QNX is a POSIX -compliant unixoides proprietary real-time operating system, which is primarily aimed at the embedded systems market.


While still a student at the University of Waterloo, Gordon Bell and Dan Dodge decided in 1980 to create their own real-time operating system microkernel. Since they were not interested in the application software, they stayed away from the desktop market. They founded Quantum software is still in that year and brought in 1982 the first version with the designation QUNIX for Intel 8088 CPUs out. Shortly after the operating system was renamed QNX and is therefore sometimes pronounced yet Kjunix especially in the English-speaking world.

First QNX was chosen in 1985 as the operating system for the Unisys ICON, the then standard workstation at universities in Ontario. In the following years, however, QNX spread quickly in the embedded systems market and has been transferred to different platforms.

As the market in the late 1990s became apparent an increasing focus on POSIX models, the kernel has been rewritten to make it SMP - and POSIX - compatible from scratch.

QNX Neutrino, the result of these efforts is offered commercially since 2001 by the now renamed QNX Software Systems company. This version usually includes an integrated graphical user interface ( GUI), called photon microGUI, a development environment based on Eclipse, various GNU tools and Internet software ( inter alia, a web browser ( Mozilla or Voyager ) and an HTTP server ).

Neutrino should temporarily be used as a basis for a new Amiga system. These plans were abandoned by Amiga Inc. but in favor of their own PowerPC -based operating system approach called Amiga OS4 ( AmigaOne ).

QNX was on 27 October 2004 Part of the Group Harman International.

Since 12 September 2007, the kernel source code is publicly available. The development process of QNX will thus cost. The new licensing model also allows for the free use of the operating system for the non- commercial use. Also allows the new license to modify the kernel for their own purposes; However, this change may not be further published without written permission. This will be written by, designed by QNX hybrid software model.

On 9 April 2010 it was announced by Research In Motion that they buy QNX from Harman International Industries. On 28 September 2010, published by Research In Motion the Apple iPad rival BlackBerry PlayBook, which is based on a QNX Neutrino architecture, which is referred to here as the BlackBerry Tablet OS.


As a microkernel operating system QNX is based on the idea to keep the bulk of the system running in the form of processes. Here, every process runs in a separate, protected by the MMU of the processor memory area - no matter whether it is an application or a driver. This makes it easier for developers to troubleshoot: Try A process accidentally overwrite data or code of process B, the QNX microkernel is informed of the MMU about it and ended process A, while process B is not affected. This ability is the main differentiator compared with traditional monolithic kernels, where the operating system is a great program with special abilities. In the case of the QNX microkernel allows users ( developers), any unnecessary functionality from it (eg, audio, graphics or any other system parts) omit, without touching the kernel at all.

Neutrino has been ported to many other architectures and today runs on almost any modern CPU, which finds application in the embedded systems market. These are, inter alia, the x86 family, MIPS, PowerPC, SH-4, ARM, StrongARM and xScale.