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In professional embedded software projects – especially in an industrial environment – we assume product life cycles of more than 10 years. At the latest when embedded Linux operating system software is subject to certification, it becomes necessary to be able to prove a valid and reproducible build process with reliable version management throughout the entire life cycle.

Development and maintenance of Linux BSPs

Device families "live" for decades. A valid build and software management for board support packages over this time period is therefore essential in order to enable economical long-term further development. At the same time, it is the transparency and combinability of open source software as well as the participation in innovations and continuous security updates from the community that make this manageable.

The build management or build automation and management with the corresponding software change management usually consists, on the one hand, of tooling and infrastructure, and on the other hand of defined processes. The creation of the software must also be able to take place independently of the configuration of any particular (build) computer or the expert knowledge of a particular developer.

Flexible configuration and variant management

In light of these requirements and within the framework of diverse projects with certification obligations, emlix developed e2factory. The software management and build system has been maintained and further developed continuously since 2003 and has, in the meantime, been used in several hundred development projects as well as for maintenance and for platform strategies.

e2factory is subject to GPLv3 and is freely available as a development tool.

When the requirements on process security across the life cycle are lower and there is also a necessity to provide a suitable development environment for anonymous application developers, an alternative is offered by the reduced use of Yocto with the Yocto build system BitBake as well as the minimal distribution Poky-Tiny.