Electronic – What’s the best bootloader for an embedded Linux board


I'm designing an embedded Linux board for use as a web-based controller. It will be based around an Atmel AT91SAM9G20, which uses an ARM926EJ-S core. Anyone have particularly good or bad experiences with bootloaders? More broadly, how should I go about building/choosing a Linux distribution for this board?

Best Answer

Both the bootloader and Linux distribution depend on what your final application is.

RedBoot and uBoot are both popular bootloaders for embedded Linux. They support writing to flash, loading code over serial/ethernet etc. But, for a deeply embedded device, a very minimal loader might be better, leaving everything else to linux.

If you need access to a lot of software packages, you might try Debian's ARM port. For anything else, I'd recommend OpenEmbedded or Buildroot - both are configurable build systems for generating linux kernels and filesystems with only what you need and nothing else in.