Wind River Further Expands VxWorks RTOS Containers Leadership with Cosign Support

With this development, VxWorks®-based devices can enjoy enhanced security when using containers to deploy and manage software. VxWorks is the only RTOS to support Open Container Initiative (OCI)–compliant containers.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (11/01/2023)--Wind River®, a global leader in delivering software for mission-critical intelligent systems, has introduced support for Sigstore's Cosign for its real-time operating system (RTOS) container engine. With this development, VxWorks®-based devices can enjoy enhanced security when using containers to deploy and manage software. VxWorks is the only RTOS to support Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant containers.

The enhancement builds on the Wind River existing, real-time embedded container engine, first released in 2021. This no-overhead real-time container engine for VxWorks was developed from input from customers and the careful use of the OCI specifications (packaging, distribution, runtime, and runc) under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). In 2022, Wind River introduced support for the overlay file system, a key element of application isolation.

Wind River also provides support for Kubernetes with a true embedded kubelet. Teams no longer need to rely on bespoke obscure tools and workflows. They can reduce costs and risks by leveraging open standards, known workflows, known tools, and known infrastructures to deploy, operate, manage, and update real-time safe and certifiable software for an RTOS, just as they could with Linux.

"As the first and only RTOS to support OCI-compliant containers, VxWorks is simplifying software deployment and management, effectively reducing operational costs, to develop and deploy intelligent edge software better and faster, without compromising determinism and performance," said Avijit Sinha, chief product officer, Wind River. "Our latest development in adding support for Cosign is helping teams further strengthen secure application deployment and updates. Containers are creating a major impact across mission-critical industries, such as automotive, aerospace, defense, and industrial, and are helping to further advance a software-defined approach to these markets."

"Architectures leveraging containerized microservices have several key advantages over traditional applications and development approaches. For the integration of mixed-criticality components, containers enable a collection of microservices to be developed with multiple programming languages or have varying levels of criticality. Existing components with higher design assurance levels (DAL) can be isolated from rapidly changing ones with lower DALs — reducing recertification costs. Creating lower-DAL enclaves using containerized microservices enables the lower-criticality components of these systems to benefit from open source software and agile development techniques," according to the Collins Aerospace white paper, "Modular Avionics Solutions: Our Microservices and Container Solutions Enable a Modular, Open Systems Approach, 2022."

"Aptiv is fostering rapid innovation and accelerating our customers' transition to the software-defined vehicle with groundbreaking containerization solutions like VxWorks from Wind River," said Benjamin Lyon, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Aptiv. "By enabling developers to efficiently create new containerized applications and easily modernize existing ones, VxWorks provides incredible value to automotive Tier 1s and OEMs by significantly reducing the burden and cost of software updates and unlocking new business models."

While the VxWorks container engine already supports secure access to the registry and secure applications, the additional support for Cosign further enables the handling of signed containers. Cosign supports a flexible standard for signing and verifying container images. It can help simplify the process of signing and verification by enabling developers to reuse existing development infrastructure, such as cloud-managed KMS and container registries.
Wind River was recently recognized with a 2023 Platinum Innovators Award for VxWorks container support.

For more information about VxWorks and its real-time container engine, visit

About Wind River
Wind River is a global leader in delivering software for mission-critical intelligent systems. For more than four decades, the company has been an innovator and pioneer, powering billions of devices and systems that require the highest levels of security, safety, and reliability. Wind River software and expertise are accelerating digital transformation across industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, industrial, medical, and telecommunications. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio supported by world-class global professional services and support and a broad partner ecosystem. To learn more, visit Wind River at

Wind River is a trademark or registered trademark of Wind River Systems, Inc., and its affiliates. Other names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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