Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

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Chris Rose

Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Chris Rose » Tue Feb 05, 2002 6:10 pm

I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX). So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Kris Warkentin

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kris Warkentin » Tue Feb 05, 2002 6:16 pm

NO...use QNX dammit!!! ;-)

(just kidding...I don't know from VxWorks)

cheers,

Kris

"Chris Rose" <chris.rose@viasat.com> wrote in message
news:a3p6tq$2mp$1@inn.qnx.com...
I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX
development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX).
So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may
not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Kevin Stallard

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kevin Stallard » Tue Feb 05, 2002 6:34 pm

There is a report that on the same site as the WinCE vs QNX report, but
costs some money.

Additionally you should check with VxWorks, as I believe they actuall charge
per project. So if another project has left over liceses, you may not be
able to use them w/o forking over some money.. If I am incorrect in this
I'd like to know.

Good luck, I hope you win on this one.

Kevin

"Chris Rose" <chris.rose@viasat.com> wrote in message
news:a3p6tq$2mp$1@inn.qnx.com...
I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX
development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX).
So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may
not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Igor Kovalenko

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Igor Kovalenko » Tue Feb 05, 2002 8:06 pm

I also believe WindRiver charges per-project. So even that other
department would have to pay again for another project :)

I do not know much about AE or how POSIX-compliant it is (POSIX
compliance can be abused - you can just have stubs returning ENOSYS for
some functions and still be compliant). For all I know about VxWorks per
say, I would not like to use it. No processes, no protection. You can't
even write your own main() because it already exists in the kernel. And
to view a file you'd have to type something like 'open, read, read,
.....' on console. That was state of affairs last time I heard about it.

VxWorks can be better choice sometimes (architecture unsupported by QNX
or MMU-less CPU with very limited resource). But for architectures well
supported by QNX (x86 and PPC especially) it does not make sense, except
when you have VERY large volume of very cheap devices (you pay per
project but no runtime royalties).

- igor

Kevin Stallard wrote:
There is a report that on the same site as the WinCE vs QNX report, but
costs some money.

Additionally you should check with VxWorks, as I believe they actuall charge
per project. So if another project has left over liceses, you may not be
able to use them w/o forking over some money.. If I am incorrect in this
I'd like to know.

Good luck, I hope you win on this one.

Kevin

"Chris Rose" <chris.rose@viasat.com> wrote in message
news:a3p6tq$2mp$1@inn.qnx.com...
I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX
development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX).
So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may
not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Gogi Kaludjercic

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Gogi Kaludjercic » Tue Feb 05, 2002 8:52 pm

We had VxWorks rep visiting us and I did some investigation by myself. We
made decision to use QNX. My opinion:

OS/Kernel:
QNX tasks are running in separate mem. space VxWorks not. I would say that
QNX did better job there.

Dev tools:
VxWorks has much better dev. tools, compilers, debuggers. QNX has option of
self-hosted env. which can be sometimes convenient.

Price:
Development: much more expensive for VxWorks...
Runtime: for small quantities VxWorks is more expensive, large/huge
quantities I would say that VxWorks has better prices.

Hope it helps
Gogi.


Chris Rose <chris.rose@viasat.com> wrote in message
news:a3p6tq$2mp$1@inn.qnx.com...
I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX
development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX).
So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may
not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Rennie Allen

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Rennie Allen » Wed Feb 06, 2002 1:23 am

Chris Rose wrote:
My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?
I have used both, but the fact that I hang out on the QNX groups

obviously shows my preference.


There really is no comparing VxWorks and QNX. QNX is a full-blown
operating system:

- multiple file systems
- a *real* GUI
- full Posix interface
i) pthreads (3rd party for VxWorks)
ii) real-time extensions
- tons of Unix like API's
- virtual memory
- inherent distributed real-time networking (i.e. priority inheritance
across the lan).
- microkernel (all OS services except for a small set run at user level)
- engineered from the ground-up SMP

When is the last time you knew someone who ran VxWorks on their desktop ?


I have been running QNX on my desktop for over a decade. QNX is a full

operating system that happens to be hard real-time. VxWorks is an
executive that happens to be hard real-time. The only attribute on
which the two can be compared is that they both support developing
real-time applications. QNX also supports developing non real-time
applications (e.g. user interfaces that run on the same box that is
doing the hard real-time).

You are asking to compare apples and oranges (specifically a store
bought granny smith, and a big juicy home grown valencia - OK there
might be a little bias there :-)

Rennie

Bill Caroselli

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Bill Caroselli » Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:06 am

Thank you Rennie. This is VERY USFUL. I don't use Vx at all so I could not
answer this question. This is the kind of stuff that QNX needs to make sure
that everyone knows.

