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Free software tool automates embedded Linux implementations

Jun 25, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views has published an article introducing “umibuilder,” an interesting free software tool that “allows rapid creation of [shrink] wrapped GNU/Linux solutions which can then be distributed on flash memory or on live CD.” The tool is perhaps most useful for automating security updates of embedded systems incorporating Mandrake Linux.

Umibuilder favors Mandrake Linux because it uses urpmi and other Mandrake tools, according to the article. However, users of other distros can set up a chroot environment in which to experiment with Umibuilder.

Umibuilder is configured by creating simple text files that specify the RPM packages which the target embedded system should contain, and the unneeded files from those RPMs that should be deleted.

Another text file, called an “Umigumi,” describes the hardware target in terms of what modules should be loaded at boot time, and other considerations. Umibuilder users share Umigumis for a range of hardware devices, including the OpenBrick and the Sumicom barebones machines.

Once the needed text files have been set up, Umibuilder automates the process of downloading all the required RPMs, stripping away unneeded files, and creating a CompactFlash or live CD image that will boot on the target hardware.

Because it downloads the latest versions of RPMs from the Internet, Umibuilder could also be used to automate security updates of embedded Mandrake systems, according to the article.

For more details, read the full article at

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