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VxWorks vs. Linux: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 29, 2024
VxWorks is a real-time operating system (RTOS) for embedded systems, while Linux is a free, open-source operating system kernel used in various systems.
VxWorks vs. Linux

Key Differences

VxWorks is designed for use in embedded systems requiring real-time, deterministic performance. Linux, while also used in embedded systems, is more common in servers, desktops, and mobile devices. Both operating systems are highly adaptable but serve different primary purposes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024
VxWorks is known for its scalability and minimal footprint, essential in critical systems like aerospace. Linux, with its open-source nature, offers extensive customization, making it popular in a wide range of applications. Each OS reflects a distinct approach to system design and application.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024
VxWorks provides robust support for real-time operations, crucial in mission-critical environments. Linux, with various distributions, can be configured for real-time applications but is inherently a general-purpose OS. This difference marks their suitability for different types of tasks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024
Licensing is a key difference; VxWorks is a proprietary OS with associated costs. Linux, being open-source, is freely available, with costs associated mainly with support and distribution. This aspect significantly influences the choice between VxWorks and Linux for specific projects.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024
The user base and community support for VxWorks and Linux differ considerably. VxWorks is used by a niche, professional market in industries like aerospace and defense. Linux, with its vast and active community, is more accessible to a broader audience including hobbyists and professionals.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Real-time operations in embedded systems
Versatile, used in servers, desktops, and more
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

System Footprint

Small, optimized for embedded systems
Larger, varies with distribution
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Feb 29, 2024

Licensing

Proprietary, with associated costs
Open-source, generally free
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Real-time Capability

Designed for deterministic real-time performance
Can be configured for real-time, but not its primary design
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Feb 29, 2024

User Base and Community

Niche, professional industries like aerospace
Broad, including professionals and hobbyists
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VxWorks and Linux Definitions

VxWorks

Designed for use in systems requiring deterministic performance.
VxWorks is chosen for medical devices due to its reliable performance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Linux

Known for its strong community support and versatility.
Linux distributions are often developed and maintained by active communities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

VxWorks

Offers high degrees of scalability and adaptability.
VxWorks can scale to meet the demanding needs of satellite systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Linux

Supports a wide range of hardware platforms.
Linux runs on everything from supercomputers to home appliances.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

VxWorks

Known for its minimal footprint in embedded systems.
VxWorks is ideal for small-scale robotics due to its compact size.
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Jan 20, 2024
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Linux

A free, open-source operating system kernel.
Many servers around the world run on the Linux kernel.
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Jan 20, 2024

VxWorks

A real-time operating system for embedded computing.
The Mars Rover uses VxWorks to handle its real-time processing needs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Linux

Widely used in various platforms, from desktops to mobile devices.
Android, based on the Linux kernel, powers the majority of smartphones.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

VxWorks

A proprietary OS used in mission-critical applications.
Air traffic control systems often employ VxWorks for its robustness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Linux

Can be customized extensively due to its open-source nature.
Linux allows users to build a customized OS tailored to their needs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Linux

(software) Any unix-like operating system that uses the Linux kernel.
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Jan 17, 2024

Linux

An open-source version of the UNIX operating system
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Jan 17, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is VxWorks open-source?

No, VxWorks is a proprietary operating system.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What are common applications of VxWorks?

VxWorks is used in aerospace, automotive, defense, and medical devices.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Is Linux suitable for beginners?

Yes, with user-friendly distributions, Linux can be accessible to beginners.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What is VxWorks?

VxWorks is a real-time operating system for embedded systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Can VxWorks be used in general-purpose computing?

VxWorks is primarily designed for embedded, real-time systems, not general computing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What are the advantages of Linux's open-source model?

Open-source allows for community-driven development and customization.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

How does VxWorks handle real-time operations?

VxWorks is optimized for deterministic, real-time processing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What is Linux?

Linux is a free, open-source operating system kernel.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Can Linux be customized?

Yes, Linux is highly customizable due to its open-source nature.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Is Linux reliable for enterprise use?

Yes, Linux is widely used and considered reliable in enterprise environments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Can Linux be used in real-time applications?

Linux can be configured for real-time applications, but it's not its primary design.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What devices commonly use Linux?

Linux is used in servers, desktops, mobile devices, and embedded systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Do VxWorks and Linux require licensing fees?

VxWorks requires licensing fees, while Linux is generally free.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

How do the communities of VxWorks and Linux differ?

VxWorks has a professional, industry-focused community, while Linux has a broad, diverse community.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What makes VxWorks unique in its field?

VxWorks is known for its reliability and deterministic performance in critical systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

How does Linux support different hardware platforms?

Linux supports a wide range of hardware due to its modular and versatile design.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Can VxWorks be used in consumer electronics?

While possible, VxWorks is typically used in more specialized, professional contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

What programming languages support VxWorks?

VxWorks supports languages like C, C++, and Ada.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

Are there any security differences between VxWorks and Linux?

Both have strong security features, but their implementations and focus areas differ due to their distinct use cases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

How does VxWorks perform in embedded systems compared to Linux?

VxWorks is optimized for real-time performance in embedded systems, whereas Linux is more general-purpose.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 29, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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