LonWorks for MAT/LinuxPLC?


Thread Starter

Curt Wuollet


My name is Curt Wuollet, I am a member of an OSS (Open Source Software) project to produce Open and publicly owned tools for automation. We are interested in supporting as many protocols as possible to allow users of the LinuxPLC and other projects to communicate freely with other automation equipment and systems. All our efforts are released under the GPL (Gnu Public License) http://www.gnu.org. We would like to add LonWorks to our list of supported protocols. Is this possible, either through a modified license or explicit permission? Needed would be information to write drivers and firmware loaders for cards operating on X86 platforms running the GNU/Linux operating system.


Curt Wuollet, Founder, Machine Automation Tools/LinuxPLC project.

Free Tools!
Machine Automation Tools (LinuxPLC) Free, Truly Open & Publicly Owned Industrial Automation Software For Linux. mat.sourceforge.net.
Day Job: Heartland Engineering, Automation & ATE for Automotive Rebuilders.
Consultancy: Wide Open Technologies: Moving Business & Automation to Linux.
I don't know if this is useful information or not, but I know there is a company in Edmonton, ALberta which manufactures an intercom/IO system based on Lonworks technology. Their standard system is based on the QNX operating system. You will know better than I if there is some compatibility between QNX and Linux.


Don Zunti
Delco Automation Canada

Curt Wuollet

Hi Don

It is useful to know, Thanks. However, the problems with most protocols aren't technical, the code can be written. It's the legal problems that are preventing wider use. And that is by design. People say use this or use that, it's really great! But there is no way for a public project to do so. Even if some benefactor were to pay off the consortium or other owner, the licensing simply doesn't accomodate public usage. It's set up for one license, one user, at XXXXX dollars a head. Even when it's set up for free individual use, public use is specifically prohibited. And it is especially frowned on in some cases, to use it with equipment not purchased from the owner or from the club, in the case of consortia. It'll take a different revenue model to change that, one that reasons that having a truly popular protocol should result in more indirect dollars than the direct dollars having absolute control. I think that the time is right for that to be true. Obviously the control is more important to the owners right now.