Audience of This Book

This book is intended first and foremost for the experienced embedded system designer who wishes to use Linux in a future or current project. Such a reader is expected to be familiar with all the techniques and technologies used in developing embedded systems, such as cross-compiling, BDM or JTAG debugging, and the implications of dealing with immature or incomplete hardware. If you are such a reader, you may want to skip some of the background material about embedded system development presented early in some sections. There are, however, many early sections (particularly in Chapter 2) that you will need to read, because they cover the special implications of using the Linux kernel in an embedded system.

This book is also intended for the beginning embedded system developer who would like to become familiar with the tools and techniques used in developing embedded systems based on Linux. This book is not an introduction to embedded systems, however, and you may need to research some of the issues discussed here in an introductory text book. Appendix B contains a list of books and other resources to help you.

If you are a power user or a system administrator already familiar with Linux, this book should help you produce highly customized Linux installations. If you find that distributions install too many packages for your liking, for example, and would like to build your own custom distribution from scratch, many parts of this book should come in handy, particularly Chapter 6.

Finally, this book should be helpful to a programmer or a Linux enthusiast who wants to understand how Linux systems are built and operated. Though the material in this book does not cover how general-purpose distributions are created, many of the techniques covered here apply, to a certain extent, as much to general purpose distributions as they do to creating customized embedded Linux installations.