What's in this book?

This book introduces you to what the QNX Neutrino RTOS is and how it functions. It contains chapters covering process states, threads, scheduling policies, message passing, operating system modularity, and so on. If you've never used QNX Neutrino before, but are familiar with realtime operating systems, then you'll want to pay particular attention to the chapters on message passing and resource managers, since these are concepts fundamental to QNX Neutrino.

Processes and Threads
An introduction to processes and threads in QNX Neutrino, realtime, scheduling, and prioritization. You'll learn about scheduling states and QNX Neutrino's scheduling policies, as well as the functions you use to control scheduling, create processes and threads, and modify processes and threads that are already running. You'll see how QNX Neutrino implements SMP (Symmetrical Multi-Processing), and the advantages (and pitfalls) that this brings.

"Scheduling and the real world" discusses how threads are scheduled on a running system, and what sorts of things can cause a running thread to be rescheduled.

Message Passing
An introduction to QNX Neutrino's most fundamental feature, message passing. You'll learn what message passing is, how to use it to communicate between threads, and how to pass messages over a network. Priority inversion, the bane of realtime systems everywhere, and other advanced topics are also covered here.
Note: This is one of the most important chapters in this book!
Clocks, Timers, and Getting a Kick Every So Often
Learn all about the system clock and timers, and how to get a timer to send you a message. Lots of practical information here, and code samples galore.
This chapter will teach you how to write interrupt handlers for QNX Neutrino, and how interrupt handlers affect thread scheduling.
Resource Managers
Learn all about QNX Neutrino resource managers (also known variously as "device drivers" and "I/O managers"). You'll need to read and understand the Message Passing chapter before you write your own resource managers. The source for several complete resource managers is included.
Note: Resource managers are another important aspect of every QNX Neutrino-based system.
QNX 4 to QNX Neutrino
This is an invaluable guide for anyone porting their QNX 4 application to QNX Neutrino, or having to maintain code on both platforms. (QNX 4 is QNX Software Systems' previous-generation operating system, also the subject of my previous book, Getting Started with QNX 4.) Even if you're designing a new application, there may be demand from your customer base to support it on both QNX 4 and QNX Neutrino or later—if that happens, this section will help you avoid common pitfalls and show you how to write code that's portable to both operating systems.
Calling 911
Where you can turn to when you get stuck, find a bug, or need help with your design.
Contains definitions of the terms used throughout this book.
Other references
In addition to the custom kernel interface, QNX Neutrino implements a wide range of industry standards. This lets you support your favorite publishers when looking for information about standard functions from ANSI, POSIX, TCP/IP, etc.