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Building Embedded Linux Systems by Karim Yaghmour

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Chapter 6. Root Filesystem Content

One of the last operations conducted by the Linux kernel during system startup is mounting the root filesystem. The root filesystem has been an essential component of all Unix systems from the start. The root filesystem's current organization is a bit idiosyncratic and contains some redundancy because of how it grew over time and was influenced by Unix developments. I will not attempt to cover the reasons for the current structure and underlying conventions. Instead, I will explain how to organize the various components to adhere to the accepted standards and, thereby, obtain a functional root filesystem. In the process, we will use many of the components we built earlier, such as the kernel modules and the C library.

First, we will discuss the basic root filesystem structure. Then, we will discuss how and where to install the system libraries, the kernel modules, kernel images, device nodes, main system applications, and custom applications. Finally, we will discuss how to configure the system initialization scripts. At the end of this chapter, you will have a fully functional root filesystem for your target. In the next chapters, we will discuss how you can place this root filesystem on an actual filesystem type on a storage device for use in your target.

Basic Root Filesystem Structure

The top-level directories in the root filesystem each have a specific use and purpose. Many of these are meaningful only in multiuser systems in which a system ...

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