RIOT is an open source operating system (OS) designed to power the rapidly evolving Internet of Things.
Licensed as LGPL, RIOT was initially developed by FU Berlin, INRIA and the HAW Hamburg. Indeed, the origins of RIOT can actually be traced back to FeuerWare, an operating system for fire crews and their wireless sensor networks.
The operating system – based on a microkernel architecture – supports both C and C++, as well as full multi-threading and real-time capabilities.
RIOT runs on both 16-bit and 32-bit hardware, with a native port allowing RIOT to run as a Linux or MacOS process. This helps facilitate the use of standard development and debugging tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU Debugger, Valgrind and Wireshark.
RIOT also provides multiple network stacks, including IPv6, 6LoWPAN and standard protocols such as RPL, UDP, TCP and CoAP.
Simply put, RIOT is free software, meaning Makers and engineers can redistribute and modify the OS. Software developed by the RIOT community is available under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 2 (LGPLv2).
Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can check out our extensive Bits & Pieces article archive on the subject here and read about Contiki, another open source OS for the burgeoning IoT, here.