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Old 09-28-2005, 02:30 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Plymouth England
Distribution: slackware/knoppix. In transistion
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Unhappy which linux distribution for embedded project

Hi everyone, this is my first time in and i need a little advice on a suitable linux distribution for an embedded system.
This is for my final year project at university and i basically need to get a standard version of linux, trim it down and emulate it on a normal pc before i choose a suitable single board computer to run it on. My supervisor at uni suggested that i don't get a ready made small linux or real time type because that would be against the point ,he also mentioned slackware also most books take this approach so im stuck. Basically i need a basic enough (non special) distribution that i can modify on my pc first.
ps/ im totally new to linux but have good knowledge of pc architecture and operating systems/electronics. any advice will be greatly appreciated
Old 09-28-2005, 02:55 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: San Francisco
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu, RHEL, OS X
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Slackware is a good choice because you can install just a bare minimum system right from the start check here . You should really, I think, be looking at Linux From Scratch. Which you can easily google.
Old 09-28-2005, 10:19 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Distribution: Slackware
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Granted, I am still a newbie to linux, but I think the only thing you need for any real "bare bones" linux project (embedded, custom, etc) is a kernel, gcc and kernel headers. That way you can create your very own linux distro/embedded project from scratch. I'm not exactly sure if there's something else you need, but you can always start very basic and build from that.
Old 09-28-2005, 10:25 PM   #4
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
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I would go with Slackware probably, or maybe build the whole thing from source yourself.

I did some embedded devices with Slackware, worked out very well.
Old 09-29-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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Honestly, I would not use a mainstream distribution for an embedded system. You want to compile the kernel with the realtime scheduler option enabled, compile all the drivers (modules) you need directly into the kernel (You will end up with a monolithic kernel with all compiled modules loading at boot time), and place only what you need under /usr, /etc, /bin, and so forth.

Starting out with a normal distribution and trimming back really will be a lot more work. If you just want to get a base filesystem in place you could start with damn small linux or an absolute minimal Slackware installation, but if you go that route be sure to cut out all the fat before the package installation process even begins.


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