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Practical Embedded Design using Linux


Welcome to Practical Embedded Design using Linux. You should be aware that while this course is offered via face to face, the content is also entirely online via this wiki, and other sites (forums, etc).

In order to help you familiarize yourself with the course environment, there is a section entitled “Learning Support Space” off of the Course homepage. Please work your way through it gently and post any queries (in the forums) you may have about anything to do with the course, course delivery and course support.

At the moment, this is a work in progress - it is expected to be filled out by Jan 2010

Where do I start?

  1. Before browsing through the introductory materials outlined off the home page of this course, please scroll down the homepage and turn your attention to your Learning Support Space. You will note that the Learning Support Space provides you with a general familiarization with the software (web) we are using for this course, and also offers information on information technology skills in general. You may return to the Learner Support Space regularly throughout the course, as and when you need it.
  2. Please be sure to register and adjust your profile page so that we can all know a bit more about each other.
  3. Browse through the material in the introductory section off the homepage and familiarize yourself with the required readings, course overview and approach, assessment/evaluation and the like. It is in your best interest to review this material as soon as possible.
  4. Finally, when you are ready, turn your attention back to the Getting Started section of the Course and the ice breaker activity. This activity will help all of us to get to know one another online before we begin our discussions and exchanges.

You have two full weeks to do the tasks listed above. Please take your time and do not hesitate to make postings or ask questions

If you should have any difficulties with the course, you may post queries in the help forum and you may expect a response within 24 hours.

Course Overview

Who should take this course?

  • Anyone doing embedded design interested in learning more about Linux

Prerequisites :

  • Basic understanding of programming. We will be exploring C, C++, python, and LUA, but you don't need to be an expert in any to take this class. Exercises will be done both on the desktop and on embedded hardware.

This course introduces embedded design using an general purpose operating system - Linux. The course, open to interested students with a basic knowledge of programming and electronics, has no prerequisite coursework.

“Practical Embedded Design with Linux” is a lab-based embedded design course focused on learning through a progression of exercises. Students will start with a simple design demonstrating basic I/O control, and progress through designs such as chip-level communication, data acquisition, touch-sensing and USB while using and learning about the Linux operating system can offer their embedded design, and how to exploit open source development in their next design.

Students in the course can use any Linux kernel based distribution, although for ease of instruction, a USB image will be made available for those students who would prefer to boot from a USB thumb drive, and not change anything on their existing host PC. For the development target, we will explore a Blackfin processor based system.

Projects will include an internet based radio, which finds stations from Shoutcast. Demos and Labs will be mixed between reading and lectures.


The Reading should be covered before the class starts.

Week Topics
Reading Necessary Background
0 Setting up a host development system