What is Yocto?
The description of the Yocto Project, which we’ll shorten to Yocto here, from the yoctoproject.org site is as follows: "The Yocto Project™ is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture."
To the non-technical person, the key piece here is that Yocto can help your team build a custom Linux system. You can include or exclude components, creating a system that meets your needs precisely. The end system can boot just your application. It can support your hardware components or communications environment. And, since it’s all open source, you have full control. By default, Yocto includes pieces for a graphical user interface with X11 and a windowing manager called Sato.
For the technical person, Yocto consists of templates, also called recipes, that describe how to build components, such as libraries and utilities, that are included in the embedded Linux system. These recipes can be grouped into ‘Layers’ which promote release management in single units rather than maintaining a complex series of build revisions for each library and tool. Recipes and the layers on top of them are grouped into ‘Images’ which are root filesystem kernel snapshots ready for flashing onto a device.
SDG Systems uses Yocto as a tool to build Linux distributions for our line of rugged handhelds. Our distributions are customized to include a standard toolset (utilities, GTK , X11, etc...) as well as device-specific support (camera, barcode scanning, RFID, etc...). Additionally, Yocto provides customers with a supported compilation environment so that they can build custom applications and distributions based on a standard Yocto release plus SDG’s device-specific layer.
SDG Systems currently supports Yocto on the BIP-6000 and Trimble Nomad. If you’re looking for a fully customizable Linux environment, please contact us about the Yocto Project. Need Yocto supported on another device? Ask us about that, too.