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Difference between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

In this article, you will learn about the difference between the QNX and VxWorks operating systems. But before discussing the differences, you must know about the QNX and VxWorks operating systems with their features.

What is the QNX operating system?

Difference between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

QNX is a commercial OS that was developed by Quantum Software Systems in the early 1980s as a tool to aid in inventory planning and management solutions for commercial company enterprises. Operating systems use a message-passing architecture to transmit command functions to all connected devices. It runs on the real-time operation mode and offers users faster access.

The system is built on a microkernel OS. The microkernel is a small OS that is utilized to convey basic operations to external devices, including device connectivity and thread management for numerous processes. The system needs a set of software requirements to accomplish this, which serve as the foundation for the system's activities. This system is commonly utilized in resource management systems to manage inventory and control related processes.

The system may be applied on a single server for operation over the functions because the list of operations is limited to a single department. All processes in a QNX system are prioritized. As a result, the highest priority operation is completed first, and other processes follow in this order.

Features of the QNX Operating System

There are various features of the QNX OS. Some features of the QNX operating system are as follows:

  1. It has a small footprint, which contributes to speedier boot times. The microkernel could be operational in less than 250 milliseconds.
  2. The microkernel design provides the dependability required for operation apps in hospitals, nuclear power plants, and even space stations to the QNX Neutrino RTOS.
  3. The resource manager framework integrates new technologies and services through a POSIX interface that all applications can use.

What is VxWorks Operating System?

Difference between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

VxWorks operating system is developed as the proprietary operating system that was developed by Wind River Systems, an entirely owned subsidiary of Aptiv. It was initially introduced in 1987. It is primarily designed for embedded systems that need deterministic and real-time performance. In many scenarios, it requires safety and security certification in industrial equipment, network infrastructure, transportation, defence, aerospace and robotics, medical devices, energy, automotive, and consumer electronics.

It is compatible with AMD/Intel architectures, POWER architectures, RISC-V architectures, and ARM architectures. The real-time OS can be utilized in symmetric multiprocessing, multi-OS architectures, multicore mixed modes, and asymmetric multiprocessing on 32 and 64-bit CPUs.

The VxWorks development environment includes third-party software and hardware technologies, kernel, Wind River Workbench development environment, and the board support packages. The real-time OS in VxWorks 7 has been redesigned with the kernel isolated from middleware, applications, and other packages enabling modularity and upgradeability.

Additionally, it significantly benefits the network and communications. This operating system is used by well-known firms such as Cisco, Oracle, Motorola, Samsung, and Dell Power. It is highly configurable, easily adaptable, and provides a very secure use property for third-party holders. It is quite common in the networking, electronics, and communication industries.

Features of the VxWorks Operating System

There are various features of the VxWorks operating OS. Some features of the VxWorks operating system are as follows:

  1. It offers memory protection.
  2. It has a 64-bit OS.
  3. It offers a real-time processor.
  4. It includes a round-robin scheduling, multitasking kernel, and fast interrupts response.
  5. Memory protection schemes keep user-mode apps apart from other user-mode applications and the kernel.
  6. It provides support for both symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing.

Main differences between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

Difference between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

Here, you will learn the main differences between QNX and VxWorks operating systems. The operating system has various differences between QNX and VxWorks operating systems are as follows:

  1. QNX is a microkernel-based OS, but VxWorks has a monolithic kernel, which is one of the fundamental differences between the two real-time operating systems. A microkernel is a small OS that handles basic services such as thread management, interprocess interactions using system calls, and address space management. It refers to a system that implements an OS with a small number of primitives and little software dependence. In contrast, a monolithic kernel controls all basic and user-defined functions, including inter-process interactions in protected kernel space. VxWorks is self-contained because it is a monolithic kernel.
  2. Both OS are extremely distinct real-time operating systems with a load of various components and functions that are mainly designed for real-time applications on embedded systems. Both methods have been utilized for many years and are widely used in big industrial and academic settings. Early in the 1980s, Canada-based Quantum Software Systems created the QNX RTOS, which RIM later purchased in 2010. On the other hand, VxWorks is proprietary software that was created by California-based Wind River Systems, a market leader with expertise in creating embedded software for systems and products that are intelligently connected.
  3. The QNX OS runs over a message-forwarding architecture. On the other hand, the VxWorks OS runs over shared memory architecture.
  4. In QNX, each thread or process has its priority. In QNX OS, all processes execute on a priority-driven preemptive basis, which means that the process with the highest priority accesses the processor first, with priorities ranging from 0 to 31. The scheduling happens in real-time, and each thread inherits the priority of its parent by default. When two threads have the same priority, the QNX OS employs various scheduling methods, including FIFO, Round-Robin, and Sporadic Scheduling. In contrast, VxWorks only utilizes two scheduling algorithms: preemptive priority-based and round-robin. They work together to give users more control for more effective scheduling.
  5. A specific set of dependencies are necessary for QNX to implement the operating system. In contrast, VxWorks OS operates over single address architecture. As a result, it offers users faster speeds.

Head-to-head comparison between QNX and VxWorks Operating System

Here, you will learn the head-to-head comparison between QNX and VxWorks operating systems. The operating system has various differences between QNX and VxWorks operating systems as follows:

Features QNX Operating System VxWorks Operating System
Definition QNX OS is a commercial OS with a real-time message passing architecture. VxWorks OS is a proprietary OS that is based on real-time shared memory architecture.
Developed It is developed by Quantum Software Systems. It is developed by Wind River Systems.
Operational Method It needs a series of dependencies to handle the resource planning operating system. The OS provides the same space and single address kernel, giving users faster speeds.
Operating System It operates on a microkernel OS. It runs on a monolithic OS.
Functions It is utilized in resource planning and administration on an enterprise resource planning system. It was primarily created for machine network operation scheduling.


OS are fundamental programs that are necessary for a computing device to operate. Only the computer's hardware would function without the operating system, making it impossible to use it to do any tasks. The operating system is composed of a collection of rules in the code form that define how hardware may function to complete an operation.

Such applications that run their architectures include the QNX and the VxWorks OS. Although both of these systems are made to handle business planning and scheduling tasks, they operate in very different ways.

QNX systems operate in a messaging manner that sends control signals to all linked devices. On the other hand, VxWorks utilizes a shared memory design that allows it to run multiple devices at the same time.

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