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2021-05-12 - 16:52
2007-04-25 12:00 Age: 14 Years

We are not alone

By: Carsten Emde

Real-time performance needed: Everywhere, everywhen by everyone

Virtual key board used in an audio workstation

Scheduling latency on RT-Preempt Ubuntu

Did you ever ask

why so many developers all over the world are working hard to equip the Linux kernel with real-time capabilities? And did you always think that they are doing it just for us - to help us developing advanced software for machine control and industrial automation systems? Well, not really - at least some of them have other projects in mind. Which is good, since a large application basis is important to guarantee stable development and timely bug fixing. But what other projects require real-time Linux?

HiFi of the 21st century

When a Linux box is used as an audio workstation, it is obvious that the kernel must process the audio stream in real-time. The Ubuntu Studio project, for example, recommends that Ingo Molnar's and Thomas Gleixner's RT-Preempt patches be used to achieve the best audio quality possible. In order to facilitate the installation of the RT-Preempt patches in a Ubuntu system, Alessio Igor Bogani has prepared a package that makes installation as easy as typing

sudo apt-get install linux-realtime

He also was so kind as to provide us with a latency histogram created on a Ubuntu system running his real-time kernel. Accordingly, we have added a section on how to make a Ubuntu system real-time capable to our HOWTO "Enable real-time capabilities of the mainline kernel". This HOWTO now contains separate sections on Fedora, Ubuntu, and other systems, respectively. Thank you, Alessio.

Financial and business transactions, VoIP, streaming video

A recent report on cites Red Hat's Tim Burke, director of emerging technologies, who announced a special real-time version of Enterprise Linux (internal product name Red Hat Enterprise Linux RT) that is based on the RT-Preempt patches. He said "The real-time technology is essentially about determinism and latency, about being able to have guarantees that transactions will complete within finite periods of time, and that the highest-priority processes and applications will be able to run without being pre-empted by lower-priority applications or low-level system services". Just replace the word "transactions" by "I/O processing" - sounds familiar? Bye, bye, loneliness.