Crate lilos[][src]

A simple RTOS based around Rust Futures.

This provides a minimal operating environment for running async Rust code on ARM Cortex-M microprocessors, plus some useful doodads and gizmos.

About the OS

This OS is designed around the notion of a fixed set of concurrent tasks that run forever. To use the OS, your application startup routine calls exec::run_tasks, giving it an array of tasks you’ve defined; run_tasks never returns.

The OS provides cooperative multitasking: while tasks are concurrent, they are not preemptive, and are not “threads” in the traditional sense. Tasks don’t even have their own stacks – they return completely whenever they yield the CPU.

This would be incredibly frustrating to program, were it not for Future and async.

Each task co-routine has the type Future<Output = !>, meaning a Future that can be polled but will never complete (because, remember, tasks run forever). The OS provides an executor that manages polling of a set of Futures.

Rust’s async keyword provides a convenient way to have the compiler rewrite a normal function into a co-routine-style Future. This means that writing co-routines to run on this OS looks very much like programming with threads.

Here is the “hello world” of embedded programming, written as a task for this OS. This task blinks an LED attached to port D12 of an STM32F4.

async fn blinky(gpio: &GPIOD) -> ! {
    const PERIOD: Duration = Duration::from_millis(500);

    loop {
        gpio.bsrr.write(|w| w.bs12().set_bit());
        gpio.bsrr.write(|w| w.br12().set_bit());

Because Futures can be composed, the fixed set of OS tasks can drive a dynamic set of program Futures.

Concurrency and interrupts

The OS supports the use of interrupt handlers to wake tasks through the Notify mechanism, but most OS facilities are not available in interrupt context.

By default, interrupts are masked when task code is running, so tasks can be confident that they will preempted if, and only if, they await.

Each time through the task polling loop, the OS unmasks interrupts to let any pending interrupts run. Because the Cortex-M collects pending interrupts while interrupts are masked, we don’t run the risk of missing events.

Interrupts are also unmasked whenever the idle processor is woken from sleep, in order to handle the event that woke it up.

See the exec module for more details and some customization options.


Co-routine tasks in this OS are just Futures, which means they can be dropped. Futures are typically dropped just after they resolve (often just after an await keyword in the calling code), but it’s also possible to drop a Future while it is pending. This can happen explicitly (by calling drop), or as a side effect of other operations; for example, the future returned by select! will drop any uncompleted futures if you await it.

This means it’s useful to consider what cancellation means for any particular task, and to ensure that its results are what you intend.

OS-provided futures attempt to provide useful cancellation behavior.



A system for polling an array of tasks forever, plus Notify and other scheduling tools.


Mechanism for handing data from one task to another, minimizing copies.


Doubly-linked intrusive lists for scheduling and waking.


Fair mutex that must be pinned.


A queue for moving data from one future/task into another.





Creates a pinned list on the stack.


Convenience macro for creating a pinned mutex on the stack.


Creates a pinned node on the stack.


Convenience macro for creating a pinned mutex in static memory.