2003 | Abstracts

Linux at the Little End of the World

Malcolm Tredinnick

BiographyBioPaperPaper AudioAudio

Small Linux installations are becoming more prevalent. Embedded devices supporting Linux are popping up all over the place. Every time a new PDA is released, the race is on to get Linux installed on it -- unless the manufacturer has already done that. We are also seeing things like small firewall installations, dedicated application servers and Internet kiosk styles of setups, where a complete reinstall is often necessary and should be uncomplicated and fast.

This talk will survey the current landscape of available software for making tiny Linux installations and the difficulty level of actually putting the pieces together (a ten year old could do it). The focus is on installing minimal amounts of software to achieve real functionality, but using readily available packages (so there will be almost no poking about inside the kernel or making unauthorised modifications outside of 'make menuconfig').

Some of the hardware considerations involved will be mentioned, but mostly we will focus on the software side of the equation.

People who have wondered about

  • setting up a robust Internet kiosk or information booth,
  • building a Linux-based digital video recorder,
  • how "they" fit Linux onto a telephone or iPaQ,
  • just saving more disk space and RAM than you could ever imagine will hopefully gather some clues from this talk.

Some familiarity with using Linux and the functions it provides and a general awareness of some of the "gee whiz" gadgets in the news today are all that will be assumed in this introductory level talk.

The original Tux penguin is copyright by Larry Ewing.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.
© 2002 Linux Australia.