developing real-time applications.

We measured the timing accuracy and interrupt latency of the proposed cRTOS and other existing systems, the PREEMPT_RT patched Linux and Xenomai 3. The experimental results show that the proposed cRTOS could deliver a hard real-time performance with about 4us jitter and well bounded maximum latency, while the others could not. The experimental results also show that the proposed cRTOS with a real-time device yielded the best interrupt response in both latency and jitter. The RTOS could execute complex Linux executables with graphical user interfaces through the X window system.e