Embedded Linux: make or buy?

Commercial support vs roll your own: a dilemma

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Linux is arguably the best operating system to take advantage of the new generation of computer hardware. Thanks to its permissive and royalty-free licensing model, Linux harbors a strong community support that enriches the platform with the latest and greatest software and build tools for any CPU architecture. However, this wealth of freely available capabilities does not come without complexity and challenges

On the one hand, community-maintained build systems like buildroot and Yocto have abstracted and automated Linux embedding, to the point that any developer can create a distribution. On the other hand, enterprises running embedded Linux in production and at scale oftentimes have requirements that community contributions do not address. A gap which embedded Linux vendors fill by offering expertise and enterprise support.

This whitepaper performs a detailed comparison of built vs bought embedded Linux, including:

  • A cost analysis of upfront and associated long-term expenses
  • An overview of strategic considerations in terms of a high-level business agenda
  • Recommended embedded Linux strategy based on real customer profiles
  • The benefits of bringing a device to market with Ubuntu Core
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