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

What is a toolchain?

A toolchain is the set of tools that compiles source code into executables that can run on your target device, and includes a compiler, a linker, and run-time libraries. Initially, you need one to build the other three elements of an embedded Linux system: the bootloader, the kernel, and the root filesystem. It has to be able to compile code written in assembly, C, and C++ since these are the languages used in the base open source packages.

Usually, toolchains for Linux are based on components from the GNU project ( and that is still true in the majority of cases at the time of writing. However, over the past few years, the Clang compiler and the associated LLVM project ( have progressed to the point that it is now a viable alternative to a GNU toolchain. One major distinction between LLVM and GNU-based toolchains is in the licensing; LLVM has a BSD license, while GNU has the GPL. There are some technical advantages to Clang as well...