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Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project
Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project

Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project: Develop fascinating Linux-based projects using the groundbreaking Yocto Project tools

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Book Jul 2014 142 pages 1st Edition
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Publication date : Jul 9, 2014
Length 142 pages
Edition : 1st Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781783282333
Category :
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Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project

Chapter 1. Meeting the Yocto Project

In this chapter, we will be introduced to the Yocto Project. The main concepts of the project, which are constantly used throughout the book, are discussed here. We will discuss the Yocto Project history, OpenEmbedded, Poky, BitBake, and Metadata in brief, so fasten your seat belt and welcome aboard!

What is the Yocto Project?


The Yocto Project is a Linux Foundation workgroup defined as:

"The Yocto Project provides open source, high-quality infrastructure and tools to help developers create their own custom Linux distributions for any hardware architecture, across multiple market segments. The Yocto Project is intended to provide a helpful starting point for developers."

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools, and methods to help us create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. Being managed by a Linux Foundation fellow, the project remains independent of its member organizations that participate in various ways and provide resources to the project.

It was founded in 2010 as a collaboration of many hardware manufacturers, open source operating systems, vendors, and electronics companies in an effort to reduce their work duplication, providing resources and information catering to both new and experienced users.

Among these resources is OpenEmbedded-Core, the core system component, provided by the OpenEmbedded project.

The Yocto Project is, therefore, a community open source project that aggregates several companies, communities, projects, and tools, gathering people with the same purpose to build a Linux-based embedded product; all these components are in the same boat, being driven by its community needs to work together.

Delineating the Yocto Project


To ease our understanding of the duties and outcomes provided by the Yocto Project, we can use the analogy of a computing machine. The input is a set of data that describes what we want, that is, our specification. As an output, we have the desired Linux-based embedded product.

If the output is a product running a Linux-based operating system, the result generated is the pieces that compose the operating system, such as the Linux kernel, bootloader, and the root filesystem (rootfs) bundle, which are properly organized.

To produce the resultant rootfs bundle and other deliverables, the Yocto Project's tools are present in all intermediary steps. The reuse of previously built utilities and other software components are maximized while building other applications, libraries, and any other software components in the right order and with the desired configuration, including the fetching of the required source code from their respective repositories such as The Linux Kernel Archives (www.kernel.org), GitHub, and www.SourceForge.net.

Preparing its own build environment, utilities, and toolchain, the amount of host software dependency is reduced, but a more important implication is that the determinism is considerably increased. The utilities, versions, and configuration options are the same, minimizing the number of host utilities to rely on.

We can list some projects, such as Poky, BitBake, and OpenEmbedded-Core, under the Yocto Project umbrella, all of them being complimentary and playing specific roles in the system. We will understand exactly how they work together in this chapter and throughout the book.

Understanding Poky


Poky is the Yocto Project reference system and is composed of a collection of tools and metadata. It is platform-independent and performs cross-compiling, using the BitBake tool, OpenEmbedded Core, and a default set of metadata, as shown in the following figure. It provides the mechanism to build and combine thousands of distributed open source projects to form a fully customizable, complete, and coherent Linux software stack.

Poky's main objective is to provide all the features an embedded developer needs.

Using BitBake

BitBake is a task scheduler that parses Python and Shell Script mixed code. The code parsed generates and runs tasks, which are basically a set of steps ordered according to the code's dependencies.

It evaluates all available configuration files and recipe data (known as metadata), managing dynamic variable expansion, dependencies, and code generation. It keeps track of all tasks being processed in order to ensure completion, maximizing the use of processing resources to reduce build time and being predictable. The development of BitBake is centralized in the mailing list, and its code can be found in the bitbake subdirectory of Poky.

OpenEmbedded-Core

The OpenEmbedded-Core metadata collection provides the engine of the Poky build tool. It is designed to provide the core features and needs to be as clean as possible. It provides support for five different processor architectures (ARM, x86, x86-64, PowerPC, MIPS and MIPS64), supporting only QEMU-emulated machines.

The development is centralized in the mailing list, and houses its metadata inside the meta subdirectory of Poky.

Metadata

The metadata, which is composed of a mix of Python and Shell Script text files, provides a tremendously flexible system. Poky uses this to extend OpenEmbedded-Core and includes two different layers, which are another metadata subset shown as follows:

  • meta-yocto: This layer provides the default and supported distributions, visual branding, and metadata tracking information (maintainers, upstream status, and so on)

  • meta-yocto-bsp: This layer, on top of it, provides the hardware reference boards support for use in Poky

Chapter 7, Diving into BitBake Metadata, explores the metadata in more detail and serves as a reference when we write our own recipes.

The alliance of OpenEmbedded Project and Yocto Project


The OpenEmbedded project was created around January 2003 when some core developers from the OpenZaurus project started to work with the new build system. The OpenEmbedded build system has been, since its beginning, a tasks scheduler inspired and based on the Gentoo Portage package system named BitBake. The project has grown its software collection, and a number of supported machines at a fast pace.

As consequence of uncoordinated development, it is difficult to use OpenEmbedded in products that demand a more stable and polished code base, which is why Poky was born. Poky started as a subset of OpenEmbedded and had a more polished and stable code base across a limited set of architectures. This reduced size allowed Poky to start to develop highlighting technologies, such as IDE plugins and QEMU integration, which are still being used today.

Around November 2010, the Yocto Project was announced by the Linux Foundation to continue this work under a Linux Foundation-sponsored project. The Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded Project consolidated their efforts on a core build system called OpenEmbedded-Core, using the best of both Poky and OpenEmbedded, emphasizing an increased use of additional components, metadata, and subsets.

Summary


This first chapter provided an overview on how the OpenEmbedded Project is related to the Yocto Project, the components which form Poky, and how it was created. In the next chapter, we will be introduced to the Poky workflow with steps to download, configure, and prepare the Poky build environment, and how to have the very first image built and running using QEMU.

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Product Details


Publication date : Jul 9, 2014
Length 142 pages
Edition : 1st Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781783282333
Category :

Table of Contents

22 Chapters
Embedded Linux Development with Yocto Project Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
Credits Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
About the Authors Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
About the Reviewers Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
www.PacktPub.com Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
Preface Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
1. Meeting the Yocto Project Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
2. Baking Our Poky-based System Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
3. Using Hob to Bake an Image Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
4. Grasping the BitBake Tool Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
5. Detailing the Temporary Build Directory Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
6. Assimilating Packaging Support Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
7. Diving into BitBake Metadata Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
8. Developing with the Yocto Project Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
9. Debugging with the Yocto Project Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
10. Exploring External Layers Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
11. Creating Custom Layers Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
12. Customizing Existing Recipes Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
13. Achieving GPL Compliance Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
14. Booting Our Custom Embedded Linux Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
References Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
Index Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

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