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The OSADL project on Safety Linux has entered its next stage

(PresseBox) (Schramberg, ) The Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL), an international consortium to support the use of Open Source software in the industry, informs about its community project SIL2LinuxMP that aims at the certification of Linuxbased systems to be used in safetyrelated environments.

Background

Linuxbased computers have been used increasingly in the machine industry and in general embedded systems for around the past 15 years, and they have gained widespread acceptance. This has required and still requires efforts to overcome two important hurdles: i) deterministic responsiveness (realtime capabilities) and ii)certifiability to permit the use of Linux in safetycritical environments. The first requirement was considered resolved at the 2006 Kernel Summit in Ottawa when priorityinheritance mutexes were accepted in the mainline kernel, and the provision of a Linux RTOS was declared as a goal. Unlike the realtime requirement, a solution to the second requirement, safety certification, cannot be provided by Linux kernel developers, rather it must be driven by application integrators. This is because safety properties depend on the entire system and not on the Linux kernel alone, and so this requires an overall approach based on individual requirements. Although a number of successfully certified Linux systems are in use worldwide, they are the result of custom oneofakind certification procedures that were very involved and complex. A solution is needed to make Linux certifications simpler, faster and less economically risky. If this final hurdle can be overcome, Linuxbased computers will be universally available for embedded systems of any kind.

Will it ever be possible to certify Open Source software in a standardized way?

Yes. In close collaboration with specialists of German TÜV Rheinland and TÜV Süd and many other safety experts, a concept was developed how to certify Linuxbased computers at Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL 2) according to IEC 61508 Ed 2 2010. Certifications based on derived standards and later requalification at SIL 3 are planned. This is a twophase approach, in which generally applicable as well as individual material will be provided. To produce the generally applicable material, it was advisable to initiate and define a communitybased project so that work results would be made available under a compatible Open Source license. OSADL agreed to organize such a project which was named SIL2LinuxMP, and it was launched last year in a kickoff meeting. This meeting took place in Cologne, Germany, at TÜV Rheinland, which will also participate as a project partner and handle certifications upon successful completion of the project.

Letter of Intent

In recent months, a Letter of Intent was developed for SIL2LinuxMP in close collaboration with potential participants; it defines the modalities of the communitybased approach. The basic principle requires that companies sign a binding commitment to participate, provided that a sufficient number of other companies do so as well. Having made this Letter of Intent available, the project has entered its next stage. Some companies returned signed Letters of Intent just a couple of hours after its release. If the project can enter its next stage as envisaged, first Linuxbased systems will be certified using the OSADL SIL2LinuxMP approach by 2015.

How to participate?
Die URL for downloading the Letter of Intent from the Internet is:
https://www.osadl.org/SIL2LinuxMP-Letter-of-Intent

Please send any questions regarding the project to this email address:
safety@osadl.org