FOSDEM is an open-source conference that takes place every year in Brussels. It is self-organized, completely free, and includes many notable open-source projects and maintainers. One significant feature of FOSDEM is the devrooms. Under normal circumstances, open-source contributors and enthusiasts gather around a table in a low-key setting to exchange ideas and present new topics to one another. This year, the conference is fully virtual with 50 devrooms and more than 700 talks that will take place over the weekend on February 4th and 5th.
A few of the engineers at Pantacor are super excited to be presenting two different talks in two different devrooms this year. Ricardo Mendoza (@ricmm) will be speaking on Container Managers in the embedded devroom, and Alexander Sack (@asacasa) will present his thoughts on the Linux Distro in the distro devroom.
How The Distro Needs Change to Help FOSS on Embedded Linux
Speaker: Alexander Sack, Co-founder & CTO
Date and Time: Sunday, Feb. 5th
Place: Distro DevRoom
Distros have been the backbone of Linux for the past two decades. Still, with the advances made in cloud technology and infrastructure, they have started to become less relevant as a solution and product in itself. To be specific: Distros have been reduced from being the universal FOSS product that delivers a complete solution to the user to a set of very nicely maintained “free beer” types of repos full of packages that make up application building blocks for custom stacks packaged with Docker. The good news is that distros did not fail to deliver the spirit of FOSS as severely on the desktop and server-side as they have for embedded Linux.
Distros were never focused on enabling the product builder using FOSS to make great products for embedded Linux. This lack of FOSS support for embedded has caused proprietary OS dinosaurs like Broadcom and Qualcomm to not only survive but to this day are still the primary choice of SDKs for the majority of embedded Linux devices that leave the factory. What has gone wrong?
Alexander Sack explores how FOSS has failed embedded Linux in this session. He will also present ideas on how a distro 2.0 can focus on being more than just a packaging repo and can ultimately help FOSS also win embedded Linux.
Why Embedded Linux Needs a Container Manager Written in C
Speaker: Ricardo Mendoza, Co-founder
Date and Time: Sunday, Feb. 5th
Place: Embedded DevRoom
Container technology has always been part of the cloud domain, and as such, its roadmap has usually been dictated by the use cases and requirements of that world. In the servers’ environment, resource utilization is nowhere near as relevant as in the embedded domain. The different languages and technologies that power the tools and mechanisms through which containers are leveraged in the bare metal server and /cloud worlds just don’t fit into the requirements of embedded.
Despite the above, these past couple of years has seen an aggressive push from cloud-centric companies trying to tell the embedded Linux ecosystem and its development community that we should simply make do with Golang, NodeJS, and similar solutions and tools. Unfortunately, most are unaware of the challenges of cramming cloud tools into a resource-constrained embedded system. Even though the architecture of some of these frameworks has the right intention (LXD), most just lack the interest in understanding the specific requirements of embedded.
This talk explores how using containers for embedded systems modeling can help facilitate development cycles by enabling modular software architectures. Next, we’ll deep dive into the actual requirements of embedded systems and how modern container technology can help us meet the essential needs of this world. And lastly, we’ll walk through an example with Pantavisor, an open-source container framework implemented for embedded systems.
Both Alex and Ricardo will be available during the talks to answer any questions you might have about Pantavisor, our open-source container framework for embedded Linux devices.
For more information about Pantavisor, see Pantavisor.io.