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What Is MicroSUSE?

MicroSUSE is the openSUSE embedded Linux system building toolkit.

The MicroSUSE Concept

  • MicroSUSE is small. Size is king in the MicroSUSE project. It tries to minimize storage and memory footprint on the target system while maximizing the available feature set. It tries to deliver the most bang for the buck, not the most features, but the most features per kB.
  • MicroSUSE is customizable. Choice is important when building a tailor-made system. MicroSUSE tries to offer alternatives to choose from for most system components.
  • MicroSUSE is easy to use. Building an embedded system with MicroSUSE is a matter of minutes. A ready-to-go toolchain and a large selection of prebuilt libraries and applications help you to get your system up as quickly as possible.
  • MicroSUSE is where the action is. MicroSUSE currently supports ARM (LE and BE, hardware and software FP), MIPS (BE and LE, hardware and software FP), PowerPC (hardware and software FP), m68k, i386, and S/390 targets.

The MicroSUSE Components

  • A GNU cross-compilation toolchain (binutils and gcc) with C, C++, and Objective-C support, as well as an SDK containing all header files and libraries required for compilation.
  • A base system built around a C library (uClibc or glibc) and the standard Unix utilities (Busybox or the GNU utilities).
  • A large collection of libraries, tools, and applications to build your target system from, all developed or tuned to meet the requirements of an embedded target system, including a Java Virtual Machine, a modular web server, a VoIP server and many other common applications.
  • A target system debugger (GDB), both in a self-contained and a client-server version, the latter only requiring a small server on the target system.

Further, MicroSUSE provides prebuilt kernels for widely available boards and devices. Currently, kernels for x86 PCs, Integrator/CP ARM boards (these two platforms are emulated by QEMU), Gumstix XScale modules, and the Game Park 32 handheld video game are available.

Getting MicroSUSE

If you want to use MicroSUSE to develop your own embedded system, you can download RPMs for SUSE Linux 10.1 at Novell Forge. Currently, you have to install the ARM and m68k RPMs with --nodeps because of a bug in RPM's AutoReqProv feature.

If you want to participate in the development of the MicroSUSE distribution, you can check out the build system from its SVN repository:

svn co https://forgesvn1.novell.com/svn/microsuse/trunk/buildroot

Using MicroSUSE

MicroSUSE System Builder's Guide helps you building a custom embedded system based on MicroSUSE and porting your application to it.

Developing The MicroSUSE Distribution

MicroSUSE Packager's Guide is for those who want to add prepackaged software to the MicroSUSE distribution or port it to new architectures.

For things that need to be fixed and/or implemented in the MicroSUSE distribution, check the MicroSUSE Todo page.

Talking About MicroSUSE

There are two MicroSUSE-related mailing lists:

  • microsuse-users is for system builders using the MicroSUSE distribution to build custom embedded systems.
  • microsuse-devel is for people engaged in maintaining, fixing, porting, and extending the MicroSUSE distribution.

Who's Behind MicroSUSE