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Get Your Embedded Linux On: Join Me at Yocto Project Developer Day

Building an embedded Linux distribution can be a daunting task. From the Board Support Package (BSP) to Kernel configuration, root file system setup and the selection many additional software package there are many choices to make and taking the wrong turn can easily lead to a dead end and many hours of wasted time.

The Yocto Project greatly simplifies this process with a set of proven tools and recipes allowing you to build you own custom Linux distribution tailored to your requirements.

During The Linux Foundation's Embedded Linux Conference at the Hotel Sofitel San Francisco Bay in Redwood Shores from February 15 through 17, you have the unique opportunity to build your competence in embedded Linux and the Yocto Project.

On the day before the conference, February 14, the first-ever Yocto Project Developer Day you will have the opportunity to meet the Yocto Project's supporting organizations and many experts who will be presenting sessions and labs.

Stay a little longer and right after the conference on Saturday/Sunday February 18/19, you can deepen your Yocto Project knowledge with a 2-day crash course offered by The Linux Foundation.

Join me for two days of hands-on learning fun, building Linux system images to boot in an emulator and on a Beagleboard. First you will get an introduction into the Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded and how they relate. Then we will dive into the Poky Build Process, the core of the Yocto Project, and the Bitbake build orchestrator. You will learn about metadata layers, recipes and classes and how to use them to customize your distribution built by the Yocto Project.

What will you need? You know your way around on a Linux system and are not afraid of a commnad shell. You can use any of the standard text editors such as vi or emacs. You understand the basics of compiling and linking programs and constructing Makefile.

What to bring? Tag along your laptop with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32-bit installed on it. Or alternatively, have VirtualBox 4.1.8 installed on your system. We can provide you with an appliance ready to be imported in VirtualBox.

I am looking forward to seeing you soon in Redwood Shores!

 

The Ever-Changing Linux Filesystems: Merging Directoris into /usr

If you don't like change, working in IT has to be a harrowing experience. That's particularly true in open source, where few stand on tradition and things move at breakneck pace. The latest change that has a few folks excited? Fedora's proposal to "move all to /usr." On the face, this might seem like a shocking departure from standards – but look a bit deeper and it seems to make sense.

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Free Embedded Linux Training at Yocto Developer Day on February 14th

Use of Linux in the mobile/embedded space is exploding, and we find many companies are adopting the open source Yocto project to build custom embedded Linux systems. The project is hosting a free day of training on Yocto on Feb 14th as part of the Embedded Linux Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn Yocto if you're a beginner or get more advanced if you are already familiar with the tool. Find out more about Yocto Developer Day. Yocto includes the BitBake build tool, a large set of customizable build metadata, the EGLIBC library, Eclipse-based graphical user interfaces for both the build system and an accompanying Application Development Toolkit that is automatically generated, and several other tools that bring some...

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A Very Short Rant About "Copyrighted" Code

This morning I was reading a site that regularly covers free and open source software. To protect the guilty party (because I suspect the error was one of rushed writing rather than ignorance), I'll leave out the publication and author. However, I do want to surface the error. The author wrote about making sure that "copyrighted code" doesn't get into the Linux kernel. What?

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HP Releases More Details on the Open Sourcing of webOS

This morning, HP gave further details of its contribution of the webOs platform to the open source community. I find these details and the timeline associated with the release to be positive developments, both for Linux and for the wider mobile markets.

The WebOS stack represents a rich set of components that combined together create a comprehensive platform for mobile devices. The highlight of today’s announcement has to be the open sourcing of Enyo, the application framework for webOS. This is a powerful framework that app developers can use to build applications that will work across different platforms including iOS, Android, webOS and so on.

Companies announce open sourcing products and projects all the time. There are several decisions HP executives made in this process that I think signal they are on the right track:

  • webOS is moving to the mainline Linux kernel. This saves any device maker service and support costs since it will eliminate much of the custom code those companies need to support. They have committed considerable resources to working with the upstream project, which will insure their Linux investment will last.
  • Open sourcing Enyo, instead of keeping some components closed source, will ensure that the complete stack is available with no lock-in by HP. While this enables competitors to literally take the R&D HP has invested in this product and use it to target other platforms, it also ensures that device manufacturers and app developers can make full use of the whole stack; thus increasing the changes that webOs may be adopted and used in products.
  • By using the Apache 2.0 license, HP has smartly decided to use a standard and well respected license, instead of something unique, niche or proprietary. Everyone understands the terms of the Apache license, thus cutting down on the requirements for education or promotion.
  • By using and contributing to core upstream Linux projects, HP is hedging its investment. Contributions of code that make Linux more power efficient will not only help them in mobile but also in the data center where power and cooling are central costs.

While there are clearly other open source solutions in the mobile space with Android and Tizen, choice is always good in technology. By using a mainline kernel, this announcement is also good for Linux, since any work HP and others contribute to webOS (think power management, device driver support, etc) can end up benefiting all Linux users. And by “all” I mean all, not just those using a phone running Android. Since server and desktop Linux users also use the mainline kernel all can benefit from this work.

Will webOS be successful? That of course remains to be seen. I will be watching, like everyone else, for announcements of device support. But by making smart early and crucial decisions like this, the project has a much better chance of succeeding.

 
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