Linux Foundation Takes Aim At Embedded Devices

According to Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, Linux is now moving beyond just being a server operating system.In Zemlin’s view, Linux has become the fabric of modern computing.

In an effort to help nurture the continued growth of Linux, the Linux Foundation today announced the formation of a High Availability Linux working group, as well as the release of the Yocto 1.0 embedded Linux project.

“If you think of where Linux is going in embedded and mobile devices, it really is becoming the defacto building block,” Zemlin told

The Yocto project is an effort to help enable the use of Linux as the base for mobile and embedded platforms. Yocto 1.0 is based on the 2.6.37 Linux kernel and includes an Application Development Toolkit (ADK) installer.

“It would be great if I knew who the next Steve Jobs is or what the next breakthrough consumer electronics device will be — but I don’t know that,” Zemlin said. “I do know that if we provide tools to make it easy for developers to build devices, create their own operating systems and be able to optimize the platform, we’ll see the next breakthrough device running Linux and not something else.”

Zemlin added that there has been a lot of momentum with Linux in the embedded industry with vendors including Texas Instruments, Wind River, Monta Vista, Freescale all supporting the Yocto effort.

One issue that Zemlin is also focused on, is making it easier for companies to comply with the open source licensing requirements of Linux. The Linux Foundation launched a compliance program in August of 2010 to help in that effort.

“We need to stay the course with our compliance program, I’ve seen a lot of FUD lately about ‘so and so’ violating the license or some copyright issue,” Zemlin said. “For me this is all a lot of noise.”

Zemlin stressed that what the Linux Foundation wants to emphasize is that with a small amount of knowledge, open source license compliance is easily handled and doesn’t represent a risk to commercial entities.


Another effort being launched this week by the Linux Foundation is the
High Availability working group.

“There needs to be a focal point for making sure all the different aspects of Linux can come together in a way that can help advance high availability work,” Zemlin said.

Zemlin noted that high-availability to date has been a patchwork of efforts. The new workgroup is an effort to bring all the key stakeholders together to focus and accelerate the technical work done for high-availability in Linux.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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