Embedded Linux gets a boost in newly unified project

Dell, LSI, Intel and Texas Instruments are among the companies now pledging support.

Whatever your opinion of Linux's desktop potential, few would dispute the value of the open source operating system in embedded devices such as mobile phones and personal media players. After all, it's fast, it's free, it's open source, it's customizable and it's extremely stable, among many other advantages.

Whereas building custom designs with embedded Linux has typically required significant development work, however, a new initiative promises to make it much easier. Specifically, the Linux Foundation's Yocto Project has teamed up with the like-minded OpenEmbedded community on a unified effort to advance embedded Linux across a variety of chip architectures, the foundation announced on Wednesday.

Shared governance will be one result, as will a shared OpenEmbedded Core consisting of software build recipes and core Linux components. The project aims to prevent fragmentation and reinforce the OpenEmbedded methodology as an open standard for embedded Linux build systems.

"Linux is huge in the embedded market because it can be adapted for any application, but it isn't always easy to get started with a custom design," says Grant Likely, Linux kernel developer, Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board member and president of Secret Lab Technologies. "I'm thrilled that OpenEmbedded and the Yocto members are working together to make building custom Linux systems simple and reliable."

'Massive Collaboration'

Along with the new union, the Linux Foundation also announced on Wednesday a newly expanded roster of companies supporting the project. Included among those contributing to it today are Cavium Networks, Dell, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel, LSI, Mentor Graphics, Mindspeed, MontaVista Software, NetLogic Microsystems, RidgeRun, Texas Instruments, Tilera, Timesys and Wind River.

"The Yocto Project and the OpenEmbedded community bring together the industry's key stakeholders from the embedded Linux community to build a core set of technologies to advance Linux for the burgeoning systems and devices market," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, which also offers a series of training courses in embedded Linux development. "This kind of massive collaboration is exactly what makes Linux the driving force behind today's new technology innovations."

Indeed, a raft of new embedded Linux devices will likely result from the new project, as many of the companies involved were quick to point out.

Reducing Time to Market

"The collaboration between Yocto and OpenEmbedded promises to deliver a flexible, standardized infrastructure and enable Dell to deliver innovative customer solutions more quickly," said Mark Cathcart, senior distinguished engineer and director of software engineering in the Dell Enterprise Products Group, for example.

Bottom line? Expect to see Linux appearing ever more frequently in an exciting and growing array of embedded devices.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk .

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags unixopen sourceLinuxlinux foundationsoftwarenon-Windowsoperating systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?