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Free embedded Linux training materials demystify Buildroot

Jun 8, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 2,752 views

Free Electrons has posted free detailed training materials for its course on building an embedded Linux project on a BeagleBone Black SBC using Buildroot.

Last November, Linux training firm Free Electrons posted free training materials for a three-day training course on building an embedded Linux project using Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded. Now, the company has published similar training materials for a course about using Buildroot, once again with the target platform being a BeagleBone Black.

BeagleBone Black

Buildroot comprises a set of Makefiles and patches that simplify the process of creating complete Linux filesystems for small and embedded systems. These are intended to automate the process of generating a cross-compilation toolchain, a root filesystem, a Linux kernel image, and a bootloader image. The project supports all major CPU architectures.

Free Electrons is a major contributor to the Buildroot upstream project, with more than 2800 patches merged as of May 2015. More than 2700 of those were posted by engineer Thomas Petazzoni, who leads the Buildroot training course.

Petazzoni is one of the primary authors of the core infrastructures of Buildroot, says Free Electrons. He is a major participant in the Buildroot community, organizing the regular Buildroot Developer Days, and supporting users through the mailing list and on IRC, says the company. Petazzoni is also an interim maintainer when the main Buildroot maintainer is not available. In addition, Free Electrons has used Buildroot in a significant number of customer projects.

Sample slide from the Buildroot course, showing Buildroot package infrastructures
(click image to enlarge; source: Free Electrons)

The three-day, 24-hour Free Electrons training course is said to cover all aspects of Buildroot, including basic usage and configuration, understanding the source and build trees, creating new packages including advanced aspects, and analyzing the build. There are also tips for organizing Buildroot work, and for using Buildroot for application development.

Oral lectures are available in English and French, and the test materials are in English. As usual, the presentation (325 slides) 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. Materials available for free public download include:

  • 325-slide presentation
  • Practical labs instructions
  • Practical labs data
  • LaTeX source code

Free Electrons can also deliver the training course anywhere in the world, at customer locations, at various fee rates. The first public session in English is scheduled for Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in Toulouse, France. Ubuntu Linux desktops and a video projector are required for the public sessions.

Further information

The training materials for the three-day training course on building an embedded Linux project using Buildroot and the BeagleBone Black are now available for free download from links provided in this Free Electrons blog post. Pricing and other details about the three-day Buildroot training session to be held Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in Toulouse, France (or elsewhere by special arrangement) are available here.

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