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microblx: real-time, embedded, reflective function blocks.
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MICROBLX: hard realtime, embedded, reflective function blocks

Build status Documentation status

What is it?

Microblx is an lightweight, dynamic, reflective, hard realtime safe function block framework. Primary use-cases are hard realtime (embedded) control or signal processing applications.

Main features:

  • minimal core in C, few external dependencies
  • No code generation for types
  • Lua scripting for system configuration and deployment
  • C/C++ or Lua support for implementing function blocks
  • Standard function block and type library
  • Webinterface function block to introspect and control blocks
  • Automatic block stub code generation
  • Generic Lua scriptable function block
  • Similar to IEC-61508 and IEC-61499 functions blocks


Documentation is available on here, or can be built locally (requires sphinx to be installed):

$ cd docs/
$ make html

There is also a ChangeLog.

Getting help

Please feel free to ask questions or report problems on the microblx mailing list:

You can subscribe by email by sending a mail to


Contributions are very welcome. Please check that the following requirements are met:

  • contributions must conform to the Linux kernel coding style.

  • the preferred ways of submitting patches is via the mailing list. If you must, a github merge request is OK too.

  • please don't forget to add a line Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <> to certify conformance with the Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1 below.

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I have the right to submit it under the open source license indicated in the file; or

(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source license and I have the right under that license to submit that work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part by me, under the same open source license (unless I am permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated in the file; or

(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified it.

(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution are public and that a record of the contribution (including all personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with this project or the open source license(s) involved.


See COPYING. The microblx core is licensed under the weak copyleft Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 (MPL-2.0). Standard blocks are mostly licensed under the permissive BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" License or also under the MPLv2.

It boils down to the following. Use microblx as you wish in free and proprietary applications. You can distribute binary function blocks modules. Only if you make changes to the core files (mostly the files in libubx/) library), and distribute these based on these, then you are required to release these under the conditions of the MPL-2.0.


Microblx is considerably inspired by the OROCOS Real-Time Toolkit. Other influences are the IEC standards covering function block IEC-61131 and IEC-61499.

This work was supported by the European FP7 projects RoboHow (FP7-ICT-288533), BRICS (FP7- ICT-231940), Rosetta (FP7-ICT-230902), Pick-n-Pack (FP7-NMP-311987) and euRobotics (FP7-ICT-248552).

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