[Buildroot] Buildroot and OpenEmbedded

Ulf Samuelsson ulf.samuelsson at atmel.com
Wed Aug 19 20:49:05 UTC 2009

Bjørn Forsman skrev:
> 2009/8/13 Will Newton <will.newton at gmail.com>:
>> 2009/8/13 Bjørn Forsman <bjorn.forsman at gmail.com>:
>>> Hi all,
>>> When I started out with embedded Linux, Buildroot was of great help.
>>> It built a working cross toolchain and a rootfs for me and I was very
>>> pleased with it. (Thanks a lot to all developers!) At the same time I
>>> had tried OpenEmbedded (OE) without much of a success: it was too
>>> complex for me and I could not get it to build anything. Now, about
>>> two years later, I started using OE at work and have had very good
>>> experiences with it. So good that I must think carefully about why I
>>> should use Buildroot for my next project, and not OE. I guess the main
>>> reason (for me at least) for thinking about using Buildroot is its
>>> easy menu configuration. But at the same time it feels like OE has
>>> more to offer in terms of its build system and its package set.
>>> What do you guys think? What does Buildroot provide that OE does not?
>>> And another thing: could/should the two projects be merged?
>> The reasons I have chosen buildroot over OpenEmbedded are:
>> 1. Simplicity.
>> OE seems to have lots of config files and an unfamiliar interface. BR
>> lets people configure their root fs in the same way as their kernel.
> Yes, the BR configuration system is very nice. I still don't know how
> to fully customize OE builds, I just build a base image and use opkg
> to add extra packages :-) (Note that I haven't spent much time trying
> to build a custom image either.)

But I have something running now...

>> 2. Bitbake.
>> Asking users to install often very recent versions of a leftfield tool
>> is difficult. BR has a minimum of external dependencies, which is
>> great when your users insist on using 3 year old distros. ;-)
>> Also Makefiles are something almost all software engineers understand
>> so it reduces the support burden for me.
> I wish OE could do without bitbake. But once it is installed, its not
> so bad :-) Regarding distro dependencies, I believe OE does quite
> well. AFAIK, all native tools that OE needs on the host are simply
> built from OE recipes. This gives complete control over the build
> environment. On the other hand, building all native tools makes the
> initial build, which is already very long, even longer.

Core i7/6GB  < 2 hours for x11-gpe-image

>> The things I perceive to be better about OE are:
>> 1. Wider range of packages.
>> 2. Probably more vibrant community and more commercial involvement.
> Agree. May I also add that OE built images are named by configuration
> and build date, eliminating the need for manually copying/renaming the
> resulting binaries so that they are not overwritten by subsequent
> (experimental) builds. I remember having manually backed up many BR
> binaries before :-)

We have had a long discussion about this early this year.
It is not popular to call linux anything else but uImage.
I have reintroduced a proper naming scheme (in my opinion)
in my personal git on the buildroot server,
where I build, u-boot-2009.08-rc2 and at91bootstrap-2.13-rc3
for the AT91, but it needs a lot more testing.

Help appreciated.

> Thanks for your reply, Will. I hope to hear more from BR users that
> have had some experience with OE, why or for what they use BR and not
> OE. Maybe I have to ask the OE mailing list if there are anyone there
> with BR background too :-)

Buildroot is good to hand out to beginners, for them to learn.
It can do a good job for non-graphic applications.
If you want an advanced user-interface, then you go OE.

Big Guys are doing OE, but you need to spend more time to get things done.

> Regards,
> Bjørn Forsman
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