Real-time Ubuntu integrates the upstream PREEMPT_RT patches, to improve the kernel’s latency and responsiveness for real-time applications. You’ll be shown how to enable it, which will select the right version automatically for your system.

Operating system and kernel

This tutorial requires a computer running one of the Real-time Ubuntu releases. Ubuntu should be installed “native” — i.e. directly on the computer’s hardware, not in a Virtual Machine (VM).


Real-time Ubuntu employs features of modern 64-bit processors. This tutorial is written for multi-core computers with the x86_64 (“amd64”) architecture, which are widespread.


Real-time Ubuntu is available through the Ubuntu Pro security and compliance subscription. If you don’t already have access to “Pro”, it’s free for personal use.

The tutorial uses code examples to illustrate key concepts. You’ll need a C toolchain and familiarity with the language. Sample code was written for gcc and tested on the supported Ubuntu releases.

An Internet connection is assumed.

Many operations will require administrator (“root”) privileges. You’ll be shown clearly when they’re necessary, usually by the sudo prefix to a command.