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

Yocto 1.1 embedded Linux stack adds GUI builder

Oct 26, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

The Linux Foundation announced Yocto Project Release 1.1, adding that it will host the Embedded GNU C Library (EGLIBC) and integrate it with Yocto. Based on Linux 3.0, Yocto 1.1 adds a GUI-based, customized image builder called “Hob,” plus layer tooling features, 3G cellular support, and small footprint, fast-boot layers.

The Linux Foundation (LF) is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Yocto Project, an open source build system and tools collection designed to help companies develop custom, embedded Linux systems on all major architectures. At this week's LinuxCon Europe in Prague — where a new Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) project backed by the consumer electronics industry was also announced — the foundation unveiled Yocto 1.1 ("Edison").

Yocto 1.0 was released in April, featuring a version of OpenEmbedded's bitbake build system, major improvements to its developer interface, and Linaro technology for improved ARM support. At the same time, the LF announced a major alignment between Yocto and the OpenEmbedded project, including OpenEmbedded representation in the Yocto governance structure.

Based on Linux kernel 3.0, Yocto 1.1 now fully incorporates the OE Core from OpenEmbedded. Other highlights are said to include:

  • Hob GUI — Hob is a new GUI-based, customized image builder that aims to let developers to more easily select target architecture, image and layer combinations, and individual packages before building.

    As Yocto developer David Stewart writes in a Yocto 1.1 blog posting, "You usually need to learn which configuration file is located where so you can change it with a text editor. We wanted an easier and quicker way for someone to build an image by bringing all of these options together in a single place. " (See the Hob demo on YouTube farther below.)

    Hob GUI, showing new layer tools

  • Layer Tooling — New layer tools, accessible from Hob, ease the integration and development of layers by "flattening" them into meta-data. Layers are used in Yocto to add customizations.
  • Multi-lib and x32 — Multi-Lib technology reduces storage and memory footprint by letting developers mix and match binaries, as well as select 32-bit or 64-bit modes, as appropriate, says the project.

    The still experimental x32 technology, meanwhile, is said to allow an x86-64 system to run with 64 bit registers, but use 32-bit data types. This enables execution of 32-bit code "with all the benefits of 64-bit mode," says the project. Both Multi-Lib and x32 are provided as alternatives to the daunting task of building full 64-bit support, suggests Stewart.

  • Small footprint/fast boot layers — It is now said to be easier to develop tiny embedded systems of less than 8MB of memory.
  • 3G and Btrfs support — New packages and components are said to include support for 3G cellular data and the Btrfs filesystem.
  • System builder support in Eclipse — The open source Eclipse IDE is now better integrated with Yocto, with automation for the Eclipse system developer and improved application developer support, says the project.

    Writes Stewart: "Now you can load up the recipes for a Linux system into an Eclipse project, edit the recipes right in Eclipse, then kick off the Hob to do the build."

  • Yocto Project Developer Guide — This new documentation provides information on how to get started in Yocto open source code, board support packages (BSPs), and kernel development.

In March, a month prior to Yocto 1.0, the Yocto Project Steering Group was announced, demonstrating an expansion beyond the initial Intel domination of the founding board to include ARM-oriented chipmaker Texas Instruments (TI). Other new members were said at the time to include embedded Linux software firm Timesys, OpenEmbedded, Intel, and Intel's own Wind River subsidiary.

In April, the company announced that the Steering Group would also include Dell as well as ARM- and MIPS-oriented embedded Linux firm Mentor Graphics. MontaVista Software is also said to be a contributor to the project.

EGLIBC library comes to Yocto

The Mentor Graphics connection has now brought CodeSourcery's EGLIBC library to Yocto and the Linux Foundation. Mentor acquired the technology — an add-on to the GNU C library (glibc) optimized for use in embedded development — when it acquired the assets of CodeSourcery last December.

In handing over EGLIBC hosting to the Linux Foundation and the Yocto Project, Mentor Graphics will continue to support the add-on with its new Shoeleather Lab. This automated testing technology aims to provide a neutral site for connecting developers "to leading-edge hardware platforms, facilitating critical porting and optimization activities around Yocto and EGLIBC," says Mentor Graphics.

Over the last year, according to the LF, Intel, Mentor Graphics, MontaVista Software, and Wind River have contributed tools and technologies to the Yocto Project that include Cross-prelink, Pseudo, and Swabber. Other Yocto highlights over the last year have been new Yocto BSPs for Intel's Atom-PC, Freescale's MPC8315e-RDB (PowerPC), TI's BeagleBoard, and Ubiquiti's RouterStation Pro, among others.

As an example of "commercial adoption" of Yocto, the LF cites FIC's Pegasus industrial tablet reference platform, which is said to incorporate Tridium's Niagara Framework. The Pegasus design was quickly ported to Linux based using existing Yocto BSPs, says the project. There seems to be no more information on Pegasus at this time, however.

Stated Mark Mitchell, Director of Tools, Mentor Graphics Embedded Software Division, "The EGLIBC library is a fundamental technology to an embedded Linux system. By integrating it with the Yocto Project and hosting it at The Linux Foundation, we can accelerate the development of EGLIBC."

Stated Dan Cauchy, VP of Marketing and Business Development, MontaVista Software, "We're glad to be collaborating with our industry peers in improving embedded Linux development."

Yocto 1.1's Hob GUI demonstrated on YouTube
Source: Yocto Project
(Click to play)


Yocto 1.1 is freely downloable now. More information may be found in this Yocto 1.1 blog post, as well as this Yocto 1.1 release notes page.

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.