Linux in Aerospace and Defense

By Paul Parkinson

In a recent blog entry, John Bruggeman considered the role of Linux in Automotive
applications. He discussed the blurring of the distinction between car
infotainment systems and driver assist systems. This got me thinking
about the adoption of Linux in the Aerospace & Defence market, in
particular the potential use of Linux and safety-critical avionics and military vehicles, which I hadn’t really thought much about before.

It seems to me that people’s attitudes towards Linux can be rather polarised at times – a bit like Marmite (wikipedia), people either love it or hate it.
Over the years I’ve written applications and device drivers for a range
of enterprise UNIX platforms and real-time operating systems, and
whilst I’ve experienced for myself the relative merits of each of
theses OSs for particular types of application, I’ve never felt
threatened by the advent of Linux, I’ve just been curious as to its
potential. So, I want to form a view on Linux in A&D from rational
fact-based discussions not from emotive arguments and prejudice.

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