My favorite talks at Embedded Open Source Summit 2023

The Embedded Open Source Summit (EOSS) took place in Prague, Czech Republic on June 27-30, 2023 and this is the list of my favorite talks.

I was unable to attend the entire conference in person due to work reasons, so I decided to watch the presentations online on Thursday and Friday.

I did my first experiments with Zephyr Project in 2020 using a Toradex Colibri i.MX7 board and later a PHYTEC reel board with Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC.
I find Zephyr Project an interesting and promising system that will give a lot of trouble to competitors FreeRTOS and proprietary firmware systems.
However, my main interest during the conference was Linux embedded.

The full schedule is published in this page.

Monday, June 26 – in person

Yocto Project Developer Day
As Yocto Project Ambassador i can’t miss this event. It is a one-day presentation and hands-on training event that puts you in direct contact with Yocto Project technical experts and developers. Its primary aim is to show developers how to create, customize, and optimize Linux distributions for embedded devices using the rich features, tools, and content of Yocto Project. Our knowledgeable and engaging instructors will help you better understand topics like build system workflow, working with containers, building applications, optimizing images, hardening your devices, and leveraging tools like devtool. You will also have a chance to network and put your new skills to work.

Tuesday, June 27 – in person

Introduction to AGL Architecture and Roadmap – Walt Miner, The Linux Foundation
Automotive Grade Linux is the premier open source Linux distribution for use in-vehicles todays. This session provides and introduction to the latest AGL architecture and an update on the roadmap as we get ready to make our sixteenth major release, Prickly Pike.

Lightning Talk: The AGL Wayland Compositor – Marius Vlad, Collabora
Automakers using Wayland compositor have been relying for some time now on weston, and particularly on ivi-shell, to provide them with the means to develop and run an IVI system. Marius Vlad will provide a short overview about Wayland, about the Wayland compositor in AGL and how it is being used without the traditional ivi-shell. Still based on libweston, similarly to weston, the AGL Wayland compositor instead relies on the more modern, widely adopted xdg-shell, which all major toolkits support, and in the same time, still retain the functionality required by an IVI system.

Lightning Talk: SWUpdate Over CAN Bus – Can It? – Stefano Babic, DENX
Embedded Linux will be more used in automotive, and even ECUs based on simpler microcontrollers are starting to be exchanged with more sophisticated processors with Linux as OS. Software is becoming complex, and the size of the firmware increases. On the other side, even if other network technologies (LTE, Wireless, etc.) are making the first steps into vehicles, the primary bus for the communication is CAN (Controller Area Network), with limitations about transfer size and low bandwidth. This talk is the description of the journey done by the author about how to implement an update mechanism using SWUpdate to upgrade an ECU over the CAN bus, showing which limitations we must face and what can be done in future.

BoF: Automotive Grade Linux Developer Community – Jan-Simon Möller & Walt Miner, The Linux Foundation
A lot has happened to the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) Unified Code Base (UCB) in the last 12 months. We have transformed the UCB to include Flutter for developing app. In addition the base platform now uses more standard systemd services for the Application lifecycle, replaced the LSM with SELinux as the replacement for SMACK and expanded HTML5 and Chromium support. AGL has attracted a large number of systems developers and app developers. This is an opportunity for developers to get together and discuss issues they have run into, potential roadmap ideas and to provide feedback to the community. Please bring your questions, comments and ideas to this session.

Wednesday, June 28 – in person

Finding the Best Block Filesystem for Your Embedded Linux System – Michael Opdenacker, Bootlin
It can be difficult to find the most appropriate filesystem for your embedded system’s eMMC or SD card storage. You can benchmark your system with each of them, but it can be time consuming. In this talk, we will compare all the actively maintained block filesystems supported in the Linux kernel: ext2, ext4, xfs, btrfs, f2fs, squashfs and erofs. Each of them will be properly introduced, with its basic design principles and main features. We will then compare each filesystem in terms of kernel module size and load time, filesystem mount time (important for boot time), filesystem size, as well as read and write performance on a few simple scenarios. We will also look for the best compression algorithms for filesystems with compression options.

Status of Embedded Linux – Tim Bird, Sony Electronics
In this talk, Tim will give an overview of issues in the Linux in the embedded space that have come about in the past year. Tim will discuss recent developments in the Linux kernel that are of interest to embedded developers, covering such topics as filesystems, networking, tracing, and real-time. He will also discuss security, testing, and other technical topics. Tim will also talk about community and industry news related to Linux in embedded systems, including the status of major processor vendors, projects at the Linux Foundation, and other relevant community projects. It is hoped that through this talk, developers can learn about changes to the kernel, or initiatives in the industry that might be of benefit for their own embedded Linux development.

Toolchain Options in 2023: What’s New in Compilers and Libcs? – Bernhard Rosenkränzer, BayLibre
Up until not too long ago, it was clear what you had to do when building a toolchain for your new system (embedded or otherwise) — build GNU binutils, a minimal version of gcc, then glibc, then a more full-featured version of gcc for the target. In more recent years, other options have come up and started to receive some attention: LLVM and elfutils have alternative implementations of binutils, mold is getting ready as a viable alternative to BFD ld, gold and lld, clang can replace gcc almost everywhere (and in some situations, even tcc might be sufficient), and there’s numerous libc implementations to choose from. Many SoCs come with a platform SDK including a toolchain – but is that always the best option?

How to Get Your DT Schema Bindings Accepted in Less Than 10 Iterations – Krzysztof Kozlowski, Linaro New Devicetree bindings are expected to be in DT schema (YAML) format. Progressively we also convert existing TXT bindings to this format. In the talk, Krzysztof will shortly describe best and expected practices, common mistakes and useful tricks when writing new DT schema bindings or when converting from existing TXT format. Hopefully the session will serve as a cheat sheet when writing new DT schema bindings. The talk will also show how the new DT schema can find mistakes in the DTS.

Thursday, June 29 – online

Setting up Yocto Layers and Builds with Official Tools – 2023 Edition – Alexander Kanavin, Linutronix The Yocto project historically has not provided tools and standards for setting up and replicating layers and build configurations in a reproducible manner, leaving that to third party projects and custom scripts. In the past few months this has been changing, and many of the pieces are now available out of the box in oe-core/poky, or are under review. This talk will give an overview of what is available and how it can be used to both write a record of layer and build configuration, and to replicate that build elsewhere with that record. It will also cover parts that still need to be added, and possible future directions for layer and configuration management. – This was a very interesting talk

20 Years Teaching Embedded Linux: Lessons I Learned from My Students – Chris Simmonds, 2net I gave my first Embedded Linux training course in 2002 when Linux was still considered a radical choice. Since then I have seen Linux become mainstream, to the point where it dominate in many categories of device. The hardware we use has changed dramatically, as have the tools to create the software.
One thing I discovered on my journey is that as a teacher you learn from your students: their ambitions, their concerns, and their feedback. In this talk, I want to give a little feedback in the other direction, and use that to review how things have changed over the last two decades, how some things have remained the same, and perhaps draw some conclusion about directions of technology and teaching in the future.

As the online sessions are recorded I will watch more as soon as I have the time...

Friday, June 30 – online

The Yocto Project – Where We’re Going and What’s Next – Philip Balister, The Yocto Project Over the last twelve years, the Yocto Project has seen broad adoption in the embedded systems industry and beyond. This talk looks at ways the Project plans to improve the experience and productivity of existing users and well as attract new developers. Topics covered include security, usability, workflows, and deliverables.

As the online sessions are recorded I will watch more as soon as I have the time...