RTOS Source code vs. Object Libraries

We have been asked many times why we provide full source code distribution with our real-time operating system. There are several reasons.

1. Developers new to using an RTOS or those who have not had experience with the RTXC Quadros RTOS can use the source code to get a better understanding of how the “magic” works.

2. Having the source code means you can compile the kernel code any way that you want, with any compiler switches (e.g. models, or options) that you need. The binary version usually comes built for a specific platform. It is either heavily optimized, which makes the kernel code virtually impossible to understand at assembly level, or un-optimized which hurts performance. With source, you can configure the kernel for your specific situation and requirements (e.g. small footprint or high performance)

source code vs binary

3. Often during the development cycle, the application under test will crash in the kernel. The problem is not the kernel itself but is caused by a parameter that was passed to the kernel. Having kernel source code available can help you  identify an application problem that manifests itself by corrupting or otherwise crashing the kernel.

4. When that new version of your compiler is released, your RTOS can immediately take advantage of it via recompilation – instead of licensing another binary version.

5. If you need technical support from us, it makes it easier for us to be able to step through the kernel source code over the phone than try to blindly walk through assembly code. Errors in your code can be more quickly identified.

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