[Buildroot] [Q] Buildroot vs uCLinux

Ezequiel Garcia elezegarcia at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 13:19:07 UTC 2013


On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Thomas Petazzoni
<thomas.petazzoni at free-electrons.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:57:08 -0300, Ezequiel Garcia wrote:
>
>> I'm working on a project where the customer has decided to use uCLinux
>> as the base distribution on a MMU platform.
>
> On a platform that has a MMU? Using uClinux-dist doesn't seem like a
> very wise choice in this case.

Indeed, I'm under the same impression.

> Which CPU architecture is this platform
> using?
>

Nios2

>> Can anyone give me any insights on what would be the differences between
>> this choice, and choosing buildroot instead?
>>
>> AFAIK, they're both source-oriented, uclibc-based distributions.
>
> Buildroot is not limited to uClibc. It can use glibc or eglibc
> toolchains just fine, and build systems with those C libraries.
>

Right.

>> uCLinux seems more
>> biased towards MMU-less platforms, but since this is not the case, I'd
>> like to know
>> if there's something I'm missing, before I suggest my customer to try
>> Buildroot instead.
>
> As Stephan mentions, uClinux-dist stores the complete source tree of
> most packages directly in the uClinux-dist code base, which makes it
> quite huge. Buildroot instead always downloads the upstream tarball or
> Git repository, and only stores in its source tree a few patches for
> some packages, when needed to make them cross-compile properly. I
> believe this, by itself, already makes Buildroot a bit more convenient
> to use.
>
> Being on the uclinux-dist-dev and uclinux-dev mailing list since about 3
> years or so, I can also say that the amount of e-mails about
> uClinux-dist is very very low, almost inexistent. Maybe those are no
> longer the right mailing lists for uClinux-dist development, I'm not
> sure. There is some regular traffic on those lists, but it's only about
> Linux kernel support for non-MMU architectures, not the uClinux-dist
> build system.
>
> There are apparently some not too old releases of uClinux-dist (october
> 2012), but I'm not sure where the development is happening since the
> CVS repository reference on the project web site seems to contain only
> very old stuff.
>

Well, this is my very same concern: the lack of a healthy community
on the uCLinux side. I can it's a good choice for MMU-less platforms
given packages have been heavily patched. But this is not the case,
and hence my perplexity.

Since this platforms come in two flavors (MMU and MMU-less) I was almost sure
the reason is mostly historical.

It's nice to check you agree Buildroot it's a good choice.

> I believe that one good indication is that Analog Devices was using
> uClinux-dist as the build system offered to their Blackfin customers,
> and last year, they have switched to use Buildroot instead.
>

Mm, that's a nice hint to sell Buildroot :-)

-- 
    Ezequiel


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