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Re: Help: Embedded Debian

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004, Stefan Drees wrote:

i´m using debian for now two years and i created lots of servers for our customers. I also tried to create an very small debian install with postfix, bind, dhcp, webmin,
squid etc. I was able to cut it down to 100 MB but i want it make smaller.
Are there any infos about creating an embedded system with debian or tips to make
it smaller, also to hold it small :-) (log files etc.).
I need also the possibilty (for the local admin) to administrate the server via web. I installed webmin, but with only the needed modules = 20 MB, any suggestions to get it
also smaller?

It depends upon your definition of an embedded system, but IMHO you can't build a "real" embedded system from a Debian base. I do this for a living and one of our first products was based on Debian 2.2 (potato) that I was able to cut done to a 64 MB filesystem size, that we compressed to around 13 MB and ran as a ramdisk using syslinux as the bootloader. But we needed to be much smaller than that so we created our own filesystem with only the applications we needed. Most embedded Linux's that I know of use busybox as the primary source of the "normal" Linux applications and then add whatever other applications that necessary for the functionality of the system. Currently our product runs on ARM and x86 processors and has a compressed filesystem size of around 3 MB that is mounted on a ramdisk and is 16 MB uncompressed.

Depending upon how serious you are, here are some resources:

A GREAT book on doing this sort of thing is "Building Embedded Linux Systems", by Karim Yaghmour. There is a lot of stuff out on the web about this, but this book pulls a lot of it together, it is HIGHLY recommended.

There is the "Emdebian" project that aims to have a embedded Linux distribution with the same sort of configuration that Debian has, but I'm not sure its useable at the current time (check it out, its been a while since I have).

There is the Pengutronix distribution, which I think is pretty complete.

There is also the uClinux distribution.

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