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Buildroot or Yocto Project? Which One to Choose for Embedded Linux Development

Are you looking to build a system using embedded Linux but still hesitate about which tool is best to improve your development process — Buildroot or Yocto Project? Keep reading the article to learn more about embedded Linux and find out which is best for you: Buildroot or Yocto Project. 

What is embedded Linux?

Embedded Linux is a version of the Linux OS created to develop embedded systems that run on versatile platforms, from smartphones and tablets to IoT devices. Embedded Linux also includes an open-source component — Linux kernel, which operates using GNU utilities.  

Thus, one of the core advantages of using embedded Linux is that engineers can utilize ready-to-go pieces of code when possible and pay more attention to complex engineering objectives that require custom solutions.  

Embedded Linux is a quick and much less sophisticated technology for developing complex embedded systems. Besides, Linux is compatible with several software variants necessary for developing embedded applications, including TCP/IP stack and serial communication protocols. 

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Why choose embedded Linux?

Let’s review some features that make embedded Linux one of the most widespread embedded development solutions among software engineers. 

First, embedded Linux is an open-source solution, enabling engineers to stay flexible while structuring an embedded system. To be more precise, engineers can add or delete any components while building an embedded system with Linux.  

Second, you can use multiple embedded Linux code parts free of charge. It makes the development of complex embedded devices more affordable and allows engineers to stay flexible throughout the development process. 

Another advantage is the availability of various features and resources that make the embedded development easier. These involve TCP/IP stack, Linux Kernel, SPI libraries, graphics libraries, etc.

Next benefit you’ll experience while building an embedded system with Linux is its compatibility with such processors as ARM (applied in versatile apps), MIPS (applications utilized for purposes of networking), X86 (used to run industrial applications), and SH (often applied for any apps). 

Finally, engineers can enjoy a multitude of available software and support providers for embedded Linux.

In simple words, if you’re looking for a high-quality embedded development solution at a reasonable cost, embedded Linux is the perfect technology for you. 

Which one to choose: Buildroot or Yocto Project? 

If you’re interested in building your device with embedded Linux, let’s review the most widespread and efficient tools to facilitate your embedded Linux development process, Buildroot and Yocto Project, and choose which suits you best.

Why choose Buildroot for embedded Linux development?

Buildroot is an easy-to-use and efficient tool for advanced embedded Linux systems development. It was built to simplify and speed up the embedded engineering process. To be more precise, Buildroot enables engineers to use cross-compilation to facilitate the development process. 

You can deactivate extra compile-time settings for any package with Buildroot while still keeping the necessary settings active for a specific device. In simple words, Buildroot makes work with embedded Linux concise and effective. 

Buildroot uses the source code to collect all components, yet, it doesn’t provide target package management. The whole Buildroot system takes up little space, is simple to use, and doesn’t require any prior learning. Besides, Buildroot is based on Make and runs on the Kconfig language. 

Buildroot was originally created to handle basic use cases. Regardless of being simple to use and beginner-friendly, Buildroot is scalable. This means developers can take time and integrate some extra features into their embedded Linux. Buildroot allows engineers to expand the code and create complex embedded solutions. 

Why choose Yocto Project for embedded Linux development?

The Yocto Project is a Linux Foundation collaborative open-source project aiming to produce tools and processes that enable the creation of Linux distributions for embedded and IoT software independent of the underlying architecture of the embedded hardware.

Yocto Project is an open-source project aiming to provide tools for the development of Linux distributions. Yocto Project enables engineers to build custom Linux distributions within their source code environment. Yocto Project uses metadata and cross-platform tools to ensure developers can manage the engineering process more efficiently. 

In other words, Yocto Project improves the overall embedded Linux development experience. This open-source tool is customized according to your specific needs. It will help you keep the necessary software and maintain its narrow focus on your embedded app requirements.  

You can benefit from Yocto Project for developing systems and apps, archiving purposes, and managing the embedded development process. Also, embedded Linux engineers can adjust the memory and speed of the systems they create. What is even more critical, engineers can set up customization of their software for versatile hardware types while preserving the software stack.      

Yocto Project helps engineers overcome customization issues and eradicate problems connected to cross-architecture software migration. 

Conclusions 

After analyzing the core purposes of embedded Linux development and considering its main benefits, we can now make conclusions regarding the most efficient tools to boost your embedded development process. Buildroot and Yocto Project are reasonable solutions for building an embedded Linux system. However, the choice will depend on your tech requirements and business needs. 

Suppose you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool to build your system using cross-compilation and want to speed up the development process. In that case, Buildroot is the right choice for you. 

If you aim to decrease customization complexities and avoid cross-architecture migration issues, Yocto Project is your choice.  

Thus, you can analyze your purposes and choose the best-fit tool for your embedded Linux development process. Positive outcomes won’t take long! 

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