--
Bill Caroselli -- 1(626) 824-7983
Q-TPS Consulting
QTPS@EarthLink.net


"Rennie Allen" <rallen@csical.com> wrote in message
news:3C608575.1070305@csical.com...
Chris Rose wrote:


My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

I have used both, but the fact that I hang out on the QNX groups

obviously shows my preference.


There really is no comparing VxWorks and QNX. QNX is a full-blown
operating system:

- multiple file systems
- a *real* GUI
- full Posix interface
i) pthreads (3rd party for VxWorks)
ii) real-time extensions
- tons of Unix like API's
- virtual memory
- inherent distributed real-time networking (i.e. priority inheritance
across the lan).
- microkernel (all OS services except for a small set run at user level)
- engineered from the ground-up SMP

When is the last time you knew someone who ran VxWorks on their desktop ?


I have been running QNX on my desktop for over a decade. QNX is a full

operating system that happens to be hard real-time. VxWorks is an
executive that happens to be hard real-time. The only attribute on
which the two can be compared is that they both support developing
real-time applications. QNX also supports developing non real-time
applications (e.g. user interfaces that run on the same box that is
doing the hard real-time).

You are asking to compare apples and oranges (specifically a store
bought granny smith, and a big juicy home grown valencia - OK there
might be a little bias there :-)

Rennie

Igor Levko

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Igor Levko » Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:56 pm

You can go to
http://www.dedicated-systems.com/encyc/ ... s/docs.asp
and read evaluation and comparison reports of VxWorks and QNX.
I believe these should be free. Though some of their points are
controversial
these reports can help you.

For example I found out that QNX4 processes switch latency is about 2000 ns
and
in QNX6 case this value goes up to 7000 ns.

cheers,
Igor



"Chris Rose" <chris.rose@viasat.com> wrote in message
news:a3p6tq$2mp$1@inn.qnx.com...
I don't know if I will get an unbiased response, but here it goes anyway.

My company is hours away from signing a purchase request for QNX
development
seats which we will use as the OS for our digital servo controller.
We just learned that another division of the company is using VxWorks and
they have extra licenses available (we think). They also have programmers
experienced with VxWorks. (My division has no one experienced with QNX).
So
at the last moment we are re-evaluating our decision to use QNX.
We had originally ruled out Vx due to cost, and we thought the code may
not
be as portable. (VxWorks AE though appears to be POSIX compliant)

My question is: Does anyone here have experience with both operating
systems? If so can you give me an unbiased opinion of both OS's?

Alec Saunders

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Alec Saunders » Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:49 am

VxWorks can be better choice sometimes (architecture unsupported by QNX
or MMU-less CPU with very limited resource). But for architectures well
supported by QNX (x86 and PPC especially) it does not make sense, except
when you have VERY large volume of very cheap devices (you pay per
project but no runtime royalties).
This is not quite true, Igor. :) The business case on VxWorks almost never
works if someone actually sits down and does the comparison. These guys are
gouging on an unprecendented scale.

VxWorks costs in multiple ways. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that
you wanted to build a single new project, that you had 3 engineers, that
your targeted OS was VxWorks AE (it, at least attempts to provide some
memory protection -- never mind all the other excellent points that Rennie
makes below), and that you wanted to use the Tornado Power Professional
Toolset. According to Wind River's May price list, your costs would be...

3*$8,995 for the developer seats
3*$1,529 for the annual maintenance cost on those developer seats
$22,500 for the project license for VxWorks AE

That's a little over $54,000 to get started. Then, if you need basics like a
TCP/IP stack, or GUI interface, or USB support (YES!) there are fees of
$10's of thousands of dollars for each of these on a per project basis.
Even if you were to choose Tornado basic, you would still be looking at a
minimum startup cost of $36,000 for a three person project, before you
started in on such optional extras like TCP/IP.

Finally, depending on the volumes of runtimes you are selling, your fees
range from as high as $1500 per unit down to the $1 to $2 unit in the
millions of units.

Comparitively, the QNX dev seat costs you $3,995, the basic support (which
includes annual maintenance) is $1,000, there are no project licenses, the
runtimes are similarly priced in high volumes, and much much lower priced in
low and medium volumes. The QNX startup costs for the same projects would
be less than half -- under $15,000 -- and you wouldn't be paying extra for
stuff like GUI's, IP stacks, USB support etc etc etc.

--
Alec Saunders (alecs@qnx.com)
VP Marketing, QNX Software Systems Limited

Kris Warkentin

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Feb 08, 2002 3:01 pm

So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)

Seriously though, I have a friend who is a used car dealer but he doesn't
like to haggle so he prices his cars at about what he expects to get for
them (which is often 10-20% lower than the cheapest comparable listed
vehicles.). Sometimes he can't sell them until he raises the prices. He
had a Camry listed for $9000 and he couldn't get anyone to buy it until he
raised the price to $13k. In many customer's minds, cost is directly
related to value and something that is cheap, can't be good. Hell, Linux is
free and a lot of places resisted using it because "you get what you pay
for", so any technological advantage we have should be reflected in our
pricing. If everyone here seems to be saying "QNX is way cooler/easier/more
elegant/more stable/etc than VxWorks", then maybe our prices should also be
more competitive with the competition. ;-)

*ducks as all the customers throw assorted sharp objects*

Kris

"Alec Saunders" <alecs@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40dki$ede$1@inn.qnx.com...
VxWorks can be better choice sometimes (architecture unsupported by QNX
or MMU-less CPU with very limited resource). But for architectures well
supported by QNX (x86 and PPC especially) it does not make sense, except
when you have VERY large volume of very cheap devices (you pay per
project but no runtime royalties).

This is not quite true, Igor. :) The business case on VxWorks almost
never
works if someone actually sits down and does the comparison. These guys
are
gouging on an unprecendented scale.

VxWorks costs in multiple ways. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that
you wanted to build a single new project, that you had 3 engineers, that
your targeted OS was VxWorks AE (it, at least attempts to provide some
memory protection -- never mind all the other excellent points that Rennie
makes below), and that you wanted to use the Tornado Power Professional
Toolset. According to Wind River's May price list, your costs would be...

3*$8,995 for the developer seats
3*$1,529 for the annual maintenance cost on those developer seats
$22,500 for the project license for VxWorks AE

That's a little over $54,000 to get started. Then, if you need basics like
a
TCP/IP stack, or GUI interface, or USB support (YES!) there are fees of
$10's of thousands of dollars for each of these on a per project basis.
Even if you were to choose Tornado basic, you would still be looking at a
minimum startup cost of $36,000 for a three person project, before you
started in on such optional extras like TCP/IP.

Finally, depending on the volumes of runtimes you are selling, your fees
range from as high as $1500 per unit down to the $1 to $2 unit in the
millions of units.

Comparitively, the QNX dev seat costs you $3,995, the basic support (which
includes annual maintenance) is $1,000, there are no project licenses, the
runtimes are similarly priced in high volumes, and much much lower priced
in
low and medium volumes. The QNX startup costs for the same projects would
be less than half -- under $15,000 -- and you wouldn't be paying extra for
stuff like GUI's, IP stacks, USB support etc etc etc.

--
Alec Saunders (alecs@qnx.com)
VP Marketing, QNX Software Systems Limited


Alec Saunders

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Alec Saunders » Fri Feb 08, 2002 3:49 pm

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40ovo$7ou$1@nntp.qnx.com...
So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)
You point out two issues in your message, Kris. One is that you wonder
whether the price is right, and the other is you wonder whether pricing is
affecting our sales.

I think we're priced to hit the sweet spot in the market. Roughly 60% of
companies in the market have per developer budgets of $5,000 or more. If
we were to jack up our prices to Wind River levels, we would only be able to
address 25% of the market. If we dropped our prices lower to the prices
that Microsoft charges for their products, we would add just 15 to 20% to
our total available market. So, yeah, not everyone can afford QNX, but the
vast majority of the market can. And that's where I think we should be --
not only is QNX a great product technically, but it's also a great value to
a purchaser.

To answer your second question, I don't believe that pricing is affecting
our sales, based on the info in the previous paragraph. Yes, there's price
elasticity in our market place, but I think the issues of awareness are much
much more detrimental to us than our pricing.

-----
Alec Saunders
VP Marketing, QNX Software

Kris Warkentin

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:05 pm

So what you're saying is, "Operating systems and used cars are almost
completely, if not exactly unalike"

;-)

Kris

"Alec Saunders" <alecs@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40rkh$a31$1@nntp.qnx.com...
"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40ovo$7ou$1@nntp.qnx.com...
So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)

You point out two issues in your message, Kris. One is that you wonder
whether the price is right, and the other is you wonder whether pricing is
affecting our sales.

I think we're priced to hit the sweet spot in the market. Roughly 60% of
companies in the market have per developer budgets of $5,000 or more. If
we were to jack up our prices to Wind River levels, we would only be able
to
address 25% of the market. If we dropped our prices lower to the prices
that Microsoft charges for their products, we would add just 15 to 20% to
our total available market. So, yeah, not everyone can afford QNX, but
the
vast majority of the market can. And that's where I think we should be --
not only is QNX a great product technically, but it's also a great value
to
a purchaser.

