Embedded Linux with continuous integration and automated testing for enhanced development

August 29, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
Software engineering services company Codethink has developed a Linux build system for the development of embedded, industrial or bare-metal server-based Linux systems building on server technology.

The company in Manchester, UK, has launched both Baserock Embedded Linux software as an open source release codenamed “Secret Volcano” and the Baserock.org support site.
The “Secret Volcano” release provides virtual machine images for developers and a sample base image to demonstrate a Baserock-produced small system image and provides the proven benefits of continuous integration (CI) to Linux system development that were only available to developers of server and web-based applications.
Baserock also incorporates automated testing for software development into the CI process. It reduces the time to market of electronics products by increasing engineering team productivity and lowering the complexity and cost of long term maintenance. Access to the open source project is available at www.baserock.org with a commercial version, including additional services and support, to follow.
The Baserock build system promotes the principles of continuous integration (CI) through the entire process of Linux systems development. Using CI, Baserock makes it easier to develop Linux-based systems and to integrate system components. Products can be kept up-to-date, maintained and improved through continuous delivery (CD). Baserock will make it faster to reproduce a specific build as well as speeding up the process of upgrading and rolling back between different versions of systems, all at a lower cost than existing approaches.
Baserock source code is available for building on 64-bit x86 and for ARM systems. Virtual machine binaries are available for 64-bit x86 machines. Through native compilation of software and images, Baserock will provide a robust and highly efficient build environment which is as closely aligned to upstream development environments as possible.
“Baserock will enable silicon chipset and board vendors as well as Original Device Manufacturers and Systems Integrators to keep pace with the rapid development of Linux and dramatically reduce product development cycles”, says Paul Sherwood, CEO of Codethink. “In addition, we recognise that many ARM based systems developers would prefer to develop and build on ARM systems but today have