Apr 06, 2022 Linux

Introducing the Wind River Linux Binary Distribution

By Jay Kruemcke

J.Kruemcke-blog

Wind River is proud to announce a new member of the commercially supported Wind River Linux family, Wind River Linux Distro. Distro is a binary Linux distribution created from our source code–based Linux product.

Wind River, the leader in the IoT and embedded operating systems, has long provided customers with the ability to create their own purpose-built Linux operating system from source. Wind River starts with the Yocto Project and adds a significant amount of integration with semiconductor vendor SDKs to provide a commercially supportable Linux distribution builder for intelligent edge solution developers.

Wind River Linux is used in tens of thousands of telecommunications, industrial, aerospace and defense, and automotive embedded solutions, but we realized that not all customers need the flexibility of building a Linux operating system from source code.

Introducing the Wind River Binary Distribution

Distro is intended for intelligent edge solution developers who want to leverage the tremendous investment in embedded device hardware and open source software made by Wind River but want to avoid the time and effort of building Linux from source.

Distro provides multiple approaches for solution developers to create a purpose-built Linux OS from binary images. These approaches include micro-start self-deploying images, Linux Assembly Tool (LAT), dnf package feeds, a container base image on Docker Hub, and a software development kit (SDK).

Because bug fixes and security updates are important for security and stability, Distro provides OSTree updates that can be used to deliver fixes or even upgrade images to a new release. Solution developers can create their own images, containers, packages and package feeds, and even their own OSTree update feeds.

Hardware Support

One of the key advantages of using Wind River Linux has always been the support available for a wide variety of hardware platforms. Wind River takes the SDKs from semiconductor vendors and integrates them into the Wind River Linux Yocto Project source base. Unlike some other binary distributions, Distro is not limited to just upstream Linux hardware enablement, and we regularly update our hardware support from the latest semiconductor vendor SDK.

The Wind River Linux binary distribution has been available for several X86 and Arm® hardware platforms as a free and unsupported download since 2021. With the launch of Wind River Linux LTS21 last year, we have made thousands of image downloads available.

With this announcement, we are now offering commercial support for some of the Distro hardware platforms.

Like the Wind River Linux source-based product, Distro does not require any paid subscriptions or royalties on deployed systems. Distro is sold on a per-project basis.

We will add commercial support for additional hardware platforms based on customer demand.

Choosing the “Right” Wind River Linux

Generally, the Wind River Linux source-based product provides the ultimate amount of flexibility and reproducibility and is particularly well suited to intelligent edge solution developers who require complex customization of Linux, including the kernel.

In contrast, Distro is the best choice for rapid prototyping and deployment when there is limited need for Linux kernel customization, and it generally requires significantly fewer resources than does our Yocto Project–based source product.

Try It Out at No Cost

Anyone can try Distro for free. Go to https://www.windriver.com/products/linux/download, and after you register and choose your hardware platform, you will receive a link to the images and SDK.

The quick-start guide Distro Developers Guide can help you learn to use Distro tools such as the Linux Assembly Tool (LAT) and build your embedded solution on top of Distro.

Summary

Wind River Linux Distro is a true binary distribution of Linux that solution developers can use to quickly provide a Linux OS foundation for their intelligent edge solution. Solution developers can try out the free version of Distro knowing that commercial support is available when they deploy their solution.

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