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Architecture of SYSGO's PikeOS
DeveloperSYSGO GmbH
OS familyL4
Working stateCurrent
Source modelClosed source
Latest release5.1 / January 2021; 3 years ago (2021-01)
Marketing targetEmbedded systems
Available inEnglish
PlatformsARM, PowerPC, x86, SPARC
Kernel typeMicrokernel, real-time
Official Edit this at Wikidata

PikeOS is a commercial hard real-time operating system (RTOS) which features a separation kernel-based hypervisor. This hypervisor supports multiple logical partition types for various operating systems (OS) and applications, each referred to as a GuestOS. PikeOS is designed to facilitate the development of certifiable smart devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) by adhering to standards of quality, safety, and security across different industries. In instances where memory management units (MMU) are not present but memory protection units (MPU) are available on controller-based systems, PikeOS for MPU is designed for critical real-time applications and provides up-to-standard safety and security.


PikeOS was introduced in 2005 and combines a real-time operating system (RTOS) with a virtualization platform and Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for embedded systems. It is a commercial clone of the L4 microkernel family.[1] PikeOS has been developed for safety and security-critical applications with certification needs in the fields of aerospace, defense, automotive, transport, industrial automation, medical, network infrastructures, and consumer electronics. The PikeOS separation kernel (v5.1.3) is certified against Common Criteria at EAL5+.

One of the key features of PikeOS is its ability to safely execute applications with different safety and security levels concurrently on the same computing platform. This is done by strict spatial and temporal segregation of these applications via software partitions. A software partition can be seen as a container with pre-allocated privileges that can have access to memory, central processing unit (CPU) time, input/output (I/O), and a predefined list of OS services. With PikeOS, the term application refers to an executable linked against the PikeOS application programming interface (API) library and running as a process inside a partition. The nature of the PikeOS application programming interface (API) allows applications to range from simple control loops up to full paravirtualized guest operating systems like Linux or hardware virtualized guests.

Example for resource and time partitioning

Software partitions are also called virtual machines (VMs), because it is possible to implement a complete guest operating system inside a partition which executes independently from other partitions and thus can address use cases with mixed criticality. PikeOS can be seen as a Type-1 hypervisor.

Supported toolchain, IDE CODEO

The Eclipse-based IDE CODEO supports system architects with graphical configuration tools, providing all the components that software engineers will need to develop embedded applications, as well as including comprehensive wizards to help embedded project development in a time-saving and cost-efficient way:

Several dedicated graphical editing views support the system integrator to always keep the overview on important aspects of the PikeOS system configuration showing partition types, scheduling, communication channels, shared memory and IO device configuration within partitions.

Projects can be easily defined with the help of reusable templates and distributed to the development groups. Users can configure predefined components for their project and can also define and add other components during the development process.

Main benefits

Certification standards

Safety certification standards according to:

Security certification standards according to:

Partner ecosystem

SYSGO is committed to establish the technology and business partnerships that will help software engineers to achieve their goals. As of October 2017, SYSGO is working with about 100 partners globally.[2]

An excerpt of partners per category is mentioned below:

Supported GuestOS types

End-of-life overview

Product type Product version Linked ELinOS version Release EOL
PikeOS 3.4 (non cert) 5.2 2013-07 Since 2017-12
PikeOS 3.4 (cert) 5.2 2013-07 LTS on x86
PikeOS 3.5 6.0, 6.1 2015-01 Since 2017-12
PikeOS 4.0 6.0, 6.1 2016-03 Since 2019-06
PikeOS 4.1 6.1 2016-08 Since 2021-04
PikeOS 4.2 (non cert) 6.2 2017-01 Candidate
PikeOS 4.2 (cert) 6.2 2017-04 Current
PikeOS 5.0 (non cert) 7.0, 7.1 2020-06 Current
PikeOS 5.0 (cert) 7.0, 7.1 2020-08 Current
PikeOS 5.1 (non cert) 7.1 2021-01 Current
PikeOS 5.1 (cert) 7.1 2021-02 Current


  1. ^ Kaiser; Wagner (2007). Evolution of the PikeOS microkernel. MIKES 2007 (Report). NICTA. ISSN 1833-9646. Retrieved 2023-11-18.
  2. ^ "Partner Directory". SYSGO. Archived from the original on 2 November 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2017.