RedHawk Linux

Real-time performance in mission-critical applications

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What is RedHawk?

The RedHawk™ Linux® operating system is the foundation of Concurrent’s entire real-time product portfolio. RedHawk is the most advanced open-source RTOS available in the marketplace today. With extremely low latency, advanced tuning features and real-time determinism, RedHawk gives your business the advantage it needs to compete – and win – in today’s evolving, technology-driven markets.

RedHawk guarantees real-time performance in mission-critical applications where failing to respond on-time is simply not an option. RedHawk fully leverages the power of multi-processor, multi-core technology, making it ideally suited for challenging server-class and embedded applications that require superior performance. RedHawk comes installed on all Concurrent iHawk and ImaGen platforms, and is also available as a software-only product.

  • Real-time Linux OS for x86 and ARM64 platforms
  • Support for NVIDIA Jetson TX1, TX2, TX2i, Nano, and AGX Xavier
  • Guaranteed 5 microsecond event response on certified platforms
  • Advanced processor shielding features
  • NUMA architecture performance optimization
  • Frequency-based scheduling
  • Optional PREEMPT_RT real-time scheduling
  • Optimized graphics and CUDA I/O
  • Preemptive, multithreaded, reentrant kernel with user-level preemption control
  • SELinux security
  • QEMU/KVM virtual target support and bare metal hypervisor support
  • RHEL, CentOS and Ubuntu compatibility*
  • Embedded target configuration tool
    *All released versions of CentOS-based RedHawk will be supported. RHEL and Ubuntu options will continue to be available. Other user environments such as AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux and Oracle will soon be available.


Guaranteed Real-Time Response

RedHawk Linux provides the guaranteed performance needed in mission-critical, hard real-time environments. RedHawk is the ideal Linux solution for a broad range of server and embedded applications such as hardware-in-the loop simulation, training systems, data acquisition, industrial control and medical imaging systems. RedHawk guarantees that a user-level application can respond to an external event in less than 5 microseconds on certified platforms. Concurrent tests RedHawk on a wide range of commercial hardware systems to ensure your solution can meet its performance requirements.

Compatibility with Red Hat and Ubuntu

RedHawk Linux user-level commands, utilities and system administration are fully compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Ubuntu. RedHawk achieves its superior real-time performance by integrating the latest official release from with key open source patches and kernel enhancements developed by Concurrent. RedHawk user libraries provide access to value-add features that are not part of other Linux offerings. RedHawk is fully compatible with standard Linux user level APIs, thus Linux applications written for other Linux distributions will run on RedHawk without modification. RedHawk Linux is certified as IPv6 Ready.

Scalable Processor Shielding

In tightly-coupled symmetric multiprocessing systems and multi-core SBCs, RedHawk Linux allows individual CPUs and cores to be shielded from local timers, interrupts, daemons and other Linux tasks. RedHawk’s comprehensive processor shielding features provide a highly-deterministic execution environment where interrupt response is guaranteed. Unlike other distributions, RedHawk offers a field-proven, easy-to-use shielding API with both command- line and graphical tool user interfaces. RedHawk also supports optional PREEMPT_RT scheduling for minimizing the latency of large numbers of threads without requiring processor shielding.

NUMA Performance Optimization

RedHawk NUMA optimization dramatically improves the determinism of real-time process memory access on modern NUMA architectures. RedHawk can ensure that pages of a real-time process are local to a given NUMA node and that no other process’s pages are using that same node. RedHawk can automatically duplicate libraries and other modules as needed and hold them simultaneously in multiple nodes to maximize performance. RedHawk also improves real-time performance by replicating kernel code and read-only data in each NUMA node.

Military-Grade Security Capabilities

RedHawk Linux provides several kernel-level and user-level security features that together can provide powerful levels of security capable of hardening RedHawk systems to military-grade standards. These features include SELinux, Secure Boot, FIPS, STIG, LUKS and TPM.

Architect Tool for Embedded Applications

RedHawk’s Architect is a powerful tool with an easy-to-use GUI that lets a developer choose the Linux and application modules to be included in RedHawk target images. Designed especially for embedded applications, users can select as few or as many packages as desired from many different package groups. Architect allows the file system to be customized and minimized for diskless operation using flash. Architect’s cluster manager software allows users to install and configure systems as highly-integrated, high-performance computing clusters.

Learn more about Architect

Advanced Debugging and Analysis Tools

RedHawk Linux users can take full advantage of NightStar, Concurrent’s powerful, integrated tool set for developing time-critical CPU and GPU applications. NightStar tools run with minimal intrusion, thus preserving application execution behavior and determinism. Users can quickly and easily debug, monitor, schedule, analyze and tune applications in real-time. NightStar GUI-based tools reduce test time, increase productivity and lower development costs. Time-critical applications require debugging tools that can handle the complexities of multiple processors and cores, multitask interaction and multi-threading. NightStar’s advanced features enable system builders to solve difficult problems quickly.

Learn more about NightStar Tools


Get guaranteed real-time performance

Join industry leaders in choosing the leading open-source real-time operating system available. Talk to an expert and get a real-time solution that fits your needs.