Many challenges arise when moving from a real-time operating system (RTOS) to Linux for embedded projects. Obviously, there are trade-offs between what you get with an RTOS and what you get with open source software (OSS). Factors such as scalability and performance must be taken into consideration. Also, what if you want to reuse your existing IP without turning your IP into open source software? OSS is often perceived to be free, but if you are not careful, unintended costs can quickly add up.

Based on pragmatic experience of helping customers through the decision-making process and actual transition, this paper provides practical information so developers are fully aware of the trade-offs of moving to OSS, and the often unmentioned hidden costs of managing a Linux distribution.