Recently I wrote on my blog here about how difficult it is to work with Embedded Linux. This was not intended to criticize Linux as an option for embedded. Rather, I wanted to create a discussion about the subject of build systems and why they are important for embedded projects.
Again, here is what I think people want:
- Pick the architecture you want to use, whether it's some flavor of ARM or x86 or some of the other ones popular in embedded.
- Dial in the basic capabilities of your system, like whether or not you have graphics or maybe a limited amount of memory or storage
- Easily trim or add packages to get exactly the functions you want and to fit your available storage
- Oh yeah, and reuse the packages and patches you applied in your last embedded project to get your application to work.
- Then you want to hit a button and compile a working OS and create a bootable image
I am extremely pleased that today at the Embedded Linux Conference - Europe, we announced the Yocto Project which we have been working on for some time to create exactly this kind of system. Even though the announcement went out at 1AM Pacific time this morning, there are already blog posts on the internet from Dirk Hohndel, the Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist at Intel and from Jim Zemlin the head of the Linux Foundation.
This has been an amazing journey for me to shepherd the project along and now bring it into the light of day. I hope it really provides a strong basis for people's embedded projects and impacts a lot of people's lives.