Saturday, April 10, 2010

Open Source Embedded Distributions - LTIB (

The Linux Target Image Builder (LTIB) user interface is much like the kernel configuration tool, which, although familiar to systems-level engineers, can be confusing if you’re new to Linux. LTIB is accommodating in that it does its best to verify the environment before starting a build and lets you know about corrective actions before starting a 3-hour build process.

One of the complaints about LTIB is that the first time it runs, it downloads the entire set of packages that it could use in a distribution. This is a mixed blessing in that after the packages are on the system, the host doesn’t need to be attached to the network in order to get a build running. Another advantage of the big download is that you can put the entire directory into a code librarian and check it out on a build machine for easy platform scripting.

The second complaint is that the software doesn’t build toolchains but downloads the binaries and installs them on the system. This is also somewhat advantageous in that building a toolchain requires at least an hour on a very fast computer and, due to the patches and configuration dependencies, is an operation that frequently fails. LTIB provides the sources for the toolchain it downloads; it just doesn’t build the toolchain during the build process running on the host machine.

One great advantage of LTIB is that it builds a JFFS2 image containing the root file system, ready to be burned on to a flash partition, as part of the build. Along with the self-contained nature of the project, LTIB is a great tool if you want or need to automate your platform build.

LTIB is an RPM-based system. This means it uses source RPM files to do the build, and integrating a package into LTIB means learning how to create RPM packages. Creating a source RPM build for an application isn’t difficult; but for some reason, it scares some users away from fully taking advantage of LTIB. Instead of having the software build your application from an RPM as part of the LTIB build, you can post-process the file system, adding the application and making any final changes.

Source of Information : Pro Linux Embedded Systems

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