Yocto is Your Friend

November 14, 2019 Rich Nass

As an open source software (OSS) platform, Linux requires a bit of management on your part to use. First, there’s the operating system itself. As changes to Linux arise, you decide whether you want to keep abreast of them. There are also many sources available for optional extensions to Linux that you might want to use and therefore need to manage as well.

For your application, you’ll need an environment in which to create your code, bring in functionality through the appropriate libraries, compile your code with Linux as the target, and then download everything to your development board or prototype.

You’ve got a lot of choices of tools and environments to help you manage your code development process. Here at Gumstix, we like to use Yocto for Linux design and encourage our customers to do the same.

Yocto is an open source collaboration project. It provides a flexible set of tools that enables developers to create custom Linux-based systems independent of the hardware architecture. These tools include things you’d expect like a built-in text editor and lots of standard libraries for a wide range of functionality. In this way, Yocto gives you access to many capabilities on top of Linux that you might find useful, such as multimedia capabilities with features like file playback and lots of codecs to choose from. And with Smart Install, only the appropriates libraries are actually compiled into your code, saving you from having to manually manage this process yourself. You get all of the flexibility and control of working in Linux but with access to a great many capabilities that can help you take your application to the next level.

A key part of Yocto is its strong developer community and ecosystem. Yocto provides a place where embedded developers around the world can share with each other. In this space you’ll find software stacks, configurations, new technologies, and best practices to help you create tailored Linux images. There are tremendous resources available for any application where a customized Linux implemented is needed, especially for embedded and IoT systems.

One of the aspects of Yocto we like most is that it gives us a straightforward way to help you simplify and accelerate your development process. For example, when you design a custom board with Gumstix using Geppetto, all of the drivers and firmware you need for your system are easily configured through Yocto.

If you aren’t familiar with Yocto, we invite you to check out, Is Yocto For You? You just might find a whole new way to design with Linux.

Take a look at some Gumstix customer success stories or contact Gumstix today to learn more about our products, design tools, and services. Or try out Geppetto, their customized module design tool, for yourself.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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