OpenPandora, OpenEmbedded and Ångström

One of the things I have been asked a few times is what the relationship is between OpenEmbedded, Ångström and the Pandora.

It really is quite simple ;-). To quote Wikipedia “The OpenEmbedded Project (OE for short) is a software framework to create Linux distributions aimed for embedded devices”.

Ångström is a distribution that builds upon OpenEmebdded to collect everything needed for a feature rich Linux kernel based operating system.

We use Ångström as a base to then build the operating system images for the Pandora. There are a number of reasons behind this but some of the top ones include OpenEmbedded’s extreme flexibility, Ångström’s sensible approach to configuration and the ability for us to get fine grain optimisation into the images (packages on the Pandora are ARMv7 where possible and many include patches for Cortex A8 features like the NEON or OMAP specific optimisations).

OpenEmbedded’s overlay approach to the way it handles metadata also allows us a great deal of freedom to tailor the Pandora distribution without compromising the main Ångström/OpenEmebdded metadata removing any need for silly things like forks or additional OpenEmebdded distributions.

When I talk about Ångström on the Pandora I really am talking about the mainline Ångström and not some nasty Pandora specific fork. If we add new features to Ångström our aim is to push them upstream in a sensible way quickly and only provide our overlay with the minimal amount of transitional stuff or things that would never be acceptable in mainline.

Anyway, on the back of all this I recently made a long overdue hello to the Ångström developers mailing list to try and garner some interest and support. If your interested in reading that you can find the mails in the Ångström developers mail archive here.