Embedded Linux Distributions

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Besides the Linux kernel, one of the advantage of embedded Linux is the ability to leverage hundreds if not thousands of existing free and open source packages to easily and quickly add new features to devices. These packages range from graphical libraries, multimedia libraries, network libraries, cryptographic libraries, network servers, infrastructure software and more. However, integrating all these components together requires a relatively deep knowledge of the components. Hence, embedded-specific distributions and build systems have been created to ease this process.

Vendor distros


  • Android
  • Moblin
  • OpenMoko
  • Maemo
  • Access Linux Platform
  • LIMO

Other distros

Special purpose embedded Linux distributions

Configuration and Build systems

  • Building Embedded Userlands - Presentation by Ned Miljevic & Klaas van Gend at the ELC 2008 which compares different configuration and build systems. Video of the conference available.

Obsolete things

Further reading

  • Embedded OS mentions a variety of embedded operating systems, including embedded Linux.