- 2.1 Create Project
- 2.2 Create a Workorder
- 2.3 Select a Kernel
- 2.4 Select a Toolchain Configuration
- 2.5 Select Required Packages for Your Application
- 2.6 Select Build Output Options
- 2.7 Review Advice Recommendations
- 2.8 Workorder Summary
- 2.9 Saving Your Workorder for Later Modification
- 2.10 Queue Your Workorder for Build
Welcome to Timesys LinuxLink. Your LinuxLink free user account is great for quickly starting your embedded Linux product development. With the LinuxLink free user account, you can quickly assemble a custom Board Support Package (BSP) and matching Software Development Kit (SDK) using the cloud-based LinuxLink Factory wizard. The Factory wizard interface will guide you through a few easy steps to create a Linux platform that is customized to meet your choices of kernel, toolchain, and packages, and is built from source to ensure consistency. You’ll be running a bootable image on your target on day one!
1. Log in to LinuxLink
1.1 Your LinuxLink Login
The first step in booting your board is to log in to LinuxLink. To log in to LinuxLink, visit https://linuxlink.timesys.com, and enter the username and password that was emailed to you.
- 1.1.1 If you have not received your LinuxLink user name and password:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1.1.2 If you have forgotten your password and cannot log in:
Visit https://linuxlink.timesys.com/login/help, and enter your email address to have the password reset.
- 1.1.3 If you want to change your password:
- 1. Login to your LinuxLink account at https://linuxlink.timesys.com.
- 2. Click on your user name (located next to ‘Welcome’ in the masthead of your custom dashboard page).
- 3. Click on the first green button which will read ‘Edit <your use name>’.
- 4. From within the ‘Edit <your user name>’ page, type your new password in the applicable field and confirm your new password by entering it again a second time.
- 5. Click the ‘Update User’ button.
* NOTE: Once you have changed your password, you will be logged out of LinuxLink and will need to login again using your new password.
1.2 Your Custom Dashboard
Once logged into LinuxLink, you’ll be taken to your custom dashboard where you’ll find links to resources that will help you with your embedded Linux development. An example of a personal dashboard is shown in Figure 1, below.
1.3 Factory Web UI Overview
The illustration (Figure 2) below outlines the LinuxLink Factory Web UI and the steps through which the wizard will guide you.
2. Assemble a Custom BSP/SDK
From your personal dashboard, click on either the green ‘Build Custom BSP/SDK’ button in the left column or on ‘Build BSP/SDK’ in the top menu, and you’ll be taken to the Factory.
From within the Factory, the wizard interface will guide you through the following steps as outlined in Figure 2, above.
2.1 Create a Project
The first step to creating your custom BSP is to create a project.
- A project can define a product for which you evaluate specific hardware. For example, a home automation device or a medical device.
- A project is a container to hold your workorders, which is explained in Section 2.2.
- A project is a container where you can define multiple versions of the same BSP. For example, you can have the same BSP with different versions of APIs.
- You can have as many projects as necessary.
At this step you’ll be asked to select your application, such as multimedia, industrial controller, networking device, etc. Selecting an application is optional; you can choose not to make a selection, however, making a selection will help Timesys assist you with your choices.
To create a project, from the Factory, click on the ‘Create a Project’ button, then:
- 1. Enter a project name,
- 2. Enter a project description,
- 3. Select your board,
- 4. Select an application (optional), and
- 5. Click the ‘Create Project’ button.
2.2 Create a Workorder
The second step in creating your custom BSP/SDK is to create a workorder. A ‘workorder’ is a set of specifications for your platform. It defines all the Linux components that are in the final, functional product.
- The Linux components defined in a workorder include kernel, toolchain and package versions as well as package license information, and it contains your selected root filesystem optimization and build output options.
- You can have multiple workorders per project, with each workorder describing a specific BSP. For example, you may choose to have both a debug configuration and a production configuration.
At the ‘Create a Workorder’ stage of building your BSP/SDK, you can choose to Create a New Workorder, Modify an Existing Workorder or Copy an Existing Workorder. The steps for each option are outlined below however, if you are building an initial BSP, you’ll want to follow the steps to ‘Create a New Workorder.’
- 2.2.1 Create a New Workorder
- 1. Click ‘Create a Workorder’ button
- 2. Enter a Workorder name
- 3. Enter a Workorder description
- 4. Click the ‘Next’ button
- 2.2.2 Modify/Edit an Existing Workorder
- 1. Click on the name/link of the workorder you want to edit
- 2. Click on any of the ‘Edit’ buttons to begin modifying/editing the components
- 2.2.3 Copy an Existing Workorder (for additional customization)
- 1. Click the icon
- 2. Enter a Workorder name
- 3. Enter a Workorder description
- 4. Click the ‘Save’ button
Once the workorder process has been initiated, the wizard will continue to guide you through the remaining steps for building your custom BSP/SDK. Or, you can choose to navigate manually through the steps by clicking on the applicable workorder component in the top menu of the Factory Web UI.
