Embedded Linux – Part I

I think I’ll start documenting my experiments into the field of embedded Linux devices, as the subject has been taking a portion of my interest lately – and so, I’ve decided to experiment with it. I decided to start off with something really simple, just to get the ropes of how embedded devices actually work and function with Linux.

So, I order my own ALIX2c2 board, from PCEngines.ch. The board itself is really a cool toy to play around with, considering the fact that is has 256MB RAM, 2 USB connections and 2 Ethernet connections. My main experimentation would be to install a combination of Linux + Asterisk + AsteriskGUI onto the box.

So, as I said, I’m starting off with a PC ENGINES ALIX2c2 board: PC ENGINES, this is what the board looks like (close and personal):

ALIX 2x2 board
I’ve added to the mix a 512MB Comact Flash card, to serve as my operating system storage area. I’ve also added a USB 4GB disk-on-key, to serve as a storage device for database and rapidly changing files. Compact flash isn’t that nice about deleting and re-writing information on it, so once it’s mounted and booted it turns to Read-Only mode, so Read/Write operations will happen on the disk-on-key drive, which is more optimal for this usage.

I hadn’t yet added a Wifi MiniPCI adapter at this point, as I’m using the wired network for now. I’ve decided to use a Linux distribution called “Voyage Linux“. Voyage Linux is basically a Debian based distro, which is bootable from a Compact Flash device and is optimized for the ALIX’s AMD Geode Processor – it doesn’t get any cooler than this. The system boots a 2.6.20 kernel, reporting the following back on ‘uname -a’:

Linux voyage 2.6.20-486-voyage #1 PREEMPT Mon Jul 16 06:39:47 GMT 2007 i586 GNU/Linux

In general, I believe it’s a nice start to go one from here. Now, time to tackle the bluetooth compilation and modules :-)

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