Frequently Asked Question - What is OS-9000

What is OS-9000



What is OS-9?

OS-9 is a real-time, multiuser, multitasking operating system developed by . It provides synchronization and mutual exclusion primitives in the form of signals, events, and semaphores. It also allows communication between processes in the form of named and unnamed pipes, as well as shared memory in the form of data modules.

OS-9 is modular, allowing new devices to be added to the system simply by writing new device drivers, or if a similar device already exists, by simply creating a new device descriptor. All I/O devices can be treated as files, which unifies the I/O system. In addition, the kernel and all user programs are ROMable. Thus, OS-9 can run on any supported hardware platform from simple diskless embedded control systems to large multiuser minicomputers.

Originally developed for the 6809 microprocessor, OS-9 was a joint effort between Microware and Motorola. The original version of OS-9 (OS-9 Level I) was capable of addressing 64 kilobytes of memory. OS-9 Level II took advantage of dynamic address translation hardware, and allowed a mapped address space of one megabyte on most systems, and up to two megabytes on others, most notably the Tandy Color Computer 3.

In the 1980's, Microware ported OS-9 to the 68000 family of microprocessors, creating OS-9/68000, which is used in a variety of industrial and commercial arenas, including Philips' CD-i and most recently, set-top boxes for interactive television. Microware is constantly added processor support to OS-9000. Currently supported processors include 68xxx, PPC, X86, Intel SARM / IXP, MIPS, SPARC, Hitachi SH.

What is OS-9000?

OS-9000 is a portable version of OS-9, written primarily in C. It is available for the Intel (386 and higher), PowerPC processors, ARM, StrongArm, SH, MIPS, and Sparc. Code is portable across OS-9000 platforms and between OS-9 at the source code level. Theoretically, OS-9000 can be ported to any modern computer architecture. Currenlty Microware refers to all ports of OS-9000 as OS-9.