How to use the Yocto Project to develop Embedded Linux

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What is Yocto Project

The Yocto Project™ is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. Taken directly from the Yocto Project website:

Yocto Project™ it's not an embedded Linux distribution – it creates a custom one for you

The Yocto Project™ is an umbrella project covering a fairly wide swath of embedded Linux technologies an distributions. For example, the Angstrom Distribution is declared as a Yocto Project Participant

Much of this How-To is extracted from different sources. If you would like to read some of the original articles or resources, please visit them and thank the authors:

Why use the Yocto Project™

Because it's a complete embedded Linux development environment with tools, metadata, and documentation - everything you need. The free tools are easy to get started with, powerful to work with (including emulation environments, debuggers, an Application Toolkit Generator, etc.) and they allow projects to be carried forward over time without causing you to lose optimizations and investments made during the project’s prototype phase. The Yocto Project fosters community adoption of this open source technology allowing its users to focus on their specific product features and development

How to build Poky custom Linux distribution

Yocto will be built on a host machine targeting and igep board. It will use Poky software to generate the custom linux distribuion Linux distribution. Before starting with yocto, you need to set up the host machine.

Host Setup

Yocto is expecting the host system to have preinstalled packages. Depending on the type of development, the host system will need more or less packages. On Ubuntu / Debian here is a table depending on the type of development.

Type of Development Description Package List
Essential For building images on a headless system gawk wget git-core diffstat unzip texinfo gcc-multilib \
build-essential chrpath socat cpio python python3 python3-pip python3-pexpect \
xz-utils debianutils iputils-ping
Graphical + Eclipse Plugins For building images on a graphical host and if using Eclipse IDE libsdl1.2-dev xterm
Documentation For building the Yocto Project documentation manuals make xsltproc docbook-utils fop dblatex xmlto
OpenEmbedded Self Test Packages needed if you are going to run oe-selftest python-git

Yocto Project Set up


Build Platform Setup Environment