Introduction to Yocto Project


The Yocto Project is a collection of tools and meta-data (defined in a bit) that allows a developer to build their own custom distribution of Linux for their embedded platform. This could be a developer at a semi-conductor company, who wishes to develop board support for one of their hardware platforms, or it could be an independent developer writing a complete software stack for a product they are making. It could also be a group of engineers developing a distribution for use in multiple devices or products — such as an embedded Linux distribution company, or the “systems” team at a company that produces multiple embedded Linux products.

The main parts of the Yocto Project are the build system, the package meta-data, and the developer tools. The build system uses a tool called “bitbake” to process the meta-data and produce a complete Linux distribution. By design, the build system produces not just the software that will run on the target, but also the development tools used to build that software. It basically starts completely from scratch, building all the tools needed to construct the software, and then using those to build the kernel, libraries, and programs that comprise a Linux distribution. Finally, it prepares the resulting software by placing it into appropriate bundles (including packages, images, or both) for deployment to the target device and in preparation for application development and debugging. The Yocto Project also includes various additional tools used to develop embedded Linux or applications on top of it. This includes things such as emulators, IDEs and host/target (cross) agents and debug tools.


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