2.3 Select a Kernel
After creating a workorder, you’ll be prompted to select a Linux kernel. In most cases, you’ll have multiple kernel versions from which to choose. Depending on your product requirements, you can select from any of the kernel versions presented or you can choose to use a Timesys recommended kernel, which is based on alignment with community and those provided by the semiconductor.
- 2.3.1 View Kernel Information & Device Drivers Enabled
At any time, you can view the kernel version and revision number as well as licensing information and install size by clicking on the kernel version link. Within the kernel information window (Figure 3), you’ll also see the device drivers enabled for the particular kernel version.
- 2.3.2 Download Kernel Configuration File *
If you are a kernel developer, you can download the kernel .config file, allowing you to inspect the options as they are configured in the Linux kernel. To download the kernel configuration file, click on the download link to the right of the kernel.
* NOTE: This option is available to Vybrid and paid customers only.
2.4 Select a Toolchain Configuration
After selecting a kernel, you’ll be taken to the ‘Select a Toolchain’ page.
At this stage of building your custom BSP/SDK, you can choose from the following toolchain options:
- Select a Timesys recommended glibc or uClibc toolchain — Timesys makes recommendations which are based on a specific reference platform. Timesys guarantee sthat builds will be optimized for the architecture and reference platform with which you are working.
- Customize your own toolchain by selecting your preferred versions of glibc or uClibc, gcc, binutils and gdb.
If you want to know more about any of the toolchain components, click on the component link to bring up the information window.
2.5 Select Required Packages for Your Application
After selecting a toolchain, the next step is to select the packages/APIs required for your application.
All available packages are displayed in a clean, table layout that details package names, version, license, size, build options and rationale information.
- 2.5.1 Package Categories
Packages are organized by categories which include: Demo, Desktop, Development, Graphics, Multimedia, Networking, Runtimes, System, and Utilities.
If you know in which category a package is, you can click on the symbol to expand the package list for that category.
- 2.5.2 Selecting Packages
To select a package, check the box next to the package name.
188.8.131.52 View Package Details
To view the details for any package, including version, installed sizze, estimated build time and license information, click on the package name.
184.108.40.206 Select Package Dependencies
Once you’ve selected a package, the Factory wizard will automatically select all package dependencies for you.
The number of dependencies that have been automatically selected will appear under ‘Dependencies Selected’ in the left column of the page.
The dependencies that have been automatically selected for you can be viewed in the ‘Selected Packages’ table in the left column of the page.
220.127.116.11 Configure Package ‘Build Options’
To modify the package build options for a given package, click on the package name and then click on the associated icon in the package table.
* NOTE: This option is available to Vybrid and paid customers only.
- 2.5.3 SmartSearch Feature
The ‘SmartSearch’ feature allows you to search for a package within the package name or description — without knowing the package name.
To search for a package using SmartSearch, type any search term you wish to search under (for example, you can search under ‘ssh’) into the search box, and then click the search icon. As you’ll see in the main package table, the search will return/display all packages containing the search term.
- 2.5.4 Deselecting Packages
To deselect a package, check the box next to the package name either from within the package window or in the ‘Selected Packages’ table in the left column. Note that once a package is deselected, all dependencies are automatically deselected for you.
2.6 Select Build Output Options
The next step in assembling your custom BSP/SDK is to select your build output options. From within the build output options, you can you select the preferred format for the root file system output and application output. You can also optimize the size of the file root file system image.
- 2.6.1 Include Native Toolchain in the RFS
You have the option of including the native toolchain in the root filesystem. If you want to include the native toolchain in the root filesystem, check the box.
- 2.6.2 Include Kernel in the RFS
You can specify whether or not you want the kernel included in the root filesystem. If you want to include the kernel in the root filesystem, check the box.
- 2.6.3 RFS Image Format
This section will allow you to select the file format for the root filesystem — the components in the Linux distribution which are not part of the boot process. File format options include TAR, JFFS2 Cramfs, Squashfs and Initramfs.
- 2.6.4 RFS Size Optimization
By default, all root filesystem footprint optimization options (such as stripping all libraries and binaries in the RFS, removing all static files, etc.) are selected for you. You can override a default selection by unchecking the box next to it.
- 2.6.5 Application Output Format
You have the option of selecting the specific binary file format for all the APIs you’ve selected in your workorder. The application output format options are Deb, RPM, Binary Tarball, IPKG and None.
2.7 Review Advice Recommendations
The LinuxLink Factory Advice Engine will return advice recommendations based on the selections you’ve made throughout the ‘Assemble a Custom BSP/SDK’ process. The advice returned is based on build and run dependency as well as on logic dependency.
You can choose to accept the Timesys recommendations or proceed with your selections as you’ve made them.
2.8 Workorder Summary
The final step in building your custom BSP/SDK is to review your workorder. This is the last chance you will have to make changes to any of the selections you’ve made and view the item details as related to the kernel, toolchain components and packages you’ve selected.
- 2.8.1 Edit Workorder Components
To edit any of your workorder components, click on the applicable ‘Edit’ link in the workorder summary. Note that you’ll be taken back to the page/step in the ‘Build Your Custom BSP/SDK’ process where you originally made your selections. Once you’ve modified your selection, you can navigate to any other component using the main menu at the top of the Factory UI. For example, if you are finished making a change to your kernel selection, you can click on ‘Summary’ at the top, right of the page to be taken back to the Build Summary page.
