Room 3

15:45 - 16:45 (UTC+02)

Talk (60 min)

Fundamentals of Embedded Linux

Linux is embedded into many of the devices around us: WiFi routers, the navigation and entertainment system in most cars, smart TVs, smart doorbells, smart speakers, … you get the picture. But, what makes embedded Linux “embedded”? How does it differ from “normal” Linux?


Based on over 20 years of experience I will give you some pointers about what embedded means and the way that we develop in this environment.

I will talk about the underlying hardware: the System on Chip (SoC) and how that is packaged as a System on Module (SoM), or a Single Board Computer (SBC), or into a custom designed board. For each target, we need the four basic components of an embedded Linux system: the toolchain, the bootloader, the kernel and the root filesystem. Then, on top of that you need the applications that are going to turn it into a world-beating gadget. That may include graphics drivers to control a touch screen, network interfaces to connect to a cloud backend and databases to store structured data. There may even be real-time control tasks. Finally, I will consider how you combine the open source base operating system with your own proprietary code

Chris Simmonds

Chris Simmonds is a software consultant and trainer living in southern England. He has spent almost two decades designing and building open-source embedded systems of all shapes and sizes, and he has encapsulated much of that experience in his book, “Mastering Embedded Linux Programming”.

He is a frequent presenter at open source and embedded conferences, including the Embedded Linux Conference and Embedded World. You can see some of his work on the “Inner Penguin” blog at