Embedded Linux is a type of operating system based on the Linux kernel. In contrast to the standard Linux OS (which was originally developed for desktop PCs & server systems), it is specifically designed to be used within embedded systems and devices. Consequently, it offers features and services that cater to embedded system requirements, e.g. their specific hardware and fields of application. As a compact version of Linux, it is marked by its smaller footprint, lower processing power requirement and tailored features.
The operating system of an embedded system has to fit the requirements for the specific use case. To achieve this, unnecessary features are eliminated, and the software is streamlined. For example, you might not need to include graphic or display drivers in a router and decide to boost the system performance instead. Embedded Linux, which is one of several embedded operating systems available, is open-source and can be tailored accordingly. A big advantage, therefore, is the expansive developer community behind the Linux OS and, as a result, the wide range of architectures etc.
It follows that customized instances of the OS only support the applications for which they are optimized, considering the processor architecture, hardware, boot process, resource constraints, power consumption and real-time requirements of the specific system. Applications, therefore, are very versatile and include industrial as well as consumer electronic equipment, smartphones as well as networking equipment (such as routers or wireless access points), machine control and navigation as well as industrial automation use cases.
Embedded Linux offers a variety of advantages compared to other operating systems. Due to its popularity and widespread use, it is very well maintained and well documented. As an open-source software it is highly adaptable, flexible, expandable, and scalable. Additionally, developers can choose from a giant ecosystem of open-source software. Robust and field-proven solutions already exist for many common issues. It also supports faster development times and there are no license fees that need to be considered.
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Mission Embedded develops and deploys robust platforms for your industrial grade products and safety-critical applications. Our experts harness Linux to bring the hardware of your project to live. This tried and tested open-source software enables us to create stable and reliable platforms that fit your individual needs. Customers rely on our experience in the design, deployment and maintenance of Linux-based systems for safety relevant applications.