VxWorks Python | Python and VxWorks 7 Integration

Apr 27, 2020 | VxWorks

1 Introduction

VxWorks is a Real Time Operating System built by Wind River, and Python is an open-source interpreted programming language and run-time interpreter managed by the Python Software Foundation.

Python Software Foundation : http://www.python.org

Wind River supports Python on PowerPC, ARM and Intel architecture devices.

This VxWorks Python blog describes how to build and deploy the Python interpreter into VxWorks 7.

2 Prerequisites

These instructions assume that you are using:

  1. Wind River VxWorks 7 SR0620
  2. Intel target booting from UEFI BIOS
  3. A USB flash drive (4 GB minimum)

3 Create and Build the VxWorks Source Build (VSB) Project

Open a DOS shell, configure the build environment and then build the project.

cd <WIND_HOME>              // your installation directory
wrenv -p vxworks-7
cd <YOUR_WORKSPACE>         // your workspace
vxprj vsb create python_vsb -bsp itl_generic -smp -force -S
cd python_vsb               // your workspace
vxprj vsb add PYTHON        // add the python layer to the VSB
make -j 32                  // build the VSB

Once your VxWorks source build (VSB) has built, check that it contains the Python runtime. Verify that the following directory exists:


4 Create and Build the Basic VxWorks Image Project (VIP)

Create the basic VxWorks image project (VIP) as follows.

cd ..
vxprj create -smp itl_generic python_vip -profile PROFILE_INTEL_GENERIC -vsb python_vsb
cd python_vip
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_MULTI_STAGE_WARM_REBOOT
vxprj vip bundle add BUNDLE_STANDALONE_SHELL
vxprj parameter set DOSFS_COMPAT_NT TRUE
vxprj build

You have not added the Python interpreter to the VIP yet.

5 Boot VxWorks on the Target


5.1 Deploy the UEFI Bootloader and the VxWorks kernel image

Refer to the itl_generic BSP readme file for instructions on how to build and deploy the UEFI boot loader and the VxWorks image file on the USB flash drive. Find this readme file here:


After following these instructions to deploy the UEFI boot loader and vxWorks kernel image, you will find the following files on the USB flash drive:



5.2 Prepare the Intel target

Configure the target BIOS to boot the target from the USB flash drive.

Attach USB flash drive to the Intel target.


5.3 Boot the Target

Power-on the target. Once the target has booted, you will see the kernel shell prompt.



6 Discover the VxWorks USB flash drive device name

Execute the following commands on the kernel shell to discover the USB flash drive device name.

-> devs
drv refs name
  1 [ 3] /
  7 [ 3] /bd0a
  5 [ 3] /pcConsole/0
  3 [ 3] /ttyS0
value = 2 = 0x2
-> cd "/bd0a"
value = 0 = 0x0
-> ls
value = 0 = 0x0

In this example, the device name is /bd0a. Take a note of the USB device name on your target.

Shutdown the target and place the USB flash drive back into your workstation.

7 Copy the Python Runtime to the USB Flash Drive

Copy <YOUR_WORKSPACE>/python_vsb/usr/3pp/deploy to the root of the USB flash drive.

8 Update the Basic VIP to Include Python

Go back to the VIP directory and configure the Python runtime into the VIP.

cd <YOUR_WORKSPACE>\\profile_vip
vxprj component add INCLUDE_PYTHON_SUPPORT
vxprj parameter setstring FILESYSTEM_SYMLINK_CONFIG_STR
vxprj build

9 Deploy the Updated VxWorks Image File to the USB Flash Drive

Copy <YOUR_WORKSPACE>/profile_vip/default/vxWorks to the USB flash drive as EFI/BOOT/bootapp.sys.

10 Create a Hello World Python Example in the Root Directory of the USB Flash Drive

Open a text editor and create the file helloworld.py at the root of the USB flash drive.

The file must contain:

# helloworld.py
import os
import sys
print("Hello World!")

11 Run the Hello World Python Example Program on the Target

Return the USB flash drive to the target and boot the target to the kernel shell.

Locate the helloworld.py file at the USB flash drive root directory. Enter the command shell and run this Python program.

-> cd "/bd0a"
value = 0 = 0x0
-> ls
value = 0 = 0x0
-> cmd
[vxWorks *]# python3 helloworld.py
Launching process 'python3' ...
Process 'python3' (process Id = 0x809aa340) launched.
Hello World!
[vxWorks *]#

Note: Because Python is an interpreted language, you are also able to construct your program interactively from the kernel shell.

[vxWorks *]# python3
Launching process 'python3' ... 
Process 'python3' (process ID = 0x809aa340) launched.
Python 3.8.0 (default, Apr 27 2020, 17:49:25)
[Clang (ssh://diabuild@stash.wrs.com:7999/llvm/clang.git 67f1ee998a3a1d on vxWorks
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import os
>>> import sys
>>> print("Hello World!")
Hello World!

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