p-net Profinet device stack

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Build Status


The rt-labs Profinet stack p-net is used for Profinet device implementations. It is easy to use and provides a small footprint. It is especially well suited for embedded systems where resources are limited and efficiency is crucial.

It is written in C and can be run on bare-metal hardware, an RTOS such as rt-kernel, or on Linux. The main requirement is that the platform can send and receive raw Ethernet Layer 2 frames. The p-net stack is supplied with full sources including a porting layer.

Also C++ (any version) is supported.

rt-labs p-net is developed according to specification 2.3:

  • Conformance Class A (Class B upon request)

  • Real Time Class 1


  • TCP/IP

  • RT (real-time)

  • Address resolution

  • Parameterization

  • Process IO data exchange

  • Alarm handling

  • Configurable number of modules and sub-modules

  • Bare-metal or OS

  • Porting layer provided

  • Supports I&M0 - I&M4

Limitations or not yet implemented:

  • IPv4 only

  • Only a single Ethernet interface (no media redundancy)

  • No startup mode legacy

  • No support for RT_CLASS_UDP

  • No support for DHCP

This software is dual-licensed, with GPL version 3 and a commercial license. See LICENSE.md for more details.


The platform must be able to send and receive raw Ethernet Layer 2 frames, and the Ethernet driver must be able to handle full size frames. It should also avoid copying data, for performance reasons.

  • cmake 3.13 or later

For Linux:

  • gcc 4.6 or later

  • See the “Real-time properties of Linux” page in the documentation on how to improve Linux timing

For rt-kernel:

  • Workbench 2017.1 or later

An example of microcontroller we have been using is the Infineon XMC4800, which has an ARM Cortex-M4 running at 144 MHz, with 2 MB Flash and 352 kB RAM. It runs rt-kernel, and we have tested it with 9 Profinet slots each having 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs (one bit each). The values are sent and received each millisecond (PLC watchdog setting 3 ms).


Contributions are welcome. If you want to contribute you will need to sign a Contributor License Agreement and send it to us either by e-mail or by physical mail. More information is available on https://rt-labs.com/contribution.