Wind River Linux Harnesses Power of Containers and Cloud-Native Approaches for Embedded Systems Development


  • Wind River Linux provides pre-integrated container technologies,
    reducing obstacles to container usage in embedded systems that often
    require lighter footprints and longer lifecycles.
  • Wind River Linux supports Kubernetes and Docker, creating an easier
    path for embedded developers to use those technologies.
  • Container technology included in Wind River Linux integrates CNCF and
    Yocto Project components.

, a leader in delivering software for critical
infrastructure, today announced the latest enhancements to the
industry-leading Wind
River Linux
. This release delivers technology to ease adoption of
containers in embedded systems. It provides resources such as pre-built
containers, tools, and documentation as well as support for frameworks
such as Docker and Kubernetes, all of which can help embedded system
developers in their journey to leverage or deploy cloud-native
development approaches, especially relevant for appliances at the
network edge. Wind River Linux is freely available for download.

Due to compelling advantages such as improved operational or cost
efficiencies, information technology (IT) has progressively entered into
the operational technology (OT) realm. However, given key system and
market requirement differences between IT and OT, IT technology often
can’t simply be swapped into an OT system for a successful deployment. A
similar trend is occurring with container technology. While containers
can deliver powerful benefits such as greater scalability and
flexibility, most current frameworks lack the right design or support
for mission-critical industries that typically employ devices with
extremely long lifecycles.

Embedded devices in the OT realm, such as those for industrial, medical
equipment, and automotive systems, also often require lightweight,
reliable software with long lifecycles. Existing container technologies
and platforms, like those in enterprise Linux, are often bloated or
require updates too frequently to run effectively on these embedded

Wind River Linux includes container technology that supports development
and orchestration frameworks such as Docker and Kubernetes. It is Docker
compatible under Open Container Initiative (OCI) specifications, but it
is also lighter weight and has a smaller footprint than Docker, which is
often a vital need for embedded systems. Delivering a Yocto Project
Compatible cross-architecture container management framework, Wind River
Linux helps ease and accelerate the use of containers for embedded

Drawing from proven embedded expertise, the container technology in Wind
River Linux, dubbed OverC, integrates components from the Cloud
Native Computing Foundation
(CNCF) and the Yocto
to help define a comprehensive framework for building and
deploying containers for embedded systems. Initially developed at Wind
River and available on GitHub,
this technology supports virtually any processor architecture and
orchestration environment.

“Cloud native computing architectures and technologies such as
containers can provide many advantages because of their speed, scale,
and economic benefits. However, the cost, complexity, and lack of
appropriate resources around technologies for embedded systems have
typically made their use prohibitive,” said Michel Genard, vice
president of Product at Wind River. “By using our pre-integrated
container platform, embedded developers can now readily take advantage
of container technologies and accelerate their innovation and
development. With decades of embedded system expertise and more than 15
years as an active contributor and committed champion of open source,
Wind River understands the unique needs of our community.”

Although Linux containers have been widely deployed in data centers and
IT environments, without easy-to-use pre-integrated platforms or
meaningful engagement across the ecosystem, container use has been
scarce in small-footprint and long-lifecycle edge embedded systems. With
this release, Wind River Linux removes the difficulties and lowers the
barrier of entry for container usage in embedded software projects for a
diverse range of applications including industrial control systems,
autonomous vehicles, medical devices and equipment, Internet of Things
(IoT) gateways, Radio Access Network (RAN) products, and a wide range of
network appliances. Wind River container technology allows for cloud
native development across both the near edge and far edge and is
appropriate for critical infrastructure markets.

By incorporating containers in Wind River Linux and combining this
runtime with technologies such as the edge compute software product Wind
River Helix™ Virtualization Platform
, heterogeneous systems
employing a mix of OSes and requiring determinism and safety
certification can leverage the scalability of containers while meeting
the often stringent requirements of embedded systems.

To address the lifecycle needs of mission-critical systems, a Wind River
Linux subscription provides access to long-term support and maintenance,
including security updates, for the fully upstream Wind River Linux
content. The predictable Wind River product release cadence incorporates
the latest code from the most important open source efforts. Customers
can also opt for additional services and training to create a successful
device-optimized solution. By leveraging commercial grade ISO
9001:2015–certified Wind River Linux, support, and services, teams can
significantly reduce production and maintenance costs and accelerate
development cycles in comparison to in-house efforts.

Customers can rely on a Wind
River security team
that is constantly monitoring the Common
Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database, security notifications
from U.S. government agencies and organizations such as NIST and US
CERT, and public and private security mailing lists.

Wind River can help customers build and maintain their platforms through
professional services such as custom content management and frozen
branch management. Customers can also select from a variety of support
options, with services that include support engineers, hosted
environments, person-to-person help, and online interactive self-help.
With premium
, especially helpful for projects with sensitive deadlines,
customers enjoy a designated support team that understands the client’s
unique environment, application, and hardware.

More information about Wind River Linux is available at
Wind River Linux can be freely downloaded on GitHub.

About Wind River

Wind River is a global leader in delivering software for the Internet of
Things. The company’s technology has been powering the safest, most
secure devices in the world since 1981 and is found in more than 2
billion products. Wind River offers a comprehensive portfolio, supported
by world-class global professional services and support and a broad
partner ecosystem. Wind River software and expertise are accelerating
digital transformation of critical infrastructure systems that demand
the highest levels of safety, security, performance, and reliability. To
learn more, visit Wind River at

Wind River is a trademark or registered trademark of Wind River Systems,
Inc., and its affiliates. Other names may be the trademarks of their
respective owners.


Jenny Suh
[email protected]

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