Updated: 08/02/2019 by Computer Hope
QNX logo

QNX is a real-time operating system for embedded systems. It was first released for the 8088 processor in 1982 by the Canadian software company Quantum Software Systems and later sold to Harman in 2004.


In 2009, QNX was purchased by BlackBerry for use as the foundation for their BlackBerry Tablet OS and BlackBerry 10 operating systems.

How does it work?

QNX is a microkernel OS that breaks down the various components of the operating system into small programs called "servers." Each server can be disabled by system designers for their custom needs, which allows QNX to be a very lean and efficient OS. It uses very little disk space, even fitting onto a single floppy disk as recently as the late 1990s.

Is QNX Linux-based?

QNX is a POSIX-based (Unix-like) RTOS that shares a lot of similarities and capabilities of Linux but is not derived from any Linux variant. On September 12, 2007, QNX Software Systems announced the QNX source code would be released as a new hybrid software licensing that would combine the best of open source and commercial software.

Where is QNX used?

QNX is used with many embedded systems and today is most notably known because of its use in millions of cars.

BlackBerry, Embedded system, Operating System terms, Processor, Real-time