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Arm and Facebook join Yocto Project

Aug 30, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,443 views

Arm and Facebook have joined Intel and TI as Platinum members of the Yocto Project for embedded Linux development. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation announced 47 new Silver members.

The Linux Foundation’s seven-year old Yocto Project was originally an Intel project, and the chipmaker has continued to nurture it over the years. Yet, the Yocto Project’s collection of open source templates, tools, and methods for creating custom embedded Linux-based systems was quickly embraced by the Arm world as well as x86. Now, the technology’s presence in Arm Linux has been reinforced at the membership level with Arm and Facebook joining Intel and Texas Instruments as Platinum members. In other news, the Linux Foundation announced 51 new Silver and Associate members (see farther below).

ReliaGate 10-12

The Yocto Project has long been used by experienced embedded Linux developers who want to develop lightweight, customized stacks for embedded Arm systems, especially on IoT gateways. This has been reflected by TI’s leadership in the project as well as that of Arm licensees NXP, Renesas, and Xilinx — three of the project’s nine gold members. Yocto Project derived code has been paired with a variety of TI Sitara based gateways including Eurotech’s ReliaGate 10-12.


In the early days, it seemed that the Arm-backed Linaro initiative for developing open source embedded Linux and Android software components for Arm devices might be a competitor of sorts with the Yocto Project. Yet, the groups have become increasingly complementary. Linaro’s Arm toolchain can be used within Yocto Project, as well as with the closely related OpenEmbedded build environment and Bitbake build engine.

By joining the project, Softbank-owned Arm may be interested in improving the integration of Yocto Project within hybrid projects with both Linux-driven Cortex-A based SoCs and Cortex-M microcontrollers that run Arm’s Mbed RTOS. Its new Mbed-oriented Pelion IoT framework supports integration of devices with other OSes, including Linux. Similar hybrid projects are also part of the roadmap for the Linux Foundation’s own Zephyr RTOS, which was similarly spun out of Intel and its former software subsidiary Wind River.

“As the IoT matures, new embedded applications emerge and autonomous vehicles become a reality, Arm is committed to enabling embedded developers to innovate quickly, and open-source software is key to this,” stated Rhonda Dirvin, Senior Director, Marketing, Embedded & Automotive Line of Business, Arm. “The Yocto Project provides an excellent framework to facilitate embedded Linux development, and through our membership we will collaborate with the community to further advance Yocto Project’s custom open-source distribution.”

Facebook has so far played only a minor role in embedded Linux with devices such as its Ubuntu-driven Surround360 video capture system and its Oculus unit’s Android-based Oculus Go VR headset. Perhaps the social networking giant has a Yocto based project in the works, or maybe it simply wanted to extend its presence in open source in general.

The Yocto Project is on track for an upcoming fall release. “The next release will demonstrate Yocto Project’s ability to efficiently build and importantly, test complete Linux software stacks which are reproducible, easily audited and totally customizable in a maintainable way,” stated Richard Purdie, the Comcast funded Project Architect of the Yocto Project. The project will have a major presence at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe, to be held Oct. 22-24, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Linux Foundation reveals new members

In conjunction with the Linux Foundation’s Aug. 29-31 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, the Linux and open source advocacy and standardization group announced 47 new Silver members and four Associate members. In 2018, the Linux Foundation has averaged more than one new member per day.

The new Silver members include heavyweights such as Deutsche Telekom AG, Federal Express, Radisys, and The Walt Disney Studios. The list also Epic Games, the developer behind the Unreal Engine gaming engine and the blockbuster hit Fortnite. Most of the new members are smaller tech firms working in cloud platforms and other enterprise tech, and there are several Blockchain related firms such as ChainDigit, Chainyard, and SIA Exon.

Many of the new members have recently joined some of the Linux Foundation’s proliferating sub-projects, which on the embedded side include Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), EdgeX Foundry, and Akraino Edge Stack. New LF Silver member Antmicro, for example, recently joined the Zephyr Project along with SiFive, TI, and others.

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2 responses to “Arm and Facebook join Yocto Project”

  1. Dave says:

    It’s Fortnite, not Fortnight :D

  2. Jeff Child says:

    Ha! Thanks for the catch Dave. The correction has been made.

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