Embedded Linux Quick Start / Tutorial Videos

Free Electrons recorded some videos from the Embedded Linux Conference Europe, in Cambrigde, United Kingdom on October 2010 by Chris Simmonds, the founder of 2net Limited, a UK company providing training, consultancy and custom software for Linux and other embedded platforms. The videos can either be downloaded in webm HD format at http://free-electrons.com/blog/elce-2010-tutorial-videos/ or you can watch them in HD format below. The PDF slides for the three parts and the lab notes are available at http://elinux.org/images/c/cc/Linux-quick-start.tar.gz The first video (53 minutes) deals with the following key points: Genesis of a Linux project The four elements: Tool chain; boot loader; kernel; user space Element 1: Tool chain Element 2: Boot loader The second video (1h19m) focuses on: Third element: Kernel Fourth element: User space The last video (1h07m) is more practical as it shows how to use embedded Linux on an NXP LPC3250 Stick (ARM9): Description of the hardware Installing the tool chain Compiling the kernel Configuring the U-Boot environment …

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D-link Boxee Box available for pre-order

D-link Boxee set-top-box is available for  pre-order on amazon for 199 USD. It can only be pre-ordered to addresses in the US for now and shipments should start in November. D-Link disclosed that its device is based on an Intel Atom processor CE4100 (Sodaville), not an ARM or MIPS processor as many other STBs do. It is running on embedded Linux. Key features listed by D-Link for the device (beside its weird shape) are basically those of the Boxee media-streaming software on which it’s based: Enjoy thousands of shows available for free from your favorite networks, ready to watch at any time Check-out free movies from the web & watch new releases in stunning HD from premium movie services Play videos, songs, or pictures from your computer or home network Plays any non-DRM video, music, and photos and media from anywhere on the Internet The device features the following input/output and power connections: HDMI port Optical digital audio (S/PDIF) out Stereo …

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Embedded Software Books

I’m often asked what useful books software engineers should read when they start to work on embedded systems. So here’s a list of books I would recommend as starters. First, nowadays many embedded systems are written in C (although lower end systems using 8-bit MCU are still likely to be written in Assembler), so software engineers had better make themselves very familiar with C/C++ and GNU tools (gcc, libtool. automake…) with a focus on embedded systems (e.g. interrupts handling, real-time capabilities, volatile variables, processes and threads’ stack handling, , cross compilers…).  Programming Embedded Systems: With C and GNU Development Tools, 2nd Edition is just the right book for that purpose. It deals with embedded Linux and eCos and provides useful examples. You may also read part of it online Once you start developing embedded systems you are likely to write device drivers at some points. Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition is a must have and is up-date for Linux 2.6. …

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Enabling swap in embedded systems

If your embedded system running Linux does not have enough memory, you can enable swap to get more memory. However if your platform does not have MMU (Memory Management Unit) as is the case for Sigma Designs EM8620 series, it won’t support swap, so forget it. If your platform does have MMU, as is the case for many newer platforms such as Sigma Designs SMP8630, SMP8640 and SMP8650 series, you can enable swap support. First you’ll have to make sure swap support is enabled in your kernel: and swapon/swapoff is enabled in busybox. So for example if you have an IDE harddisk with the second partition configured as swap. (Use fdisk to create a partition and mkswap /dev/hda2 to initialize the partition), you can enable the swap as follows: If you get out-of-memory killer kernel error, you can change the “swapiness” to avoid oom-killer to kick in. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before …

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