I am a Japanese programmer, who happens to talk to overseas business partners a lot.
It came to my attention during my talk with a programmer in Malaysia that not many people outside Japan (except for a few countries) are aware that a full source of realtime kernel source (sans bootstrap code) is available from a Japanese site for free.
The NPO's main page is
The download page is:
Both pages are written in English, by the way.
T-Kernel is a fully featured embedded realtime OS kernel and is meant for 32bit CPU's with MMU. u (micro) T-Kernel is meant for CPUs without MMU (and can run on 16- bit microprocessor, I think.)
You pick up which source code you want and then after agreeing to the license, the NPO will sends back a login information so that you can download the code.
The code is for free, there is no royalty payment attached, and except for a restriction that you are not allowed to distribute the modified source to a third party (READ the T-LICENSE posted in the above site), you can do whatever you want. Again, please READ the LICENSE for details.
A few notes: The web page uses "Subscription" for downloading the source file. I think it is a carried over from the day when the lawyer who translated the initial license thought that the making the source code available is like a subscription to a magazine, i.e., the publisher making the magazine available to subscribed readers. If this choice of the word puts the potential users off, too bad. I will mention the mischoice of the word to the NPO.
So basically, if say, you try to download the T-Kernel source code, you choose the "Subscription to T-Kernel source" link,
and directed to a listing of T-License, and then after agreeing with the license, you press "Agreement" button, which leads you to a page that asks you whether you are applying as an individual or a corporate entity.
There you need to press, again, buttons marked with "Individual Contract" or "Corporate Contract", both are somewhat misnomer because when you press them, you are merely asked to fill in contact information and only fill in these you will finally push a button that gets the application registered with NPO's office and the office will send back the e-mail with URL link to download the source file.
I am told this process is to make sure that you READ T-License BEFORE obtaining the source code.
You can see that NPO's member list contains big names in consumer electronics companies, etc..
List of names.
I am posting this to try to see if people whio read this newsgroup are aware of the availability, and if not, I hope more people will try the available source code out.
I am related to the NPO in that the company I work for is a member of NPO, but since the source code is made available for free, I have no monetary gain if the readers will download and use it for their work.
Last week, I was saddened to hear that the programming team's leader from Malaysia I met in London didn't know the existence of such free source for embedded realtime OS. He had many right questions about embedded OS kernel, to which I could answer "Yes!" thankfully. He now has one more choice in the selection of realtime OS for his products (provided, of course, that T-Kernel or uT-Kernel is ported to his cpu board in time.) The NPO has tried to make the source code available for free in good faith to promote embedded system industry, and it is a pity if it is not getting to the right audience.
This is purely a non-commercial promotion.
PS: There is a third party site that explains some details from the third party's point of view somewhat