VxWorks, made and sold by Wind River Systems of Alameda, California, USA, is a real-time operating system. Similar real-time operating systems are available from other vendors: QNX, LynxOS, VRTX, pSOS, Nucleus RTX, etc..
Major features of VxWorks include a fast, multitasking kernel with pre-emptive scheduling and fast interrupt response, extensive intertask communications and synchronization facilities, efficient UNIX-compatible memory management, multiprocessor facilities, a shell for user interface, symbolic and source level debugging capabilities, performance monitoring and an I/O file system.
Because VxWorks is generally used in embedded systems, it requires a host workstation for program development. Unlike "native" systems such as UNIX and QNX, VxWorks development is done on a "host" machine running UNIX or Windows, cross-compiling target software to run on various "target" CPU architectures.