uClinux for Linux Programmers
The step into uClinux from Linux often is more than the differences between uClinux and Linux. uClinux systems tend to be more deeply embedded systems, with smaller memories and ROM footprints and an unusual array of devices. The loss of a hard drive and the tight resource limits, coupled with no memory protection and a number of other subtle differences can make a developer's first adventure into uClinux more difficult than imagined. The best way to get started is to look at the uClinux Emulators (Figure 2) and cheap hardware (Figure 3) options available.
Hopefully, highlighting these issues will help the wary developer be prepared beforehand and avoid some of the common pitfalls and misconceptions of working with uClinux.
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David McCullough is a senior software engineer and a veteran embedded software developer. Prior to working at SnapGear and Lineo, he held software development and engineering management positions at Stallion Technologies and was involved in the development of products based on SCO and BSD UNIX. David ported and maintained XFree86 on SCO UNIX for several years and recently was instrumental in the development of the uClinux port of Linux 2.6.
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