Departure into a new Age

Over the past months, we did a lot of work in giving some open source projects maintained by Pengutronix folks the attention they deserve while also being more open to the community and ease contributing to and using them.

Another notable milestone has now been finished; we have launched the new website for the PTXdist embedded Linux build system: While the domain was just a redirect to an inconspicuous sub-page of it now became a mature and stand-alone project website.

The new website comes with a responsive design allowing access from all kinds of devices. The already existing but not yet much utilized PTXdist Logo now sits at the top of the website inviting you to cook your own embedded Linux Project, from simple hobby projects to full-featured and highly customized professional Linux platforms.

It is not only giving a project a more informative landing page: With the website launch we have also put the HTML documentation of PTXdist online. Based on the old documentation that was still tex-based we started a conversion marathon about two years ago and moved everything to the more lightweight reStructuredText format. Using rst increases readability of the source while reducing the hurdle for contributors to modify and extend documentation on their own. With Sphinx PTXdist generates the full documentation in either HTML or PDF formats.

Putting the (latest) HTML version of the documentation online finally enables really useful features such as easy full text search (both JavaScript-based and in your browser), easier linking and googling, and, last but not least a quickly available solution to most of the issues you may stumble across while working with building embedded systems.

We have also put the DistroKit quick-start BSP and some core components as the Barebox bootloader and the update tool RAUC at a more prominent position to help new users taking their first steps.

Finally, on the Download page you will always find out which is the latest version of PTXdist and be able to download it.

Weiterführende Links

Lizenzmanagement mittels ptxdist make license-report

PTXdist kommt standardmäßig mit einem Werkzeug, welches das Lizenzmanagement erleichtert: ptxdist make license-report. Hiermit lässt sich ein Lizenzreport als PDF erstellen, welcher aus dem verwendeten BSP alle auffindbaren Lizenzen herausfiltert. Die Generierung und Befolgung des Lizenzreports sollte als Mindestanforderung mit viel Raum für weitergehende Lizenzpflege verstanden werden.

Statische Dateisysteme

Wann immer es erforderlich ist, ein embedded Gerät einfach so ohne Vorbereitung ausschalten zu können, kommt das Thema Dateisystem-Konsistenz auf. Werden Daten geschrieben und haben vor dem Ausschalten ihren Weg auf das Speichermedium noch nicht vollständig gefunden, droht deren Verlust.

Jump Start your BSP using DistroKit and PTXdist Layers

A BSP (Board Support Package) in Embedded Software is the layer of software that lets you run your application on a specific hardware. For Pengutronix a BSP usually contains a bootloader, Linux Kernel and a userspace. DistroKit is our Demo-BSP that supports a variety of common evaluation boards. DistroKit gives you a head start if you want to develop an application on top of such an evaluation board with most of the hard problems already solved.