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Commercial embedded Linux distro boosts virtualization

Jun 19, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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The networking focused Enea Linux 4.0 has arrived with new virtualization features including KVM and Open vSwitch support, plus a Yocto 1.6 build.

Swedish telecom software company Enea announced version 3.0 of its Yocto-based commercial Linux distribution and development platform in May 2013, adding real-time Linux support, among other features. Enea Linux 4.0 instead focuses on virtualization, largely absent from previous versions. The additions bring it up to speed in serving Network Function Virtualization (NFV) solutions, says Enea.



Enea Linux 4.0 architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Enea Linux supports customized distributions, with “different kernel configurations and packages integrated, optimized, tested, and supported according to the customer’s requirements,” according to the company. Enea claims version 4.0 is “the most open commercial embedded distribution on the market.” Its Yocto-based tool suite “consists solely of open source development tools, hardened by Enea to support all phases of the development workflow — from building Linux images to application development, including tracing, profiling, and debugging,” says Enea.

Citing its participation as a kernel maintainer in the Linaro Networking Group (LNG) and contributor to the OpenDataPlane (ODP) initiative, Enea says Enea Linux 4.0 is a “natural choice for embedded ARM based equipment with [a] focus on high performance networking applications.”

Despite the ARM-focus, the company supports all major architectures, and in version 4.0 has added support for Intel’s DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit), a Linux-oriented set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing on x86 platforms. That support extends to Intel’s DPDK vSwitch, which is based on the also newly supported Open vSwitch virtualization technology. The vSwitch technologies help create an optimized virtual switching fabric, designed for “automated and dynamic network control in large-scale multi-server virtualization environments,” says Enea.



Virtualization in Enea Linux 4.0
(click image to enlarge)

Other virtualization enhancements include the addition of KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) support for PowerPC and x86 targets, offering virtualized environments for running guests. It also adds support for Linux containers (LXC) for running multiple, secure user-space environments running on a single kernel.

All told, highlights of new features in Enea Linux 4.0 include:

  • Upgraded from Yocto 1.6
  • Poky source upgraded to daisy-11.0 (was dora-10.0)
  • Enea’s Linx IPC stack upgraded to 2.6.6
  • Eclipse upgraded to version 4.3 (Kepler)
  • Support for assembly of a rootfs from a given set of pre-built packages
  • KVM support for PowerPC and x86 targets
  • Linux containers (LXC) support
  • Open vSwitch support
  • Intel DPDK support including Intel DPDK vSwitch
  • Tested with the Linux Standard Base (LSB v4.0) core test suite
  • PREEMPT_RT real-time Linux patch is now supported for Xilinx Zynq and PowerPC targets
  • Manual enhanced with in-depth instructions on how to improve real-time performance
  • Support for Freescale B4860QDS (QorIQ Qonverge development system.
  • New target support for:
    • TI Keystone EVMK2H
    • Freescale (QorIQ) B4860QDS, P2020RDB, P2041RD, P4080DS
    • Pandaboard ES
    • Romley Ivy Bridge x86_64
    • Xilinx Zynq zc702




Enea 4.0 video

Enea Linux 5.0 is due by the end of the year, and is expected to introduce Carrier Grade Linux compliance, ODP, and ARMv8 support.

 
Further information

Enea Linux 4.0 is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at the company’s Enea Linux 4.0 product page. In addition to the commercial version, Enea also offers a free Open Enea Linux version.
 

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