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Italian industrial distro goes OE

Feb 25, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Italy-based Koan Software has revised its Linux distribution for embedded and industrial applications, and has joined the OpenEmbedded (OE) community. Version 4.0 of KaeilOS has adopted the OpenEmbedded (OE) build system, and for the first time the distro is offered as a free download.

(Click for larger view of Tux and KaeilOS CD )

Previously based on the PTXdist tools, KaeilOS (Koan Advanced Industrial Embedded Linux Operating System) was formerly called Klinux (and also K-Linux). Based on RTAI (real-time application interface), the mature Italian distribution is used in industrial automation, vision systems, automotive engine diagnosis systems, and remote connectivity, both on traditional PCs and embedded systems with reduced footprint requirements, says Koan. The last major rev came in 2006 with version 3.0, which added Eclipse 3.2-based development and debugging tools.

The distro was previously available for 300 Euros, but is now offered for free, licensed under GPL. The shift to OE appears to be the only major change in version 4.0. KaeilOS previously offered the KTXdist toolkit, derived from PTXdist. It has now moved to the OE build system, and “comes standard within OpenEmbedded sources tree,” wrote Koan founder Marco Cavallini in an email.

Cavallini added, “KOAN will cooperate with the OpenEmbedded community, and will work to progressively reduce OE footprint and boot time with the KaeilOS distribution.”

The OE build uses a Linux 2.6 kernel and supports many recent x86 and ARM processors, including the Texas Instruments ARM Cortex-A8 OMAP platform, says Koan. OpenEmbedded [PDF download] is an automated build environment aimed at providing a repository of everything needed to cross-compile embedded filesystem images from scratch — toolchains, sourcecode, XML-based “recipe” files, and automated “bitbake” make scripts. OE is especially useful for helping open source developers share configuration information when compiling software to run on specific hardware.

OE evolved from tools created by developers targeting the Sharp Zaurus, a Linux PDA, and today is used by several high-profile Linux development projects, including the Poky Linux mobile distribution and the OpenMoko project.

Koan now offers support and customization services for KaeilOS and for OE in general, says the company. Koan is also said to provide KaeilOS porting services to a variety of architectures, and offers hard real-time solutions based on RTAI and Xenomai.


More information and download links may be found at the Italian-language KaeilOS site, here. The distro is also said to be available for download from the OpenEmbedded git repository.

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