Categories: Dev

6 Best tips for Embedded Linux Software development 

Author: Nikolay


Tip 1: Understand the importance and concept of embedded Linux software development 

To understand the importance and concept of embedded Linux software development, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the basics of embedded systems and Linux.

The embedded system is a microcontroller or microprocessor-based computer installed with a software program used for dedicated functions. There are hundreds of devices categorized as embedded systems that we use in our daily routine for example Smart Watch, Digital coffee maker, new generation mobile phone, etc. The software program that performs dedicated functions in embedded systems is known as embedded software. Dedicated types of operating systems are used to operate embedded system software, these OS are known as embedded operating systems. Embedded Linux is one of the embedded operating systems, it’s used in mobile phones, TV, Media Players, vehicle consoles, and more. 

The embedded Linux is used by different companies throughout the globe. Because of easiness togethr with availability, at this pace of digitalization is the reason behind the popularity of Linux. One of the evolutionary examples of embedded Linux applications is Android, developed by Google. Android is based on a modified embedded Linux kernel that is released under an open-source environment. The availability of an open-source environment allows cellphone manufacturers to modify it according to their particular hardware requirements. Another example of an embedded system that uses Linux is the IBM patent smartwatch that folds out into a smartphone and tablet. 

Tip 3: Get familiar with the basics of the embedded Linux kernel. 

The starting point for learning embedded Linux is to get familiar with the basics of the Linux kernel. The primary learning thing is to practice the command line of Linux.  

For learning embedded Linux software development, the base of the learning curve starts from the embedded Linux kernel and command line. The network and system programming are useful for embedded Linux to configure servers like FTP, SSH, SMTP, etc. The advanced learning process starts with operating system principles and working along with Linux kernel in embedded Linux. The embedded Linux Kernel programming is necessary to take super user control over the embedded system. Very good knowledge of the C programming language is required to write system calls and to program the Linux kernel. “The Embedded Linux Primer” is the recommended book to start with Linux, and Robert Love’s “Linux Kernel Development” is the best book to understand Linux kernel. 

The popularity of embedded Linux software development all around the digital world is a reason to become an embedded Linux developer. However, embedded Linux developers work on different categories of projects from wearable smart devices to large monitoring and controlling systems. 

The embedded Linux, by being open source provides desirable outcomes that lead to the success of the product development life cycle. Due to the open-source environment, embedded Linux provides millions of resources that work as supporting bricks to complete your product. The open-source work by the global community places great benefits for starting as an embedded Linux developer. Nowadays, embedded Linux is used from small home appliances to a large satellite system almost everywhere. These are the reasons behind becoming an embedded Linux developer. 

As an embedded Linux developer your duties and responsibilities are to design, develop, test, implement, and integrate software programs with dedicated functionalities along with specific hardware solutions and with embedded Linux security in mind. The embedded Linux developer works on embedded systems and technologies. The primary position of embedded Linux developers is to work closely with programmers, technicians, hardware engineers, and designers. The companies in which embedded Linux developers work are called Embedded system providers. In the future, the opportunities for embedded Linux developers will be waiting in all industrial and manufacturing sectors.   

Tip 5: Challenge yourself to develop new skills: Learn the fundamentals of microcontroller, microprocessor, networking, and operating system. 

The fundamentals of C, microprocessor, networking, and operating system are required skills for embedded Linux developers. However, deploying products based on open-source platforms like embedded Linux face a wide range of choices and challenges.   

The embedded Linux developer must be geared up with the knowledge of the Linux development environment as well as the architecture of several microprocessors and microcontrollers such as intel 8086, 8088, etc. An understanding of networking and servers is also a required skill to work as a successful embedded Linux developer. Operating system working procedures and commands on kernel mode are the essence of embedded Linux developers. Analytical ability and problem-solving aptitude are the supporting traits of a successful embedded Linux developer. Lastly, the passion for learning and enthusiasm is the key to career success! 

Like any other job, embedded Linux developers face challenges mostly due to a wide range of choices and cross-platform integration. In the product development life cycle, early choice impacts the overall success of the product. The developer will always be able to select the correct version of the embedded Linux kernel for the product as per the design and requirements of the product. Unlike any other operating system, embedded Linux provides full control of the kernel which causes challenges for the product life cycle.

These challenges can be easily overcome if the developer has proper knowledge and skills. Some of the most important tools for an embedded Linux developer are Raspbian, OpenSCADA, and Flutter for networking and IoT communication, GNU development tools chain for embedded Linux software development, Indigo benchmark, and IOzone for hardware testing, DYNALOG microprocessor trainer kit for microprocessor programming, Arduino IDE for microcontroller programming. 

Tip 6: Map where you are in terms of experience and salary and where you want to reach. 

The salary package and perks for the embedded Linux developer depend on experience and area of work. The edge of technologies and information is growing day by day, also embedded systems are the backbone of this technology stream.  As of now, the future looks fluorescent for embedded Linux developers.  

In the United States, the initial package for the embedded Linux developer at the graduate level lies on average $ 113,000, $ 115,000 a year. However, the salary raises along with experience and expertise. Some of multinational and giant IT firms like Google and Amazon pay up to $ 300,000 per year to embedded Linux developers. The greatest perk for embedded Linux development is that you can fulfill your dream of working on human fate record projects like the James Webb Space Telescope by NASA. Isn’t that cool and inspiring?! 

All of the tips provided above emphasize the importance and necessity of embedded Linux. Everywhere, embedded systems are an important part of the connection between humans and machines. Currently, the future of embedded systems stands closely beside embedded Linux. It looks like embedded Linux will be trendy in the 5 years to come. Every enthusiastic and proactive embedded Linux developer has a bright future and opportunities in front of them! 

The struggle you are in today develops the strength you need tomorrow! 

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