- 2.8.2 BSP / SDK Build Time
At the bottom of the Build Summary page, you’ll find the estimated/approximate build time for your custom board support package and matching software development kit.
It’s important to remember that all builds done by means of the cloud-based LinuxLink Factory UI take longer as they are all done from scratch. Your entire workorder is built from source, a best practice for development.
2.9 Saving Your Workorder for Later Modification
Once you’ve initiated a workorder, you can save your workorder at any time during the process of assembling your custom BSP/SDK. To save your workorder so that you can return to it at a later time, simply click on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page you are on.
When you return at a later time to finish selection of your workorder components, you’ll select ‘Modify/Edit Existing Workorder’ and proceed as outlined in Section 2.2.2.
2.10 Queue Your Workorder for Build
Once you’ve selected all of your workorder components and you are satisfied with your selections, you can queue your workorder for build on Timesys servers.
To initiate the build, click on the ‘Build’ button.
- 2.10.1 Build Wait Time
Again, the build time displayed on the Workorder Summary page was an estimated/approximate build time. Once your build is queued, there will be a short amount of time before the build process begins. The amount of time depends on the number of builds in the queue at the time you initiated the build.
- 2.10.2 Build Complete Notification
Once your build is complete and ready for download, you’ll receive an email notification with a link to the download.
In addition to the email notification, your workorder will be visible on your personal dashboard page (Figure 4), along with information indicating whether your build was completed successfully or not.
3. Download Your Build
3.1 Download Page
To download your build:
- 1. Click on the download link as provided in your email notification, or log in to LinuxLink and click on ‘Download BSP/SDK’ from the main menu at the top of any LinuxLink page.
- 2. Click on the Download icon for the build you want to download, and you’ll be taken to the Build Output page (Figure 5).
3.2 Build Output Files: What Files Are Included?
Building your BSP and matching SDK using LinuxLink guarantees that both your development host and runtime system are always in sync. We include the same libraries used in your BSP in the SDK cross toolchain.
In addition, the SDK that you get from LinuxLink also includes the source code for the Linux kernel, and it comes with a root filesystem so that an application developer can not only build an application but can also copy it over to the NFS mounted / network mounted root filesystem and test the application right away.
On the build output page, you’ll find the following:
- Download link for the Linux kernel binary image and a root filesystem — These are the components that make up a Timesys defined board support package (BSP). You can deploy them on the reference platform by following the ‘read this doc’ link located above the download table.
- Download link for the software development kit installer (the file that ends with .sh) — Download this file to your Linux host platform and install it. The .sh file will install the complete cross build system, including the cross toolchain (with all the libraries that are in your BSP), the Linux kernel source tree and a root filesystem, so that you can start developing your application.
- Download link for the Factory Desktop build system* (factory.tar.gz) — The link on your build output page is for a version of the Factory that is preconfigured for your processor and development board.
- * NOTE: This option is available to Vybrid and paid customers only.
- Download link for the Build Summary text file (the file that ends in .txt) — A text file will be included with every workorder that you design using LinuxLink. The summary lists all the packages/APIs and versions used in your board support package and matching software development kit, as well as licensing information, so that you’ll know what licensing schemes you have to acknowledge or follow in your product design.
3.3 Build Update Notifications
You’ll receive regular email communications alerting you of updates to any of the Linux components in your BSP/SDK. At any time, you can modify your Update Notification preferences by following these easy steps:
- Click on ‘My Account’ located in the upper, right of the masthead on any LinuxLink page.
- Click on ‘My Update Preferences.’
- Make changes as applicable.
- Click the ‘Save’ button.
4. Boot Your Target Board with the Build Output
To boot your target board using the build output, click on ‘read this doc’ at the top of the build Output page (shown in Figure 5) or visit https://linuxlink.timesys.com/docs/gsg for a complete list of Timesys Getting Started Guides.
5. Advanced Platform Customizations
More advanced platform customizations such as reconfiguring, patching or modifying the Linux kernel, adding, modifying or removing packages in the RFS design packages, integration of third-party software, and integration of your value-add application, can only be done using the LinuxLink Factory Desktop environment.
6. Additional Resources
Additional resources can be found on the LinuxLink Website. For your convenience, we’ve included a few helpful links below.
6.1 Video Demos
This demo gives you a quick tour of our award-winning LinuxLink automated embedded Linux build system, and it touches on the key steps for building your custom board support package and matching software development kit via the LinuxLink cloud.
This step-by-step demo will walk you through the steps as outlined in Section 2 of this document. It will show you how to get the most out of your LinuxLink free account and how to assemble your custom BSP / SDK in minutes with our easy-to-use, cloud-based LinuxLink Factory wizard.
This document introduces the inherent concepts and terminology important to getting the most out of and making the best use of the LinuxLink framework.
Click the ‘Support’ link at the top of any LinuxLink page to find out how to contact Timesys for help, advice, and assistance.