Linux Foundation Launches ELISA Project to Enable Linux In Safety-Critical Systems


Founding members of this new open source project include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, KUKA, Linutronix, and Toyota.

The Linux Foundation has announced an open source project to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems.

The project, called the Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (ELISA), will make it easier for companies to build safety-critical systems such as robotic devices, medical devices, smart factories, transportation systems and autonomous driving using Linux, the foundation said.

Founding members of ELISA include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, KUKA, Linutronix, and Toyota.

According to the foundation, as there was no clear method for certifying Linux, companies were finding it difficult to demonstrate that their Linux-based systems meet the necessary functional safety objectives.

“All major industries, including energy, medical and automotive, want to use Linux for safety-critical applications because it can enable them to bring products to market faster and reduce the risk of critical design errors. The challenge has been the lack of the clear documentation and tools needed to demonstrate that a Linux-based system meets the necessary safety requirements for certification,” said Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs at The Linux Foundation.

“Past attempts at solving this have lacked the critical mass needed to establish a widely discussed and accepted methodology, but with the formation of ELISA, we will be able to leverage the infrastructure and support of the broader Linux Foundation community that is needed to make this initiative successful,” she added.

Linux as a component in safety-critical systems

As part of the project, the Linux Foundation will work with certification authorities and standardization bodies in multiple industries to establish how Linux can be used as a component in safety-critical systems.

The project will also define and maintain a common set of elements, processes and tools that can be incorporated into Linux-based, safety-critical systems amenable to safety certification.

Additional project goals of ELISA include:

  • Developing reference documentation and use cases.
  • Educating the open source community on safety engineering best practices and the safety community on open source concepts.
  • Enabling continuous feedback from the open source community to improve processes, and to automate quality assessment and assurance.
  • Supporting members with incident and hazard monitoring of critical components relevant to their systems and establishing best practices for member response teams.



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