How conveniently are we surrounded by machines and devices for every task today- Isn’t it?

But imagine what if any hardware device manufactured to perform a specific task does not serve the purpose.

It would be a terrible failure.

So, do embedded systems have an operating system to perform flawlessly as desired?

Of course, with the combination of hardware and firmware, an embedded system works amazing.

The syncing of these will develop an embedded operating system. Let’s read further to understand what an embedded operating system is and know more about its types that help any device function better.

What is an Embedded Operating System?

An embedded operating system, or embedded OS, is a specialized type of operating system crafted for non-computer devices to execute specific tasks seamlessly. The core function of an embedded OS lies in executing the necessary code, enabling the device to perform its designated functions efficiently.

Besides, the primary purpose of embedded operating systems is to operate the machine efficiently and reliably to manage the hardware and software resources. It acts as a partition tool to simplify developing further layers of software.

Multiple embedded applications require an OS. If the application is complex and needs a high-end processor, an operating system would inevitably help. One of the embedded os examples is a mobile. While a mobile phone runs, the inside OS will also run on the embedded processors.

OS fits into an Embedded system

Choosing the right embedded operating system is critical in building an embedded device. Below are the types of embedded operating systems that can help you decide which OS suits your device best.

How Does an Embedded System Work?

If you often wonder how this excellent OS technology works, here is an answer!!

It is gradually becoming the high-demand technology that is the best product development technology, helping to gain unique opportunities for embedded software developers. However, this technology is limited in scope but can execute unlimited applications with superior functionality to become an end product.

But this operating system has a limited scope but has the capabilities to perform better tasks and is reliable enough to operate irrespective of the size, processing, or power. Also, it works well with other technologies. And can update with OS just like any other software with multiple features.

Moreover, this system can also manage bugs and security vulnerabilities. The OS is combined to operate flexibly by taking out the bugs and getting the proper updates on a time-to-time basis for the end-users.

What Are The Types of Operating System in Embedded System?

Types of Embedded Operating Systems

“The heart of every operating system is Kernel.”
The kernel, as an integral part of the operating system, plays a crucial role in hardware engineering services by solely managing the system’s hardware, memory, files, and other essential resources, while also providing access to system memory.

Is that all?

You wish!

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are multiple operating systems that are installed in the embedded systems.

Let us give you insights into the different Kernel used in embedded operating systems.

As the kernel is a significant part of operating systems; it handles synchronization and inter-task communication. It incorporates a range of features that allows a device to control and function in the real-world environment.

Commonly, these are the types of kernel used to run the operating systems:

  • Multi-tasking Operating System
  • Linux
  • RTOS
  • Single Operating System
  • Android
  • Rate Monotonic Operating System

Let’s understand this embedded OS list in detail.

Multi-tasking Operating System

It is an embedded system type that performs multiple tasks simultaneously according to the application’s needs. Moreover, it is specifically programmed to process between various systems. And their numerous functions according to the need to make that application.

If multitasking is part of app development, then that one does the scheduling algorithm that can quickly establish rules for better organizing the tasks. Multitasking OS includes a scheduling algorithm that can simultaneously set rules for multiple tasks.

RTOS – Real-Time Operating System

To start with the best real time operating system, you need to understand the meaning of this OS which means real-time dealing with time to execute a task and it is predictable to events that react within specific time constraints.

For example, a Keyboard. The end-user wants the key to be displayed on the screen instantly once they type. Within a few milliseconds, the programmed real-time operating system displays the text on the screen.

Check if your application is real-time. The application is where time is of paramount importance. Standard OS does not respond to completing any task automatically, whereas RTOS ensures finishing the job promptly. OS vs RTOS differentiates itself due to the timing of the completion of the study.

An embedded system like a smart wearable device that needs multitasking, runs on RTOS that helps to measure the OS performance in the 10th of seconds also the pros and cons of wearable technology. Which means, a smart wearable device if connected to an operating system, helps to perform multiple tasks like Tracking, listening to music, saving data, etc. all at the same time.;

Furthermore, let us study the types of RTOS.

types of RTOS


Soft RTOS is used when the system fails to meet a deadline. Though the process to get the desired result is more important.

