Embedded Operating Systems in the IoT

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There are quite a few operating systems for use in the IoT. This documentation gives an overview of regular operating systems along with a comparison between the scopes of application. Various aspects and features, such as architecture, programming model & scheduler, supported devices, advantages & disadvantages, etc. will be discussed in this chapter of the bachelor thesis.

Operating Systems

  • Tiny OS
  • Riot OS
  • Contiki OS
  • Amazon FreeRTOS
  • Windows 10 IoT
  • Arm Mbed OS
  • Ubuntu Core
  • Android Things



Tiny OS, Riot OS, Contiki OS, Amazon FreeRTOS, ArmMbed, and Ubuntu Core are open source IoT OS’, while Windows 10 IoT and Android Things are considered as closed commercial. Other differential aspects are licensing and the growth rate of the usage.


Compared open-source operating systems, except Ubuntu Core, are based on monolithic and microkernel architecture. The Microsoft 10 IoT environment, on the other hand, is based on ARM and x86/x64 hardware. Android Things is based on Android, but it uses the Linux kernel.

Programming Model & Scheduler

In this section, comparisons will be made between single thread/multi-threading and cooperative/preemptive scheduling. Operating systems, which support real-time, will also be mentioned.

Supported Devices/Platforms

List of supported devices/platforms for each operating system, including a short description.

Supported Security/Network Protocols & Security Features

What protocols are supported by each operating system and what are possible security features?


Are there any advantages or shortcomings of the operating system? Is it especially easier to work with one operating system rather than the other?

Other topics that will be included in this chapter:

  • Performance of the OS’
  • Used programming languages
  • Challenges & Limitations of IoT

The aspects listed above will be described and explained in detail. Comparisons and analysis will be made briefly.


Zeynep Asrak