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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags unixopen sourceLinuxlinux foundationsoftwarenon-Windowsoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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 News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?