Using VxWorks* as User OS

VxWorks* is a real-time proprietary OS designed for use in embedded systems requiring real-time, deterministic performance. This tutorial describes how to run VxWorks as the User OS on the ACRN hypervisor based on Clear Linux 29970 (ACRN tag v1.1).


You’ll need to be a WindRiver* customer and have purchased VxWorks to follow this tutorial.

Steps for Using VxWorks as User OS

  1. Build VxWorks

    Follow the VxWorks Getting Started Guide to setup the VxWorks development environment and build the VxWorks Image.


    The following kernel configuration should be excluded:
    • DRV_SIO_PCI_NS16550
    The following kernel configuration should be included:
    • DRV_SIO_IA_NS16550
    • DRV_SIO_FDT_NS16550
    The following kernel configuration value should be set:
    • CONSOLE_BAUD_RATE = 115200
    • SYS_CLK_RATE_MAX = 1000
  2. Build GRUB2 BootLoader Image

    We use grub-2.02 as the bootloader of VxWorks in this tutorial; other versions may also work.

    $ curl | tar xJv
    $ cd grub-2.02
    $ ./
    $ ./configure --with-platform=efi --target=x86_64
    $ make
    $ ./grub-mkimage -p /EFI/BOOT -d ./grub-core/ -O x86_64-efi -o grub_x86_64.efi \
          boot efifwsetup efi_gop efinet efi_uga lsefimmap lsefi lsefisystab \
          exfat fat multiboot2 multiboot terminal part_msdos part_gpt normal \
          all_video aout configfile echo file fixvideo fshelp gfxterm gfxmenu \
          gfxterm_background gfxterm_menu legacycfg video_bochs video_cirrus \
          video_colors video_fb videoinfo video net tftp

    This will build a grub_x86_64.efi image in the current directory.

  3. Preparing the Boot Device

    $ dd if=/dev/zero of=VxWorks.img bs=1M count=35
    $ mkfs.vfat -F 32 VxWorks.img
    $ sudo mount `sudo losetup -f -P --show VxWorks.img` /mnt

    Create the following directories.

    $ sudo mkdir -p /mnt/efi/boot
    $ sudo mkdir -p /mnt/kernel

    Copy vxWorks and grub_x86_64.efi.

    $ sudo cp vxWorks /mnt/kernel/
    $ sudo cp grub-2.02/grub_x86_64.efi /mnt/efi/boot/bootx64.efi

    Create /mnt/efi/boot/grub.cfg containing the following:

    set default=0
    set timeout=5
    menuentry "VxWorks Guest" {
        multiboot /kernel/vxWorks

    Unmount the loopback device:

    $ sudo umount /mnt

    You now have a virtual disk image with bootable VxWorks in VxWorks.img.

  4. Follow Using SDC Mode on the NUC to boot “The ACRN Service OS”.

  5. Boot VxWorks as User OS.

    On the ACRN SOS, prepare a directory and populate it with VxWorks files.

    $ mkdir vxworks && cd vxworks
    $ cp /usr/share/acrn/samples/nuc/ .

    You will also need to copy the VxWorks.img created in the VxWorks build environment into directory vxworks (via, e.g. a USB stick or network).

    Run the script to launch VxWorks as Uos.

    $ sudo ./

    Then VxWorks will boot up automatically. You will see the prompt.

                   VxWorks 7 SMP 64-bit
    Copyright 1984-2019 Wind River Systems, Inc.
          Core Kernel version:
                   Build date: May  5 2019 21:40:28
                        Board: x86 Processor (ACPI_BOOT_OP) SMP/SMT
                    CPU Count: 1
               OS Memory Size: ~1982MB
             ED&R Policy Mode: Permanently Deployed
    Adding 9315 symbols for standalone.

    Finally, you can type help to check whether the VxWorks works well.

    -> help
    help                           Print this list
    dbgHelp                        Print debugger help info
    edrHelp                        Print ED&R help info
    ioHelp                         Print I/O utilities help info
    nfsHelp                        Print nfs help info
    netHelp                        Print network help info
    rtpHelp                        Print process help info
    spyHelp                        Print task histogrammer help info
    timexHelp                      Print execution timer help info
    h         [n]                  Print (or set) shell history
    i         [task]               Summary of tasks' TCBs
    ti        task                 Complete info on TCB for task
    sp        adr,args...          Spawn a task, pri=100, opt=0x19, stk=20000
    taskSpawn name,pri,opt,stk,adr,args... Spawn a task
    tip       "dev=device1#tag=tagStr1", "dev=device2#tag=tagStr2", ...
                                   Connect to one or multiple serial lines
    td        task                 Delete a task
    ts        task                 Suspend a task
    tr        task                 Resume a task
    Type <CR> to continue, Q<CR> or q<CR> to stop: