Buildroot, embedded Linux made simple

The problem:

  • Carry only one device rather than two (a laptop and a braille display)
  • Have Linux with me all the time
  • Be able to upgrade the distribution easily and version-control the list of installed software and their configuration
  • Fast boot

Solution: buildroot, a Linux distribution for embedded systems

How it works:

  • Clone buildroot’s repository
  • Configure the distribution (Linux kernel-like configuraiton interface)
  • Cross-compile everything you need (bootloader, kernel, packages)
  • Burn your image to a memory card and boot your device

Your own customizations can be kept in a separate tree that will be copied to the final file system (layered file system)


  • Installing packages on a running system is discouraged, rather add them to your configuration, so that the configuration always reflects what’s embedded in your device

Supported hardware devices: let’s see make menuconfig


  • Great documentation
  • Well thought and designed,inspiring
  • Uses interesting tools like ccache
  • Packaging tools is well documented