Embedded Linux News Briefs

by Rick Lehrbaum

3iLinux introduced a low-cost, compact and configurable Linux system that lets OEMs rapidly create Internet devices simply by adding their unique application software. The ready-to-run box includes a 386 CPU, 2x16 LCD, one or two modems, Ethernet, pushbuttons, power supply and boots from DiskOnChip. (http://www.3ilinux.com/)

The latest version of muLinux (V7r6) is now available. It's described as a minimalistic—but mostly complete—application-oriented Linux distribution that fits on a single floppy diskette. Minimum system requirements are a 386 PC with 8MB DRAM. Download muLinux from http://sunsite.auc.dk/mulinux/.

TINY Linux (v0.1) has arrived. It's a PC Linux requiring minimal system resources that can be installed easily by Linux beginners. TINY doesn't need a CD for installation, even on stand-alone machines. (http://tiny.seul.org/)

Motorola Computer Group has hired Linuxcare to provide Linux services and support for Motorola's customers. Linuxcare will also support Motorola's Linux-related engineering programs, product customization and application development. (www.mcg.mot.com/, www.linuxcare.com)

Moreton Bay announced “the world's tiniest Linux DHCP server”, targeted to embedded environments. The miniscule open-source DHCP server fits in 22KB, vs. 400KB+ for typical DHCP servers. (http://www.moretonbay.com/dhcpd/)

The world's leading developers of real-time and embedded Linux convened in Vienna, Austria for the first annual Real Time Linux Workshop. The group reached consensus to develop a standardized real-time Linux Application Programming Interface. (http://www.realtimelinux.org/)

There's a new mailing list devoted to Linux i386 assembly language programming. The list address is linux-assembly@egroups.com. To subscribe, send a blank message to linux-assembly-subscribe@egroups.com. List archives are at http://www.egroups.com/lists/linux-assembly/.

Lineo announced that Arriba!, Viosoft's Integrated Development Environment (IDE), will be bundled in Embedix, Lineo's embedded Linux SDK. (http://www.lineo.com/)

Four leading Linux distribution suppliers—Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and TurboLinux—jointly announced an alliance called the Trillian project, which will ensure Linux support of Intel's upcoming Itanium (IA-64) processors when they come to market in the second half of 2000.

WireSpeed Communications announced an Embedded Linux Service which will provide contract development services to companies wanting a rapid way to develop embedded systems based on Linux. (http://www.wirespeed.com/)

After receiving $32.5M in venture capital funding, Linuxcare acquired three Linux technology companies including Prosa, a well-known Italian consulting firm that specializes in porting Linux to embedded devices. (www.linuxcare.com/, www.prosa.it)

Zentropix began shipping RealTime Linux v2.2, a distribution derived from Red Hat 6.0 and Linux 2.2.10 combined with a choice of either RTAI version 0.7 or NMT RTLinux version 2.0 real-time functionality. The distribution features one-step installation of a full real-time Linux environment. Powerful Zentropix RealTime Linux debuggers are also included. (http://www.zentropix.com/)

LinuxDevices.com launched an on-line automated Embedded Linux Polls center. The polls will monitor trends in the hot emerging market for embedded and real-time Linux. (http://www.linuxdevices.com/polls/)

Unique Broadband Systems unveiled RealLinux, a new real-time Linux distribution that will support non-“x86” processors including PowerPC, 68030, i960 and DSPs. RealLinux will provide real-time extensions along with reduced footprint, allowing execution from ROM or Flash. (http://www.uniquesys.com/)

Amino Communications announced “the World's Smallest Linux System”. The system is implemented on a tiny PC board (2.0 x 4.0 inches) and is optimized for Internet-enabled set-top boxes, web phones and embedded devices. According to Amino, the board costs less than $100 to manufacture. (http://www.aminocom.com/)

Coollogic acquired ON Channel, a developer of embedded Linux applications. ON Channel simultaneously announced availability of the E-Pilot, a network appliance it calls “one of the first real-world embedded Linux applications”. The 180MHz MediaGX-based device is compact (11 x 9 x 2 in.) and supports a broad spectrum of communications interface options. (www.coollogic.com, onchannel.com)

An Embedded Linux Consortium is being formed. The non-profit multi-vendor association will foster the rapid proliferation of Linux in embedded applications. An organizational meeting is planned for ESC Chicago (Feb. 28 - Mar. 2). Preliminary plans and discussion can be found at http://www.linuxdevices.com/forum/.

Bristol Technology introduced Wind/U for Linux, a set of cross-platform development tools which simplify the process of converting Windows applications into Linux applications. (http://www.bristol.com/)

KYZO released the commercial version of its PizzaBox Linux distribution. It supports Linux file, print and CD thin server functions and boots from an M-Systems DiskOnChip. NASA has used KYZO's open source PizzaBox distribution in two applications: at Goddard Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. (http://www.kyzo.com/)

Belgium-based Lernout & Hauspie announced Linux SDKs that enable developers to incorporate speech and language offerings in Linux-based applications for hand-held and embedded devices. (http://www.lhsl.com/voicexpress/)

FSMLabs released v2.0 of RTLinux, a popular Linux distribution with the “hard real time” functionality needed for machine control and mission-critical applications. The new version supports POSIX API and device drivers, symmetric multi-processing, and has highly optimized timings. (http://www.fsmlabs.com/)

Lynx Real-Time Systems, renowned for their proprietary UNIX-like LynxOS “hard real-time” OS, unveiled BlueCat Linux, a derivative of Red Hat Linux for embedded applications. Additionally, Lynx said they will offer a future version of LynxOS that will run Linux applications (unmodified). (http://www.lynx.com/)

Rick Lehrbaum (rick@linuxdevices.com) co-founded Ampro Computers, Inc. in 1983, where he served for 16 years in the roles of VP of Engineering, President and Executive VP of Strategic Development. In 1992, Rick formed the PC/104 Consortium and then served as its chairman through January 2000. In October, 1999, Rick turned his attention to embedded software, founding his second startup: LinuxDevices.com—“the Embedded Linux Portal”. Rick received his BS and MS degrees in Physics from NYU and Northeast Louisiana University, respectively.

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