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Old 11-13-2008, 02:50 AM   #1
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What is the best way to build a system that is "almost" embedded?

Dear All,

I am looking for the best and simplest way to a build system that is like an embedded system on steroids.
All the distributions I have found that are targeted for embedded systems seems too small and tiny.
I want to build a x86-based system that is locked down and fast almost like an embedded device, but that can support things that normally applies to a desktop system (large screen, rich GUI, flexible printer support, large hard drive, full PostgreSQL or MySQL installation, java).
  • Are there any distributions out there that may be suitable for this?
  • Has anyone of you used bulidroot for building a system that is more capable than most embedded devices?
  • Would it be better to strip down a full Ubuntu desktop distro than to build up a Ubuntu server distro?
  • Would it be easier to tighten a Slackware distro than to tighten an Ubuntu distro? I am thinking especially about the kernel compiling step. I have noticed that the old fashioned way of compiling kernels is not recommended any longer for Ubuntu.

Old 11-13-2008, 02:58 AM   #2
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Any range of boards with AMD Geode chips or even the latest ARM/XScale chips should do. Beware: ARM does not have a FPU, so don't choose that CPU family if you're doing a lot of floating point calculations.

For ARM and Geode you have a choice between so many 'form factors' - PC104/PC104-Plus, EBX, EPIC ... If you're happy with EPIC or EBX you can even get fanless PentiumM class machines (or their AMD or VIA counterparts). NanoITX and MiniITX are other possibilities.

Anyway - *many* of those machines can be plugged into an HD if you wish; many are the equivalent of a top-of-line desktop from only 5 years ago. Running *any* distro of Linux is not an issue. Well, depending on what you want to do, you may find that you need to trim a few things - like dump KDE and Gnome and go for fluxbox - you'll never really know until you try.
Old 11-13-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
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Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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If you're after lean, mean and secure I'd definitely prefer
Slack if I were you. Just my 2 cents.


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