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

Choosing a bootloader

Bootloaders come in all shapes and sizes. The kind of characteristics you want from a bootloader are that they be simple and customizable with lots of sample configurations for common development boards and devices. The following table shows a number of them that are in general use:



Das U-Boot

ARM, Blackfin, MIPS, PowerPC, SH


ARM, Blackfin, MIPS, PowerPC


X86, X86_64




Broadcom MIPS



We are going to focus on U-Boot because it supports a good number of processor architectures and a large number of individual boards and devices. It has been around for a long time and has a good community for support.

It may be that you received a bootloader along with your SoC or board. As always, take a good look at what you have and ask questions about where you can get the source code from, what the update policy is, how they will support you if you want to make changes, and so on. You may want...