The paragraphs below and the links on the left should give you access to all you need to know about Linaro. Alternatively, take a look at our latest introductory presentation. If you have any questions that remain unanswered, please contact Steve Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Linaro do?
Linaro is the place where engineers from the world's leading technology companies define the future of Linux on ARM. The company is a not-for-profit engineering organization with over 120 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the ARM architecture, including the GCC toolchain, the Linux kernel, ARM power management, graphics and multimedia interfaces.
To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro's work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro's engineering work is open to all online. Open engineering has been practised from the start at Linaro with plans, specifications and progress available for inspection on the developer Wiki. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation.
The value of Linaro
Linaro's key value is in working on generic ARM technology that is common to all ARM SoC vendors. In this way engineering costs are shared, rather than each vendor having to implement core software technology themselves, which has resulted in fragmentation and overhead in maintaining code that cannot be upstreamed to the mainline Linux kernel and other open source projects. Linaro's output is used by its members, and by distributions including Android, Ubuntu and OEM/ODM customized versions of Linux. In addition to sharing development costs, Linaro reduces the cost of maintenance for members with its focus on upstreaming into key open source projects including GCC and Kernel.org, and the implementation of standards, such as DeviceTree, which reduce the amount of work involved in bringing up multiple platforms.
Linaro and its members
Linaro was established in June 2010 by founding members ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas instruments (TI). Members provide engineering resources and funding. Linaro's goals are to deliver value to its members through enabling their engineering teams to focus on differentiation and product delivery, and to reduce time to market for OEM/ODMs delivering open source based products using ARM technology.
The Linaro organization
The direction of Linaro is determined by its board of directors, formed from representatives of member companies and the CEO of Linaro. Execution of long-term objectives and delivery of nearer term development roadmaps is assigned to the Linaro management team and Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The TSC includes senior engineers from each of the Linaro member companies plus Linaro's CTO and VP of engineering. Under the management team and TSC, Linaro's engineering team is split in to working groups, platform engineering and landing teams. The Meet the Team page introduces the members of all the teams and the structure of the working groups, platform engineering and landing teams is introduced on the Engineering pages.
How Linaro differs from Android, Ubuntu, the Linux Foundation and others
Linaro is not a Linux distribution. The organization provides great software and tools for distributions to pull from (including OEMs who want to develop an in-house Linux). Linaro's aim is to provide a common software and tools foundation for the industry to use - making it easier and quicker to develop Linux-based products. Linaro's software focus is on areas that interact directly with the silicon such as multimedia, graphics, power management, kernel and boot. Distributions such as Android, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Tizen and Ubuntu provide the full user experience whereas Linaro enhances the upstream projects directly and provides useful components to any downstream distributions that wish to leverage the work done by Linaro.
Linaro supports organizations like the Linux Foundation, which aim to promote, protect and enhance the use of Linux across a broad range of platforms, but it is focused on solving engineering challenges and making it easier to use Linux on devices based on the ARM architecture and, in particular, on ARM Cortex processors.
How to get involved
There are many ways for organizations and individuals to contribute to Linaro's work. For ARM licensees, SoC providers, commercial distributions and leading commercial Linux organizations, membership allows companies to sponsor and direct Linaro's activities. For other organizations involved in Linux development, including OEMs, ODMs, technology providers, software integrators and providers, and carriers and service providers, the Linaro Partner program provides a means to contribute engineering resource and work closely with the Linaro engineering team. For individuals, Linaro is a vibrant community with many ways to contribute, there is an overview of these under Engineering: Getting Started.