Book Image

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming

By : Chris Simmonds
Book Image

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming

By: Chris Simmonds

Overview of this book

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming takes you through the product cycle and gives you an in-depth description of the components and options that are available at each stage. You will begin by learning about toolchains, bootloaders, the Linux kernel, and how to configure a root filesystem to create a basic working device. You will then learn how to use the two most commonly used build systems, Buildroot and Yocto, to speed up and simplify the development process. Building on this solid base, the next section considers how to make best use of raw NAND/NOR flash memory and managed flash eMMC chips, including mechanisms for increasing the lifetime of the devices and to perform reliable in-field updates. Next, you need to consider what techniques are best suited to writing applications for your device. We will then see how functions are split between processes and the usage of POSIX threads, which have a big impact on the responsiveness and performance of the final device The closing sections look at the techniques available to developers for profiling and tracing applications and kernel code using perf and ftrace.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Mastering Embedded Linux Programming
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Selecting the right operating system

Is Linux suitable for your project? Linux works well where the problem being solved justifies the complexity. It is especially good where connectivity, robustness, and complex user interfaces are required. However it cannot solve every problem, so here are some things to consider before you jump in:

  • Is your hardware up to the job? Compared to a traditional RTOS (real-time operating system) such as VxWorks, Linux requires a lot more resources. It needs at least a 32-bit processor, and lots more memory. I will go into more detail in the section on typical hardware requirements.

  • Do you have the right skill set? The early parts of a project, board bring-up, require detailed knowledge of Linux and how it relates to your hardware. Likewise, when debugging and tuning your application, you will need to be able to interpret the results. If you don't have the skills in-house you may want to outsource some of the work. Of course, reading this book helps!

  • Is your system real-time? Linux can handle many real-time activities so long as you pay attention to certain details, which I will cover in detail in Chapter 14, Real-time Programming.

Consider these points carefully. Probably the best indicator of success is to look around for similar products that run Linux and see how they have done it; follow best practice.