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Wind River Linux 8 supports Yocto Project 2.0, Intel Skylake

Oct 5, 2015 — by Eric Brown 1,781 views

The Wind River Linux 8 embedded distribution has arrived with Yocto Project 2.0 and Linux 4.1, featuring faster setup, plus support for Intel Skylake CPUs.

Wind River released the version eight of its industry-leading commercial embedded Linux distribution with an updated open source foundation based on the soon-to-be-released Yocto Project 2.0 platform and BitBake build system. Other updated components include Linux kernel 4.1 and GNU toolchain 5.2. Wind River Linux 8 also reduces setup and installation time by up to 50 percent, says Wind River.

Wind River Linux 8 adds support for Intel’s 6th Generation Skylake family of Core processors, which range from Core Y-series CPUs with 4.5W TDPs to S-Series chips with 65W TDPs. So far, the Skylake chips have been supported with a new wave of computer-on-modules from Aaeon, Adlink, Advantech, Congatec, and Kontron, as well as Advantech’s AIMB-275 single board computer.

Wind River Linux 8 architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Wind River, which is a subsidiary of Intel, also announced new support for the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. Wind River has supported ARMv8 designs, such as the Cortex-A53 and -A57 SoCs that are now sweeping the industry, since 2013’s Wind River Linux 6. However, the new release adds features such as the ability to run a host OS kernel directly in EL2 (hypervisor mode) on ARMv8 processors, saving extra content switches for KVM, says Wind River.


Wind River Linux is part of the Wind River Helix portfolio of products for Internet of Things development. Version 8 will serve as the “baseline” for all WRL technology profiles, including Carrier Grade Profile for Wind River Linux, Security Profile for Wind River, and the Open Virtualization profile for building and deploying a cloud operating system. The latter is now updated with new features that “enable cloud services and high-performance computing capabilities to integrate a compute node to a number of frameworks or infrastructure providers,” says Wind River.

A year ago, Wind River Linux 7 was released based on Yocto Project 1.7, adding new binary deployment and security assessment options. The Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project is a set of open source tools and components designed to create custom Linux distributions for specific devices. While most commercial embedded Linux distributions use the codebase, Wind River notes that the company contributes more than one third of the Yocto Project lines of code, and is a gold member of the Yocto Project Advisory Board.

Yocto Project 2.0 is currently scheduled for an Oct. 30 release, through a renaming of Yocto 1.9’s final release candidate. Key enhancements in version 1.9/2.0 include “overall UX improvements, support for distro and binary package deployment and early customization,” as well as “an IOT-driven developer flow, cross-development support using Windows/Mac, Toaster and Eclipse plug-in enhancements, and error reporting systems improvements,” says the project.

Yocto Project’s standard development environment
(click image to enlarge)

“Wind River continues to do important work with the Linux community, as well as foster open source innovation,” stated Jim Zemlin, executive director at Linux Foundation. “We look forward to the company’s ongoing contributions to the Yocto Project, and their market success with products like Wind River Linux.”

Further information

Wind River Linux 8 will be demonstrated at this week’s Embedded Linux Conference Europe, which is co-located with LinuxCon Europe, Oct 5-7. Wind River can be found at Booth No. 5 at Convention Centre Dublin. More information on WRL 8 may be found at the Wind River Linux 8 product page.

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