From the start, emlix has conceptualized the embedded Linux-based platform in close cooperation with the developers in Rhede. A requirement-driven composition of the board support package (BSP) was ensured through transparent development processes and short communication channels.
To meet the high security requirements, the primary design goal was to develop an easily maintainable BSP. This is a prerequisite to integrate patches and updates on the BSP efficiently and on a regular basis.
As the first step, emlix ported an existing Yocto BSP to a build environment which has been optimized for long-term maintenance. Only required software components were integrated in order to build a less complex BSP with a smaller package size and without unwanted patches, version conflicts and dependencies. The emlix build automation framework e2factory was used to compile the new system. This framework is open source software under the GPLv3.
The specified software components are – unlike with distribution-based development – taken from the corresponding open source community in unchanged form (mainline compliance). In this way, Rademacher can benefit directly from security patches and innovations for the Linux kernel or individual software components. Another advantage resulting from the use of e2factory is that maintenance costs and expenses can be reduced through the ease of use, a lower level of complexity, availability of documentation and transparent processes.
In the e2factory build environment, all changes made to the source code, build recipes or the toolchain are traceable. This allows Rademacher to roll out updates in the development process and throughout the entire product life cycle with consistent versioning. Older software versions can be reproduced and developed further years later through a build process that is not dependent on individual persons or hardware. With these properties, the HomePilot® BSP has been stable in use for quite some time now.