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I am working with an ARM Cortex M3 (specifically STM32F217IGH6).

Are there any OS that have been ported to it?

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There are a great many OSes that have been ported to Cortex M3 microcontrollers, so this is likely to become a very large list. With this minimal specification, it's hard to recommend anything in particular, and any such recommendation is usually just the author's favorite (subjective) OS. What are some criteria that you're interested in? How do you plan to make the decision between the various options? – Kevin Vermeer Mar 5 '12 at 20:49
up vote 12 down vote accepted

There are many open source options:

Most of the above listed have commercial versions as well. I didn't list the strictly commercial RTOS's that are out there, as I assume you are more interested in open source offerings.

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FreeRTOS is a popular choice.


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I used FreeRTOS for a simple project (TI/Stellaris Cortex M3 micro wired up to a bathroom scale, with a web server so you can view the weight on the scale remotely). Definite step up from just using the vendor's firmware SDK. I implemented my firmware three ways, with vendor SDK, FreeRTOS and eLua. FreeRTOS seemed fine, at least it was adequate to get started and make things work. I did have to do a little porting to build it for my development board (the Stellaris port in the source distribution targeted a different LCD) but compared to many things I've used it was pretty easy to get working. – Suboptimus Mar 5 '12 at 19:24
Why is this the accepted answer? It is just one of many valid ones. – Jason S May 30 '12 at 20:10

We have used Rowley's CT (started and dropped very fast) and FreeRtos (recommended) in M3s before.

I have been very interested in ChibiOS but haven't had a chance to try it out. Commercial but reasonable.

Also there is M3 specific OS out there called Cocox, looks neat but something bothered me and didn't give it a detailed go. While I was looking at this, I guess, I felt it was too new to take the plunge, perhaps now it is a different story. (14 months ago).

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Emcraft Systems specializes in providing a Linux (uCLinux) distribution for Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 MCUs:


In addition to providing a commercial (but very low-cost) software distribution and various Cortex-M eval boards / system-on-modules (SOM), Emcraft also distributes the full source of its U-Boot and uClinux kernel ports for Cortex-M3 and M4 at github.com./

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Freescale has ported MQX to its line of Kinetis microcontrollers. The line includes Cortex-M4s and Cortex-M0s. Freescale provides a license for MQX when used with Kinetis. I am not sure it will run on a non-Kinetis Cortex out of the box.

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SAFERTOS and OPENRTOS have been ported to Cortex-M3 from High Integrity Systems, and you can evaluate them for free. http://www.highintegritysystems.com/

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I know about uClinux as it's used in my university, and another one of which I don't remember the name now.

You can check this page for some links, but this is much more detailed about available platforms; some of them refer to specific microcontrollers, but you can find what of them are CM3: TI Stellaris, ST STM32, NXP LPC1700 are some.

EDIT: I didn't read about the specific microcontroller; as I said, uClinux is used on STM32 microcontrollers in research projects at my university.

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This question gives some more details, electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/19234/… – Toby Jaffey Mar 5 '12 at 10:02
@JobyTaffey maybe you wanted to comment the OP? – clabacchio Mar 5 '12 at 10:06
I think that ucLinux is a poor choice for the Cortex-M3, my response to the linked question indicates why – Toby Jaffey Mar 5 '12 at 10:30
@JobyTaffey I don't know how good it is to use it, and I've (almost) never used OSs in microcontrollers...I just know that somebody uses it for some reason. – clabacchio Mar 5 '12 at 10:33

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