Good news for embedded device developers trying to bring up a Linux software stack on their systems, Ubuntu Core is getting ready for Oneiric.
First thing you are going to ask me is what is Ubuntu Core? Well here is what the Ubuntu wiki says:
Ubuntu Core is a minimal rootfs for use in the creation of custom images for specific needs. Ubuntu Core strives to create a suitable minimal environment for use in Board Support Packages, constrained or integrated environments, or as the basis for application demonstration images.
Ubuntu Core delivers a functional user-space environment, with full support for installation of additional software from the Ubuntu repositories, through the use of the apt-get command.
So what does it all mean? Ubuntu core is all about making it easy to get started with a functional software stack that needs to fit into a tiny space.
I have seen the pain of many Symbian hackers bringing up new hardware with only a massive system configuration work with. Where do you start debugging?
Undoubtedly the best way to work is to start with a minimal system configuration, which you can use on your early stages of board support software development, and slowly add only what you need to it. Keeping the software from bloating is a corner stone of Bill Of Material (BOM) management.
A good example of this is the Ubuntu IVI remix that is build up from Ubuntu Core and has recently achieve Genivi Compliance. You can also check the Canonical site for more details on the benefits of Ubuntu Core.
Well, how small is SMALL? Well, it is around 100MB , although it compresses to a download of 32MB. So pretty small!