The Yocto Project: What It Is and What It Isn’t

By Davide Ricci

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As I work heavily with embedded Linux on a daily basis, I’m often asked about the Yocto Project.  While the Yocto Project is gaining traction and folks in the industry are generally aware of it, there still exists a bit of unfamiliarity of the details. What exactly is the Yocto Project? Is it a Linux distribution?  How would I use it in my embedded Linux projects? 

Let’s dig in. The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides sorely needed standardized, high-quality infrastructure, tools and methodologies to help decrease the complexity and increase the portability of embedded Linux implementations. It is not a Linux distribution similar to what Wind River and other Linux distributors provide.  

A lot of vendors across the hardware and software ecosystem participate in the Yocto Project, and together this community is helping embedded Linux developers realize greater cross-platform compatibility and component interoperability.   How the heck does the Yocto Project accomplish that?

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