32BitsOnline: A Quick Look at Embedded Linux

You get in your car and the computer powers up as you start
your engine. The GPS system asks to map your destination, and the
MP3 radio begins to play one of your favorite songs. This isn’t
science fiction.
These devices are available now (although
they can be cumbersome to operate). Recently, Microsoft has been
touting Windows CE operating systems to control everything from
your car radio to your toaster. Even as Linux struggles to be easy
enough for the newbie to use on the desktop, embedded applications
using Linux are right around the corner.”

“The flexibility of Linux makes it ideally suited for embedded
applications. There are a number of projects designed to create an
embeddable kernel. As an offshoot of the Linux Router Project, and
the subsequent FirePlug Edge project, ThinLinux is a general
toolset that can be used to create packages that could control just
about anything with a Linux system. This toolset will allow a
developer to write software that can control X-10 devices, or a
camera server, for example. You can find the Thin Linux project at

“On the commercial side, Lineo has developed Embedix, an
embedded version of Caldera Systems OpenLinux. The Lineo
development tools, code named Hurricane, have the following key
features: multitasking, multithreading, a shared library, POSIX
compatibility, and TCP/IP networking. Lineo has originally touted
Embedix for embedded web browser applications, such as TV set-top
devices, hand held systems, point-of-sale terminals, and single
board computers. Lineo also claims to be targeting traditional
embedded markets such as printing, automotive industries, and
industrial automation. Motorola recently selected Embedix for their
PowerPC and other embedded devices.”

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