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Building Embedded Linux Systems by Karim Yaghmour

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Types of Host/Target Development Setups

Three different host/target architectures are available for the development of embedded Linux systems: the linked setup, the removable storage setup, and the standalone setup. Your actual setup may belong to more than one category or may even change categories over time, depending on your requirements and development methodology.

Linked Setup

In this setup, the target and the host are permanently linked together using a physical cable. This link is typically a serial cable or an Ethernet link. The main property of this setup is that no physical hardware storage device is being transferred between the target and the host. All transfers occur via the link. Figure 2-1 illustrates this setup.

Host/target linked setup

Figure 2-1. Host/target linked setup

As illustrated, the host contains the cross-platform development environment, which we will discuss in Chapter 4, while the target contains an appropriate bootloader, a functional kernel, and a minimal root filesystem.

Alternatively, the target can use remote components to facilitate development. The kernel could, for instance, be available via Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). The root filesystem could also be NFS-mounted instead of being on a storage media in the target. Using an NFS-mounted root filesystem is actually perfect during development, because it avoids having to constantly copy program modifications ...

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