Linux can be used a real time operating system ( RTOS ) for thermostats, household appliance controllers, mobile telephones, industrial robots, spacecraft, industrial control and scientific research equipment.
Linux is not only a perfect platform for experimentation and characterization of real-time algorithms, you can also find real time in Linux today in the standard off-the-shelf 2.6 kernel. You can get soft real-time performance from the standard kernel or, with a little more work (kernel patch), you can build hard real-time applications.
This article explores some of the Linux architectures that support real-time characteristics and discusses what it really means to be a real-time architecture. Several solutions endow Linux with real-time capabilities, and in this article author examine the thin-kernel (or micro-kernel) approach, the nano-kernel approach, and the resource-kernel approach. Finally, author describe the real-time capabilities in the standard 2.6 kernel and show you how to enable and use them.