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Root File System For Embedded Linux

August 22, 2013

Along my embedded Linux development, I have come across a number of file system, either due to work requirement, or just for the sake of fun. So far I have tried these file system on ARM11, CortexA8, A9, A9-QuadCore. I have make a summary of it here.

To tidy up stuff, I tried to categorize them as the following:

Pre-Build Root File System

These type of file system is ready make by somebody and I just download it, perform some configuration to enable a proper boot up. Usually it comes with minimal package. Any extra package can be further install using package manager (such as apt-get/dpkg) that comes with it

  • Ubuntu-core
    • Previously I have tried with ubuntu11.10 download from this link., but the file has been removed. I did a search and found similar file name here. I have not tried it, nevertheless, it should work.
    • A guide on using Ubuntu-core on Pandaboard is here. Using Ubuntu-core into other hardware will be similar.
  • Linaro
    • Ubuntu based distribution specifically build for ARM architecture, more information on their website.

Online File System Builder

Online file system builder will enable me to select what package to include into the file system. Once selected, just click on build and the file system will be built on server, which can be downloaded once the image is ready.

Build From Scratch

  • Debootstrap – Debian
    • Debootstrap will build an minimal file system. It require a 2 stage building, first stage is build on laptop while 2nd stage has to run on target board (or using chroot on laptop). After complete 2nd stage build, subsequent package can be install using package manager : apt-get
    • I do not know if this is still actively maintain, as I use this some time ago.
  • Openembedded
    • This is a real build system that pulls in all package source code, cross compile and create the final target system. Thus, a good network speed is require as well as a lot of empty spaces in HDD.
    • I have build a minimum file system that runovernight due to slow network connectivity, and the HDD usage had goes up to around 20GB. Imagine if I am building a full distribution, it could easily run out my hard disk space.
    • The advantage of this is I can define what is include into the file system and only that. So I can get a real compact file system with things I need, nothing more.
  • Yocto
    • Similar build system as openembedded. In fact, both are using the same underlying architecture.
    • Similar to openembedded, good network connectivity and HDD spaces is require for this.
    • Building i.mx6 take many hours as well as large storage space. (35GB or more)
  • Rootstock-Ubuntu
    • Ubuntu based build system which has been deprecated.
  • Buildroot

Other Options…

These are other options that I am aware of but have not try out.

  • LTIB (Linux Target Image Builder)
    • This is use by Freescale i.MX6. But I use Yocto for file system building on i.MX6 instead. I shall give the build process description in other article.

I believe there are a lot more file system to be use in embedded Linux. I would be glad to know if there is any good file system I can try.

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From → Embedded Linux

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