Making open source development easier and faster
Today's web-enabled gadgets have millions of lines of code, built from thousands of open source software packages. Linaro was created to solve a number of problems affecting open source development:
- Under-investment in open source projects that make up a mobile Linux platform
- Distribution and SoC fragmentation with multiple approaches to the same problems
- Limited optimization, with new performance features in ARM processors not being utilized
- Extended product development times because of complexity of integration of distributions with new SoCs and BSPs from device vendors
Linaro is an engineering organization sponsored by member companies. Its members are investing in Linaro to gain the benefit of shared resources solving common problems and reducing fragmentation and increasing performance of ARM architecture SoCs. Linaro's engineering team works in partnership with existing open source projects. By providing improved code and tools, and pushing these upstream we provide the building blocks for distributions to base their code on.
The goal over time is to reduce distribution and SoC fragmentation, enabling Linaro members to focus their own engineering teams on areas of strategic value. Linaro also pushes the latest code and tools into the major distributions via Linaro Evaluation Builds (currently for Android and Ubuntu).
Linaro engineering organization
Linaro engineering is divided into four functions: the office of the CTO (OCTO), working groups, platform engineering and member landing teams. The organization includes working groups focused on kernel consolidation, the ARM toolchain, graphics, power management and multimedia; platform engineering groups working on validation and benchmarking, evaluation builds and infrastructure; and landing teams for the four members with ARM processor-based silicon: Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments (TI).
The Linaro Technical Steering Committee (TSC) develops the Roadmap and high level requirements for Linaro's Engineering Working Groups, which then get expanded into detailed specifications (Blueprints) at Linaro Connect events. This work is a mixture of fixing broken code, consolidating different ARM implementations, improving performance and adding new functionality. Code is continuously delivered upstream as patches, and monthly in tarballs, making it easy for software integrators, OEMs, ODMs and the community to get access to the latest code.
Linaro's Working Groups are optimizing the toolchain, kernel and low level middleware to take advantage of new ARM architecture features such as hard floats, Thumb-2, NEON and SMP to improve performance in all distributions.
Linaro's Landing Teams are consolidating members BSPs, supporting the latest Linux kernels and working in partnership with our members to get the board support upstreamed. This reduces future porting and maintenance costs, and accelerates time to market for our members' customers.
The work that Linaro is undertaking benefits all those involved in developing open source based devices:
- Member SoC vendors are able to support multiple distributions more efficiently
- Device manufacturers get shorter time to market and improved performance
- Consumers get a diverse range of optimized devices delivered quickly to market
- Open source developers can get a range of low cost hardware with common versions of kernel, tools and low level software, enabling rapid innovation.
- Development tools will be continuously improved and freely available, making the writing and debugging of code more cost effective and productive.
- Distributions can take the open source code from upstream or more quickly via Linaro
- Evaluation Builds that are available on multiple ARM-powered chips from Linaro's members
To find out more
- Getting started Whether you are an individual or an employee of a organization it is easy to get involved with Linaro, find out how here
- Linaro Wiki Linaro's engineering Wiki, find out everything about Linaro engineering here
- Discussion and support If you need some help, take a look here for options
- Launchpad All of Linaro's engineering projects are managed on Launchpad, browse them all here
- Output Linaro's downloads
- Validation The link to validation above goes to the Wiki, this goes to a page on this site giving you more links and an introduction to LAVA
- Mailing lists Sign up to Linaro's major engineering mailing lists here
- Patches Find out here what patches Linaro has been submitting and read highlights from the Linaro tech leads
- Status Linaro is not just open about what we do, but also how all our teams are doing, visit here to see status across the Linaro engineering organization