uClinux for Linux Programmers

Adapt your software to run on processors without memory management—it's easier than you think.
Summary

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.

Figure 2. uClinux Running under Xcopilot (Palm Emulator)

Figure 3. uClinux Running on a Real Palm IIIx (with Microwindows)

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.

Resources for this article: /article/7546.

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.

______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

steps for os porting

harshal's picture

hi this is harshal
guys i want to port uclinux 2.6 on arm 7 core please give me step for that i m facing to much problem regarding this u can mail me also on harshalwanjari@yahoo.com
please

Fast boot and FTP

Larry Dickson's picture

Is there any way that uClinux can be used on an x86-based platform that needs to boot very fast and act as an FTP server? Several big disks with a file system will be present, and LVM capability would also be desirable, not absolutely necessary. I saw http mentioned on uClinux-dist but not ftp, and it was not clear how to get it running on an x86.

Excellent writting. Any update for the latest 2.6?

Jun Sun's picture

This is an excellent writting that clearly explains the difference and all the gotcha for uclinux. Thanks. I wonder if there is any update to reflect the current uclinux situation, especially in regard to the 2.6 port.

look book

loveapplication's picture

look book

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState