Linux is a powerful operating system that can be compiled for a number of platforms and architectures. One of the biggest draws is its ability to be customized for an application. Tools like Buildroot, OpenWRT, and Yocto Project help us create custom Linux distributions for embedded systems.
In this video series, we will explore Buildroot and the Yocto Project. We also demonstrate how you might develop applications for embedded Linux. We will not dive into the specifics of how each of these systems work but give you a good starting place so you can read or watch more advanced material about working with embedded Linux.
See this written tutorial if you would like to review the commands issued in this tutorial for Buildroot: https://www.digikey.com/en/maker/projects/intro-to-embedded-linux-part-1-buildroot/a73a56de62444610a2187cd9e681c3f2
To start, we provide some reasons and examples as to why you might want to use embedded Linux over other platforms, such as bare-metal programming on microcontrollers and an RTOS. Often, your application will dictate the use of one platform over another. Embedded Linux offers the ability to reuse high-level code written and tested by others that work across a variety of platforms. This can save you development time when you need things like networking, graphics, cryptography, audio, machine learning, etc.
We introduce Buildroot as one of the easiest tools to use for creating a custom Linux image. We demonstrate it by creating a Linux distribution for the STM32MP157D-DK1 single board computer. From there, we flash the distribution image onto an SD card and load Linux on the board, which allows us to log in with a serial terminal to do basic file manipulation and script writing.
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