VxWorks is a real-time operating system (RTOS) that can be used in embedded systems. VxWorks can be customized easily and can run on most processors designed for distributed computing. VxWorks is used to control network and communication devices, test and measurement equipment, computer peripherals, automotive systems, avionics (aeronautics and astronautics) equipment and diverse consumer products.
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VxWorks has some similarities to Unix and includes a shell, debugging functions, memory management, performance monitoring and support for multiprocessing. The OS includes a kernel for preemptive multitasking, interrupt response, interprocess communication and a file system. Programming in VxWorks can be difficult for novices because the programmer must write the code on an as-needed basis. However, the fact that there is minimal content to save and restore means that VxWorks uses less processing power than Unix, so it can run faster.
VxWorks is a trademark of Wind River Systems, a company specializing in software optimization and based in Alameda, California, USA.