Sunday, April 11, 2010

Open Source Embedded Distributions - Buildroot (

Buildroot is a project that helps you create root file systems and toolchains that use uClibc and BusyBox, a small C Library, and basic set of root file system tools. Buildroot grew out of the BusyBox and uClibc projects, two of the most commonly used pieces of software for embedded projects. Because this tool integrated both of these projects, it serves as a great starting point for creating a Linux distribution for a project.

Like LTIB, Buildroot uses an interface that’s similar the tool used to configure the kernel. Although this is comforting for a system-level engineer, the tool can be confusing if you’re a new engineer. The primary problem with this tool is that you have to keep track of where you are; after you use the software for a few minutes, nearly every page looks the same, and picking the correct options becomes tedious. Buildroot configures an entire development environment—kernel, root file system, and toolchain— which means you need to configure the options for these complex projects before starting a build. There are literally hundreds of options to configure, and the sheer number of items makes the process mildly tedious. For some boards, default configuration files configure the build with the right settings. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of these default configuration files, so the chances of one matching the board you’re using are fairly low.

Buildroot uses tar files as its package system and uses a collection of make files to configure the software before building. This implementation is easy to understand if you’ve used make in the past for moderately complex projects. Each package has a .mk file containing the make rules necessary to download, configure, build, and clean the package and a that is used by the configuration tool.

Source of Information : Pro Linux Embedded Systems

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