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Project history

The project was started by Frank Smith, sponsored by his employer Amirix in 2000. He saw the potential for Debian to be the basis for embedded systems and set up the website and domain. Along with a couple of others he produced the 2.95 toolchians and the emdebsys tool.

Then Amirix work moved the original developer's focus away from Emdebian and the project stalled although numerous people remained interested. Meanwhile many groups and companies around the world were using the embedian toolchain for ARM which proved robust and effective.

Emdebsys work continued in 2001 when Michael Vogt updated things to a newer CML2 release and Tomek Religa, sponsored by Aleph One Ltd made it work with ARM as well as x86 in early 2002. Further development was somewhat discouraged by the decision of the kernel developers not to incorporate CML2 into the kernel and the subsequent abandonment of development on it by it's author Eric Raymond. Wookey gave a presentation on Emdebsys at the 2002 UKUUG (UK Unix Users Group) conference. Various people have used the software although I am only aware of one production system released using it.

In 2001 Wookey took over from Frank as Project Lead, but despite being enthusiastic failed to find enough time to generate much actual action. Meanwhile other projects based on Debian were making good progress - particularly the familiar project and the OpenZaurus Project, both of which make approximately Debian-based PDA distributions. There is significant commonality of purpose between them and emdebian and we can use each other's tools and code. Wayne Sitton kept the website updated and gave it a new look. Frank set up a Twiki to further the development of the "Embedded Debian Guide" but some kind of sourceforge disaster combined with our shoddy back-up procedures meant that it was lost shortly after being installed.

In Jan 2003 Liberty Young updated emdebsys to use Kconfig instead of CML2, so as to keep it in sync with newer kernels. This should give emdebsys a new lease of life.

During 2003 Emdebian became an official part of Debian as Amirix kindly agreed to transfer the domain name to SPI, now that they were no longer directly interested in the project. This move helps Debian support the ever-growing use of it in embedded sytems, PDAs and special-purpose devices of one sort or another. Towards the end of 2003 ? updated the website to the Debian look, and in Jan 2004 Wookey converted it to use WML to match the Debian web process.

In October 2003, at the UK LinuxExpo in London a number of interested Debian developers got together to discuss the future of emdebian and try to get some action to capitalise on the high lkevel of interest. A very fruitful discussion ensued which worked out a scheme that Debian FTPmasters could stomach that could generate a mini-debian distribution. This will be built independently, but patches will go directly into Debian packages so that emdebian can be kept current.

See the emdebian contact page for information on contacting us.

Last Modified: Tue, Feb 3 17:50:11 UTC 2004
Copyright © 2000-2004 The Embedded Debian Project;
Emdebian is an offical subproject of Debian.