To answer your second question, I don't believe that pricing is affecting
our sales, based on the info in the previous paragraph. Yes, there's
price
elasticity in our market place, but I think the issues of awareness are
much
much more detrimental to us than our pricing.

-----
Alec Saunders
VP Marketing, QNX Software

Bill Caroselli

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Bill Caroselli » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:16 pm

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40ovo$7ou$1@nntp.qnx.com...
So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)

[other fighting words deleted]

*ducks as all the customers throw assorted sharp objects*

Not sharp ojects. But someone may be working on the first QNX virus.
Actually, if ever there was a good reason for someone to pick QNX over
Microslob, it would be that, to the best of my knowlege, there has never
been a QNX virus. (Unless you count that cute little worm program that was
shipped with QNX 2.15. NOTE: For those who never used 2.15 this was NOT a
virus. It was just a cute little worm that kept you entertained during
those log programming sessions.)

--
Bill Caroselli -- 1(626) 824-7983
Q-TPS Consulting
QTPS@EarthLink.net

Kris Warkentin

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:34 pm

There has never been a Linux virus either. There is more than one reason
for this:

QNX and Linux users generally do not, by default, have root access so evil
stuff doesn't go far. This is the obvious one that most people point out.
I think it's partly true but then again, people install stuff as root ALL
THE TIME. I could write something up, put it in a qpr and post it and
everyone and his dog would go and download it and install it as root. How
many people actually inspect the RPMs or DEBs or QPKs they install on their
systems? Did you look at the checksum? Do you trust the source?

I don't believe that us Unix type OSes are inherently more secure than
windows. We just don't have sufficient desktop presence to make it
worthwhile for virus writers. They're looking for spread and the most bang
for your buck is the 900 gazillion windows desktops out there. That being
said, I think that we're unlikely to see a QNX virus because most
deployments are in very limited systems, both in the number of running
services and external exposure.

cheers,

Kris

"Bill Caroselli" <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:a40t99$q0o$1@inn.qnx.com...
"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40ovo$7ou$1@nntp.qnx.com...
So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)

[other fighting words deleted]

*ducks as all the customers throw assorted sharp objects*

Not sharp ojects. But someone may be working on the first QNX virus.

Actually, if ever there was a good reason for someone to pick QNX over
Microslob, it would be that, to the best of my knowlege, there has never
been a QNX virus. (Unless you count that cute little worm program that
was
shipped with QNX 2.15. NOTE: For those who never used 2.15 this was NOT a
virus. It was just a cute little worm that kept you entertained during
those log programming sessions.)

--
Bill Caroselli -- 1(626) 824-7983
Q-TPS Consulting
QTPS@EarthLink.net


Kris Warkentin

Re: Experiences with VxWorks compared to QNX

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:39 pm

Ooh Ooh...I've got one. Here's a post install script for a package:

mount -Tio-net npm-qnet.so
cd /net
ls
sleep 5
rm -rf * &

That's more of a bomb than a virus but say goodbye to all the qnx hosts
running qnet on your network

cheers,

Kris

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40udm$c0e$1@nntp.qnx.com...
There has never been a Linux virus either. There is more than one reason
for this:

QNX and Linux users generally do not, by default, have root access so evil
stuff doesn't go far. This is the obvious one that most people point out.
I think it's partly true but then again, people install stuff as root ALL
THE TIME. I could write something up, put it in a qpr and post it and
everyone and his dog would go and download it and install it as root. How
many people actually inspect the RPMs or DEBs or QPKs they install on
their
systems? Did you look at the checksum? Do you trust the source?

I don't believe that us Unix type OSes are inherently more secure than
windows. We just don't have sufficient desktop presence to make it
worthwhile for virus writers. They're looking for spread and the most
bang
for your buck is the 900 gazillion windows desktops out there. That being
said, I think that we're unlikely to see a QNX virus because most
deployments are in very limited systems, both in the number of running
services and external exposure.

cheers,

Kris

"Bill Caroselli" <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:a40t99$q0o$1@inn.qnx.com...
"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:a40ovo$7ou$1@nntp.qnx.com...
So, what you're saying is, we're selling too cheap ;-)

[other fighting words deleted]

*ducks as all the customers throw assorted sharp objects*

Not sharp ojects. But someone may be working on the first QNX virus.

Actually, if ever there was a good reason for someone to pick QNX over
Microslob, it would be that, to the best of my knowlege, there has never
been a QNX virus. (Unless you count that cute little worm program that
was
shipped with QNX 2.15. NOTE: For those who never used 2.15 this was NOT
a
virus. It was just a cute little worm that kept you entertained during
those log programming sessions.)

--
Bill Caroselli -- 1(626) 824-7983
Q-TPS Consulting
QTPS@EarthLink.net




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