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Title: NuttX  
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Subject: Real-time operating systems, Wombat OS, Prex, LiteOS, POSIX
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Developer Gregory Nutt
Written in C, C++, assembly
OS family Real-time operating systems
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Latest release 7.3 / July 7, 2014
Marketing target Embedded systems
Platforms ARM, AVR, AVR32, HCS12, SuperH, Z80
License BSD (with some applications GPL and LGPL)
Official website .org.nuttxwww

NuttX is a real-time operating system (RTOS) with an emphasis on standards compliance and small footprint. Scalable from 8-bit to 32-bit microcontroller environments, the primary governing standards in NuttX are POSIX and ANSI standards. Additional standard APIs from Unix and other common RTOS's (such as VxWorks) are adopted for functionality not available under these standards, or for functionality that is not appropriate for deeply embedded environments (such as fork()).

NuttX was first released in 2007 by Gregory Nutt under the permissive BSD license.

Key features

  • Standards compliant
  • Core Task management
  • Modular microkernel
  • Fully preemptible
  • Naturally scalable
  • Highly configurable
  • Easily extensible to new processor architectures, SoC architecture, or board architectures. See Porting Guide.
  • FIFO and round-robin scheduling
  • Real-time, deterministic, with support for priority inheritance
  • POSIX/ANSI-like task controls, named message queues, counting semaphores, clocks/timers, signals, pthreads, environment variables, filesystem
  • VxWorks-like task management and watchdog timers
  • BSD socket interface
  • Extensions to manage preemption
  • Inheritable “controlling terminals” and I/O redirection
  • On-demand paging
  • System logging
  • Well documented in the NuttX User Guide

Supported platforms

File system

  • Tiny in-memory, root pseudo-file-system.
  • Virtual File System (VFS)
  • Mount-able volumes. Bind mountpoint, filesystem, and block device driver
  • Generic system logging (SYSLOG) support
  • FAT12/16/32 filesystem support
  • NFS Client. Client side support for a Network File System (NFS, version 3, UDP).
  • NXFFS. The tiny NuttX wear-leveling FLASH file system
  • SMART. FLASH file system from Ken Pettit.
  • Generic driver for SPI-based MMC/SD/SDHC cards
  • Romfs filesystem support
  • A Binary Loader with support for the following formats:
    • Separately linked ELF modules
    • Separately linked NXFLAT modules. NXFLAT is a binary format that can be XIP from a file system
  • File transfers via TFTP and FTP (get and put), HTML (wget), and Zmodem (sz and rz)

Device Drivers

  • VFS supports character and block drivers
  • Network, USB (host), USB (device), serial,I2C, I2S, NAND, CAN, ADC, DAC, PWM, Quadrature Encoder, and watchdog timer driver architectures
  • RAMDISK, pipes, FIFO, /dev/null, /dev/zero drivers
  • Generic driver for SPI-based or SDIO-based MMC/SD/SDH cards
  • Power Management sub-system.
  • Modbus support provided by built-in FreeModBus version 1.5.0
  • Graphics Devices: framebuffer drivers, graphic and segment LCD drivers
  • Audio Subsystem: CODECs, audio input and output drivers. Command line and graphic media player applications.
  • Input Devices: Touchscreen, USB keyboard, USB mouse, GPIO-based buttons and keypads.
  • Analog Devices: Support for Analog-to-Digital conversion (ADC), Digital-to-Analog conversion (DAC), multiplexers, and amplifiers
  • Porting Guide sub-system.[1]

C/C++ library

  • Standard C library fully integrated into the OS
  • Includes floating point support via a Standard Math Library
  • Add-on uClibc++[2] module provides Standard C++ Library supportng iostreams, strings, STL, RTTI, exceptions, etc. (LGPL)


  • TCP/IP, UDP, ICMP, IGMPv2 (client) stacks.
  • SLIP
  • cJSON[3] port
  • Small footprint (based on uIP)
  • BSD compatible socket layer
  • Networking utilities (DHCP server and client, SMTP client, Telnet client, FTP server and client, TFTP client, HTTP server and client, NTP client). Inheritable Telnet sessions (as “controlling terminal”)
  • NFS Client. Client side support for a Network File System (NFS, version 3, UDP).
  • A NuttX port of Jef Poskanzer's Thttpd HTTP server integrated with NXFLAT to provide embedded CGI.
  • UDP Network Discvory, XML RPC Server
  • Support for network modules (such as the TI CC3000 WLAN module)

Flash support

  • MTD-inspired interface for Memory Technology Devices
  • FTL. Simple Flash Translation Layer support file systems on FLASH
  • NAND Support
  • NXFFS. the NuttX wear-leveling FLASH file system
  • Support for SPI-based FLASH devices

USB support

USB host support

  • USB host architecture for USB host controller drivers and device-dependent USB class drivers.
  • USB host controller drivers available for the NXP LPC17xx.[4]
  • Device-dependent USB class drivers available for USB mass storage and HID keyboard.

USB device support

  • Gadget-like architecture for USB device controller drivers and device-dependent USB class drivers
  • USB device controller drivers available for the PIC32, NXP LPC17xx, LPC214x, LPC313x, LPC43xx, STMicro STM32F1x, STM32F2x, STM32F4x) and TI DM320
  • Device-dependent USB class drivers available for USB serial and for USB mass storage
  • Built-in USB trace functionality for USB debug

Graphics support

  • Framebuffer drivers
  • LCD drivers for both parallel and SPI LCDs and OLEDs
  • NX Graphics Subsystem: A graphics library, windowing system and font support that works with either framebuffer or LCD drivers
  • NuttX Widgets:[5] A graphical user interface written in conservative C++ that integrates with NX graphics
  • NuttX Window Manager:[6] A tiny window manager based on the NX graphics subsystem and NuttX widgets

Projects using NuttX

  • Thingsee
  • Autopilot PX4 is using NuttX to control a variety of autonomous platforms. [7]
  • Pixhawk: An Advanced, User-Friendly Autopilot. [8]
  • Biffer Board supports NuttX besides many other RTOS.[9]
  • MP3 Player implemented with NuttX.[10]
  • OsmocomBB is using NuttX to develop an operating system for cell phones [11]
  • A homebrew steer-by-wire system implemented using NuttX.[12]
  • Video Performance Measurement Device.[13]


  1. ^ "Porting Guide". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "uClibc++". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "cJSON". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "LPC1700". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "NuttX Widgets". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "NxWM". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Autopilot PX4". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Pixhawk". Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bifferboard". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nuttx playing MP3 in Detron Board". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "OsmocomBB". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "A Homebrew Steer-by-Wire System". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Design of an Embedded System for Video Performance Measurements. Petteri Aimonen's Master Thesis". Retrieved 22 July 2014. 

External links

  • NuttX Homepage
  • Official NuttX user group
  • NX-Engineering is a consulting created by Gregory Nutt to give support to companies using NuttX
  • Linux Journal mentioned NuttX This citation bring NuttX attention to my Linux developers on 2010-09-01
  • Compiling NuttX to micropendousX open hardware board
  • Dangerous Prototypes post about NuttX Dangerous Prototypes is creator of famous Bus Pirate board sniffer.
  • Port of NuttX to x86
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