Real-time OS developer QNX has released version 2.0 of its Neutrino operating system, mere hours after we looked on QNX's Web site and found no sign of it.
Well, there's timing for you. Had we checked in a little later, we would have found that the upgraded real-time OS will run in either its own disk partition or straight off a Windows formatted hard drive, using a virtual file system.
Neutrino is aimed at the embedded market, but it's just as happy on a standalone PC. It's based on a microkernel, and offers a fully POSIX compliant and Linux compatible API. As you'd expect from any modern OS, Neutrino offers symmetric multiprocessing and memory protection - indeed, all system components - drivers, I/O managers, applications, etc. - run in their own protected memory space.
Neutrino ships with its own X Window-compatible GUI, Photon, complete with Web and email applications, and various media players.
Neutrino's core components - the microkernel and various OS modules - are proprietary, but most of the higher level units are available as source code under QNX's GPL-style open source licence.
QNX is offering Neutrino plus development tools in a single package, the QNX Realtime Platform. Originally set for a May 2000 release, QRP was put back to the summer and is now finally shipping, pretty much at the last date it's possible to still call 'summer'.
QRP can be downloaded or ordered on CD, though at the time of writing, QNX's site appeared rather busy and access proved difficult. ®
QNX Neutrino download site