The best example of this most popular embedded RTOS is audio, video systems. In simple terms, it allocates memory to run and get processed in the RAM storage.


A hard RTOS means that delivery failure may lead to a huge system failure in one go.

The best example of hard RTOS or immediate RTOS is medical devices, pacemakers, anti-lock brakes that operate at a stringent deadline.


Like hard RTOS, if a firm RTOS misses a deadline, the system does not fail but degrades quality.

Example: Airplane sensors, spacecraft, and planetary rovers.

These real-time embedded operating system concepts are a mandate to embedded software development for reliable and efficient operations.

Now, what if you want to use these concepts to connect multiple devices in milliseconds?

Have you ever heard about FreeRTOS?

The primary subcategory of RTOS is FreeRTOS, which is specifically designed and responsible for deciding which task to execute first.

FreeRTOS is used for IoT software development with strict real-time constraints. Used by many developers, FreeRTOS can connect approximately 127 devices to the internet every second.

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Still confused about RTOS and FreeRTOS, consult experts to understand in detail. We can help you design the smallest application with the help of FreeRTOS.

After a detailed explanation about RTOS, do you still think about whether to use RTOS or not? Let’s talk about the advantages of Real-Time Operating Systems to get a clear picture.

  • Top-priority time scheduling
  • Abstraction of time information
  • Maintaining the operations
  • Easy testing
  • Code rescue
  • More efficient
  • High system integration

Amazon provides extensions to FreeRTOS for IoT real-time applications strictly.

If these devices use RTOS as their OS what about other devices?

Well, Linux is also another best embedded operating system that is used often.

Linux Operating System

Linux Operating System

Linus Torvalds introduced Linux OS for embedded systems and also made a copy of the Unix kernel. It is an open-source software code used to create flexible, secure, and safe devices for daily use.

Linux is not intrinsically RTOS but extensions that might make it a viable option to use—well designed to install in embedded systems of devices.

The most significant example of Linux is smart home devices, car consoles, smart tablets, digital storage devices, etc.

Advantages of using Embedded Linux:

  • Linux works on two interfaces only with limited memory space: LED and serial ports.
  • Linux is an independent platform.
  • It allows multiple modifications in the source code to reuse the components.
  • The embedded operating system software is cheaper and reduces the cost of hardware.

Moving on to the next OS, more recently, a new breed of embedded operating systems emerged with a bespoke version of Android. At first impression, an Android embedded system may seem a little odd as an embedded OS. But the fact is that Android is already a part of embedded Linux and a popular choice as an embedded operating system.

Single System Control Loop

It is one of the most basic types of embedded OS systems used when the control is over a single measured variable. The best example of this system is nowadays the intelligent home temperature control that people use, developed with the help of an embedded OS.

Embedded Android

Embedded Android

Is Android just Linux?

Well, the answer is still vague.

Linux is an excellent choice for embedded systems in many cases. So, what differentiates the Android open source embedded operating system from other embedded Linux projects?

The basic definition is that Android sits on top of the Linux kernel, and below are the additional features that add to its popularity.

  • It’s free to use.
  • Android is an obvious option for any touch screen product for its rich UI interface.
  • Regular programming with tools for debugging.
  • Open-source software to customize to your needs.
  • Quick Prototyping

With all the above-explained types of embedded operating systems, let us now read which OS tops the list and why it is the best for embedded systems.

Rate Monotonic Operating System

This embedded system is mainly used to accomplish specific tasks per the deadlines; this embedded OS is available at your rescue. This task monitoring system’s primary purpose is to ensure the job’s requirements. And there are specific functions that will be required to get special priority, and it will do the same according to the time constraints.

Moreover, the rate assigns specific tasks per necessary guidelines to ensure that the particular functions are met with the best priority treatment and accomplish possible jobs on time without lag. This OS is best used when the device parts are task-specific, as no other alternative is available to do this job better.

