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Free courseware posted for Linux on BeagleBone

Nov 3, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 5,092 views

Free Electrons has posted free training materials on building an embedded Linux project using Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded on a BeagleBone Black.

The Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project has been largely supported and influenced by Intel, but it has long since evolved into a phenomenon of its own that is as at home on ARM, PowerPC, and MIPS targets as it is on x86. In fact, for its latest training course on Yocto Project and the associated OpenEmbedded build environment, Free Electrons turned to the ARM-based BeagleBone Black single board computer as the target device. The course shows how to boot root filesystems built with the Yocto Project, as well as run and debug the custom applications compiled with it.

Yocto Project Development Environment
(click image to enlarge)

Free Electrons, which has previously released training materials for embedded Android, as well as embedded Linux in general, has now done the same for an upcoming course on Yocto Project Linux. As usual, the presentation and associated source code is released for free under the Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike 3.0 license, which allows their reuse and modification under certain terms. The available materials include a 245-slide “Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded Training” tutorial.

Introductory slide from the Free Electrons course
(click image to enlarge; source: Free Electrons)

Oral lectures for the three-day, 24-hour course are available in English and French, and text materials are in English. Each lecture in the course is followed by a hands-on lab using the BeagleBone Black.

The Yocto Project, which is widely used and supported by commercial Linux distributions and community projects, is a set of tools and components designed to create custom Linux distributions for specific devices. Yocto Project offers the same BitBake core build tool and metadata syntax used by OpenEmbedded (OE), especially in its integration of the openembedded-core. The most recent version — Yocto Project 7 — adds automation features including automated testing and package upgrades, as well as enhanced Toaster support, and performance and workflow improvements.

Debugging Yocto Project code on the BeagleBone Black
(click image to enlarge; source: Free Electrons)

Yocto Project is easier to use than OE, but there’s still a fairly steep learning curve. The Free Electrons course helps peel back a few layers of the onion. Free Electrons recommends that students first take its also freely posted embedded Linux training course, as well as its Unix/Linux command line course, prior to the Yocto Project course. Students will need a PC running Ubuntu 14.04, as well as a BeagleBone Black, which can be either a Rev B, or the latest Rev C variant.

Below, are the main lectures for the course:

  • Understanding the Yocto Project
  • Using it to build a root filesystem and run it on your target
  • Writing and extending recipes
  • Creating layers
  • Integrating your board in a BSP
  • Creating custom images
  • Application development with an Eclipse SDK

Further information

Free, open source training materials for the Free Electrons Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded training course are now available here. Seats are still available for the real-world course it’s based on, which will run Nov. 18-20 in Toulouse, France, and costs 1690 Euros ($2,112). Free Electrons can also arrange to send trainers around the world for customized versions of the training.

(advertise here)


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