CHAPTER 3Exploring Embedded Linux Systems

This chapter exposes you to the core concepts, commands, and tools required to effectively manage the Beagle-based embedded Linux system. The first part of the chapter is descriptive; it explains the basics of embedded Linux and the Linux boot process. After that, you learn step-by-step how to manage Linux systems. For this exercise, you are strongly encouraged to open a terminal connection to your board and follow along. Next, the chapter describes the Git source code management system. This topic is an important one because the source code examples in this book are distributed via GitHub. Desktop virtualization is also described; it is useful for cross-platform development in later chapters. The chapter finishes by describing how you can download the source code examples for this book.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS CHAPTER:

  • Any Beagle board with a terminal connection, preferably running Debian

Further details on this chapter are available at www.exploringbeaglebone.com/chapter3/.

Introducing Embedded Linux

First things first: even though the term embedded Linux is used in this chapter's title, there is no such thing as embedded Linux! There is no special version of the Linux kernel for embedded systems; it is just the mainline Linux kernel running on an embedded system. That said, the term embedded Linux has broad and common use; therefore, it is used here instead of “Linux on an embedded system,” which is the more accurate phrasing. ...

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