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Building Embedded Linux Systems by Karim Yaghmour

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Generic Architecture of an Embedded Linux System

Since Linux systems are made up of many components, let us take a look at the overall architecture of a generic Linux system. This will enable us to set each component in context and will help you understand the interaction between them and how to best take advantage of their assembly. Figure 2-4 presents the architecture of a generic Linux system with all the components involved. Although the figure abstracts to a high degree the content of the kernel and the other components, the abstractions presented are sufficient for the discussion. Notice that there is little difference in the following description between an embedded system and a workstation or server system, since Linux systems are all structured the same at this level of abstraction. In the rest of the book, however, emphasis will be on the details of the application of this architecture in embedded systems.

Architecture of a generic Linux system

Figure 2-4. Architecture of a generic Linux system

There are some broad characteristics expected from the hardware to run a Linux system. First, Linux requires at least a 32-bit CPU containing a memory management unit (MMU).[2] Second, a sufficient amount of RAM must be available to accommodate the system. Third, minimal I/O capabilities are required if any development is to be carried out on the target with reasonable debugging facilities. This is also very important ...

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