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Designing a custom board for Embedded Linux and getting started

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pradhan.rachit

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Hello Experts,

We were planning to design a solution that needs support of Embedded Linux/ucLinux. Initially we had thought of using RPi Zero in the solution, however it has a controlled distribution and will not be available in bulk quantities to be used for products that will need to be mass produced.

So the alternative was to build a system based on readily available processors which have support for Linux OS.

We are unclear about the process of getting through with development after the custom board that we manufacture needs to be programmed.

Will a Linux Kernel be present on the blank IC that we get, so that we can get started with development directly?

If not, what procedure needs to be followed to get access to program the IC? Are there any readily available standalone programmers for this?

All we need is to get access to the internal kernel's terminal window (Maybe via USB) so that we can get started with the development.

Any insights/documentation about the process would be appreciated!

Thanks.
 

FlyingDutch

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Hello Experts,

So the alternative was to build a system based on readily available processors which have support for Linux OS.

We are unclear about the process of getting through with development after the custom board that we manufacture needs to be programmed.

Will a Linux Kernel be present on the blank IC that we get, so that we can get started with development directly?

If not, what procedure needs to be followed to get access to program the IC? Are there any readily available standalone programmers for this?

Thanks.

Hello,

this is not done as you think. The linux kernel is never loaded to IC (CPU). CPU has small program in flash memory called "bootloader". The "botloader is able to load machine code to processor program memory. Booltloadres are basically able to read code from USB cable (by using internal USB-UART converter). So first procedure is to load bootloader to IC's flash memory, Only after bootloader is in CPU flash, someone can load Linux kernel (or other software) for this type of CPU.

About Linux for embedded see this links:

https://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

https://www.yoctoproject.org/about/

Regards
 
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cfant

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I think that you under estimated effort for this project. So, first thing first, having kernel is not enough. You will need a bootloader, and BSP (Board support package) for your board, which implies a lot of changes needed. My suggestion would be this: select cpu which you want to use, get manufacturer eval board, and build your stuff around it. Most CPU manufacturers provide PCB & BOM for their eval boards. As for debugging, you will definitely need JTAG debugger and logic analyzer, serial port is another story.
 

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