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LinuxDevices.com: A developer's perspective on Transmeta's Midori Linux

Mar 17, 2001, 20:10 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jerry Epplin)

"Perhaps Midori's greatest potential is as the basis for an open Embedded Linux distribution standard. Most of what is necessary for such a distribution standard is present in Midori. The MLZ package system allows for applying patches appropriate for embedded systems to desktop-oriented packages. And the packages included in the current Midori distribution form a useful basis for a wide variety of embedded systems."

"Midori is (sensibly, I think) not targeted toward the lowest end of the embedded system market. It uses mostly standard Linux packages, not going to extremes to minimize space requirements. Thus it uses lightly patched versions of the kernel, glibc, and XFree86. The most notable exception is the use of busybox, a package started by Bruce Perens (and currently supported by Lineo) which saves space by combining many standard Linux utilities (ls, cat, etc.) into a single executable and eliminating their more obscure options; this simple expediency saves substantial overhead -- busybox is itself becoming a standard package for small-footprint Linux systems."

"Space savings are achieved by careful selection of only those packages that are appropriate for embedded systems, rather than by creating custom minimized versions of those packages. This a good policy for an Embedded Linux distribution, because it allows for updating the system with new versions of its component packages without having to maintain extensive nonstandard patches. "

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