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Developing with Embedded Linux

This course is available Live Online worldwide: View the Live Online full course description »

Standard Level - 4 days

Linux is being used more and more on embedded systems driven by increasingly complex devices and a greater requirement for connectivity & multimedia. Working with Linux for embedded systems can be difficult, with a vast array of choices available for tools and software. Developing With Embedded Linux is a 4-day course providing the practical skills and knowledge required to work with Linux in this environment. 

The course provides an overview of what an embedded Linux system is comprised of and provides practical information about how to work with each of the components. At each stage there is a strong focus on what tools are available in Linux to understand and debug problems. How to configure an embedded Linux system is considered in detail, looking at the changes that need to be made as a project moves from a development phase into a product. The aim is to equip attendees with the skills they need to develop and maintain their embedded Linux based products in an efficient and effective way. 

Workshops comprise approximately 50% of class time and are based around carefully designed exercises to reinforce and challenge the extent of learning. 

The course mainly uses Linux open source tools with a discussion of some of the available commercial solutions where appropriate.

Course Overview Video

  • An understanding of the structure of an embedded Linux system and how to work with the component parts
  • Practical information about developing, analysing and debugging kernel and user space applications using a wide range of freely available Linux tools
  • How to configure embedded Linux on the target, including the filesystem and the booting process
  • Completion of Linux Fundamentals training or equivalent basic knowledge of using Linux as a host operating system
  • Experience of working with embedded systems (e.g. using RTOS or bare machine)
  • Some familiarity with C programming is useful

This is a hands-on training course and labs are conducted on a real target board. 

For scheduled public courses the actual target board provided during the course may vary dependent on the location.

Target boards currently deployed include an NXP® i.MX6SX board featuring Arm® Cortex®-A9 and Cortex-M4 cores and boards based on the AMD Zynq™-7000 All Programmable SoC, featuring a dual Arm Cortex-A9 processor:

i.MX 6SoloX 


Please contact the Doulos team to discuss your specific project and hardware requirements.

Doulos course materials are renowned for being the most comprehensive and user friendly available. Their unique style, content and coverage has made them sought after resources in their own right. The materials include fully indexed class notes creating a complete reference manual.


  • Course Objectives
  • Linux Background
  • Open-Source Software
  • Licensing
  • Embedded Linux Distributions
  • Development platforms
  • Host to target communications
  • Console command and version control
  • Exercises:
    • Booting a standard image
    • Establishing target communications
    • Exploring the target filesystem          


Working with the Linux Kernel

  • Scheduling, real-time and memory
  • Kernel configuration
  • Building and booting the kernel
  • Board support
  • Kernel modules
  • Exercises:
    • Configuring and building the kernel
    • Creating a kernel module    


Debugging the Linux Kernel

  • Kernel logs & printk
  • JTAG
  • Exercises:
    • Using kernel logs
    • Using KGDB/KDB to debug a kernel module 


Building Applications

  • Compiling on the target
  • Cross-compiling
  • Static and shared libraries
  • Using a portable build system (e.g.  Autotools)
  • Exercises:
    • Cross-compiling
    • Creating static and shared libraries
    • Configuring and compiling an Autotools application


Debugging Applications

  • Compiling for debugging
  • Target debugging
  • Cross debugging
  • Other user space tools
  • Debugging user space seg faults
  • Exercises:
    • Target debugging
    • Cross-debugging a seg fault
    • Finding memory leaks with Valgrind
    • Generating and using core dumps   


Linux Applications

  • How a Linux application can be structured
  • Managing processes and threads
  • Inter-process communications
  • Interfacing with the kernel
  • Exercises:
    • Simple IPC
    • Threads and processes


Configuring Filesystems

  • Filesystem contents
  • Init programs
  • BusyBox
  • Device management
  • Exercises:
    • Adding a daemon to init
    • Configuring and compiling BusyBox


Filesystem Locations

  • NFS
  • RAM filesystems
  • Block-based filesystems
  • Flash filesystems (JFFS2, UBIFS)
  • Exercises:
    • Creating an initramfs
    • Creating an early user space filesystem
    • Writing a UBIFS into flash


Configuring the Bootloader

  • The bootloader
  • Bootloader choices
  • Working with U-Boot
  • Porting U-Boot to a new board
  • Exercises:
    • Working with the U-Boot shell
    • Flashing a kernel image in U-Boot


Trace & Profile

  • Linux trace technology
  • SysProf
  • OProfile
  • FTrace
  • Perf
  • Other Tools
  • Use case examples
  • Exercises:
    • Investigating scp behaviour with trace & profile tools

Course Dates

01 Jul 2024 Munich, DE Enquire
05 Aug 2024 Ringwood, UK Enquire
14 Oct 2024 Munich, DE Enquire
05 Nov 2024 Ringwood, UK Enquire

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