News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Denx rev’s free embedded Linux distro

Jan 29, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 16 views

Denx Software Engineering has updated its free embedded Linux distribution and development tool suite. “Embedded Linux Development Kit” (ELDK) Release 4.1 is based on a Linux kernel and Denx's freely licensed U-Boot 1.2 bootloader, and features support for the Xenomai 2.3 real-time extensions.

Additional new features in ELDK Release 4.1 are said to include:

  • Support for uClibc for ARM and PowerPC
  • Support for recent Linux distributions like Fedora Core 6, Ubuntu 6.10, or Gentoo 2006.1
  • Support for all AMCC eval boards, including “Sequoia” board (PPC440EPx)

Additionally, installing and using ELDK does not require root access, according to the company. The self-contained environment installs in a single directory, and multiple installations can co-exist on a single development host, Denx says.


Denx's free Embedded Linux Development Kit comprises:

  • Cross development tools (compiler, assembler, linker etc.)
  • Native tools (shell, commands, and libraries) that will run on the target system
  • Portable firmware
  • Linux kernel, including device drivers, board-support functions, etc.
  • Xenomai — RTOS (real-time OS) emulation framework for Linux
  • SELF (Simple Embedded Linux Framework) tools demonstrate how to set up a development system with the root filesystem mounted over NFS, and an embedded target configuration running from a ramdisk image based on busybox

According to Denx, ELDK supports PowerPC, ARM, and MIPS, and is distributed with all source code entirely under open source licenses, such as the GPL. The free distribution serves to attract customers to the company's embedded consulting and development services, Denx founder and CEO Wolfgang Denk told in an exclusive 2004 interview.

ELDK may be used by about 3 percent of embedded developers, making it one of the most popular European distributions, according to's annual reader survey. The previous ELDK 4.0 release happened in October of 2005, bringing a 2.6 kernel to the distribution.

Xenomai is a real-time development framework that aims to provide “pervasive, interface-agnostic, hard real-time support to user-space applications,” according to its project homepage. Denx hosts a git repository for Xenomai, and appears to be closely involved in the effort.

Denx also hosts git repositories for the mini-fan out filesystem, the ethcamd Ethernet camera server (a daemon for an IFM Electronic Ethernet camera), and of course for its popular, open source U-boot bootloader.


ELDK is available now from Denx's FTP server, and various mirrors. The distribution can also be purchased on CD-ROM for 100 Euros.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.