Read More: Wireless Embedded Devices with IoT

General Use Cases of Embedded OS

Here is the list of the most common embedded OS is most common in usage in our day-to-day life in various forms, which is best described through these examples:

  • IoT devices for smart bulbs
  • Car and home climate maintenance device
  • GPS trackers like google maps and fitness trackers
  • Airplane navigations
  • Infusion pumps
  • Industrial ovens
  • Solar panels
  • ATMs

These are some profound examples of using this quick solution related to this OS for their purposes.

Read More: How to Find the Best Embedded Engineers for Your Project

Embedded Vs. Non-embedded OS: What Is the Difference?

Many people still have confusion about the working of an embedded and non-embedded system. That’s why it’s necessary to establish a clear difference to build an unlimited scope:

  • Ways of Usage.

The embedded OS is available in the chip of the electronic device, and its scope is limited. At the same time, the non-embedded OS operates through a hard disk or a solid-state drive.

  • Scope

In comparison, an embedded operating system is limited in size and can perform only limited functions. The non-embedded OS can quickly receive upgrades as they become available for general usage.

  • Distinct Coding

The main thing that makes embedded and non-embedded OS systems.

  • Execution of Tasks

Mainly, this chip operating system is the best embedded operating system at the time. Though embedded OS has no or minimal User interface, non-embedded OS has a more dynamic UI.

Which Embedded Operating System Powers the World of IoT Today?

As we can witness that businesses adopt IoT, the embedded systems market should upgrade to IoT Development Company.

Embedded systems play a vital role in IoT as they function in time constraints, low maintenance, and low power consumption. The type of embedded operating system widely used in this process is RTOS, as it helps in synchronization, multitasking on microcontroller-based systems, and task prioritization.

How to Evaluate the Right OS for Your Embedded System?

Mainly the OS is never any factor that needs to be considered when choosing the Right OS for your embedded system. Mainly through these ways, you can determine the best embedded operating system:

  • The system should perfectly fit the end user’s PC and mobile devices. Besides, embedded OS is designed to be easy for developers under time pressure and constrained hardware.
  • The right OS should possess real-time determinism and mainly do what it is designed to do. It should be highly responsive and should have safety-critical and mission-critical scenarios. And determinism in an OS is bound to convey reliability and more responsiveness.
  • An OS selected should be pre-certified as per the proper industry standards, as it will mainly help deduct time, uncertainty, and the cost of an OS.
  • The embedded system should avoid any kind of malicious access from the internet, which can easily reduce the risk of attacks and threats.

Hence, you should consider these crucial points while choosing the Right OS for your Embedded system.


That’s all about the types of embedded operating systems.

If you are thinking of transforming your hardware to an IoT-enabled device or developing a new IoT device, RTOS is accessible and powerful. To avoid any fatal outcomes, you need proper implementation of RTOS in the machine.

With in-depth experience in developing embedded systems, we lend extensive services for embedded systems development to create a robust solution for your IoT-enabled embedded device. You can hire embedded software developers from the top embedded solution providing company to make the best product.


Embedded systems are electronic devices that are designed to perform a dedicated program. On the other hand, a real time embedded system is designed to perform a task within a time frame providing timely response to critical and non-critical events.

There are multiple types of operating systems. It all depends on the type of application you are looking to develop. If your device consists of a time frame or requires it to respond in milliseconds, you need RTOS. Apart from RTOS for other embedded applications, you can use Linux and Android as an operating system.

The major difference between embedded and non-embedded systems is that embedded systems are designed to perform only one specific task whereas a non-embedded or a general system performs multiple tasks.

It is considered a modular operating system that allows users to make choices about the various integrations within the development. This embedded OS to use in retail, manufacturing, and development companies.

Cell phones, electrical vehicles, and industrial control systems are examples of embedded OS.

An Embedded Operating System works perfectly to support and manage the data. Read the blog to understand and know the best real-time operating system. The list of the main features of the embedded operating system is as follows:

  • Efficient use of Power
  • Developed capabilities of better storage
  • A smaller amount of power processing
  • Fast and also lightweight
  • Develop the device flexibility
  • Operations
  • Tailored to the intended case.
Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld. He firmly believes in using technology to solve challenges. His dedication and attention to detail make him an expert in helping startups in different industries digitalize their businesses globally.