Using Linux with Programmable Logic Controllers

After a short introduction to programmable logic controllers (PLCs), see how Linux and the Web can enhance monitoring and control of mechanical systems using test machines designed by the DuPont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team.
Acknowledgements and Notices

I would like to thank Pete Jemian of the UNI-CAT for collaborating on the prototype system and for the photo in Figure 2.

The DND-CAT Synchrotron Research Center is supported by the E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., The Dow Chemical Company, the State of Illinois through the Department of Commerce,and the Board of Higher Education Grant IBHE HECA NWU 96 and the National Science Foundation Grant DMR-9304725.

Reference to specific products does not constitute a commercial product endorsement.


Libes, Don. Exploring Expect, (0'Reilly & Associates, Inc.) 1995.

Morley, R.History of the PLC, R. Morley Inc. Milford NH.

Quintana, J.P.G., and Jemian, P. Design Criteria for Beamline Protection Systems at the Advanced Photon Source, Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Conference 1995 (in press).

John Quintana ( is an assistant research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University and is working at the DND-CAT facility at the Advanced Photon Source. In his little spare time, he enjoys aikido, kaledeioscopes, hiking with his wife and petting puppies at the animal shelter. If you have any questions or comments, he can be reached by email or by post at the DND-CAT, Building 432/A003, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, USA.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: Using Linux with Programmable Logic Controllers

Anonymous's picture

There is now a Linux based PLC from Sixnet. Use C++, Perl and etc. to write your control program with I/O Read/Write functions and then monitor system status with any browser. Check out

One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix