Embedded Linux, Rose-Hulman

From eLinux.org
Revision as of 08:46, 21 December 2011 by Yoder (Talk | contribs) (Memos)

Jump to: navigation, search


This Wiki is about a college-level embedded processor class being taught using the BeagleBoard. It's being taught by Professor Mark A. Yoder in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Rose is a small, private, undergraduate engineering school that focuses on undergraduate education.

A major part of the class is learning how to work with and leverage off of the open source community. The course requires a major project which will either significantly contribute and an existing open source project, or launch a new one.

If you teach a similar course, I'd like to hear from you. ECE497 Instructor Guide explains the various choices I made in what to cover in the course, which distribution to use, etc.

Here (Category:ECE497) is a list of all the pages I've posted on eLinux for this class. Take a look at it.

Here's the official description of the course.

Course Description

ECE 497 32-bit Embedded Linux 4R-0L-4C S Pre: Consent of instructor

Brief introduction to Linux on a 32-bit embedded processor. Detailed study of what happens from power up the fully running X-Windows. Adapting Linux to a given application including: boot time reduction, power management and root filesystem support. Streaming media on an embedded processor. Using a DSP co-processor to improve performance. Design project. Previous Linux experience not required, but helpful. C programming, operating system and hardware experience required.

Calendar and Exercises

This is dynamic course, so the calendar may change as we discover interesting new things. It will be updated as we go. You can see it here: ECE497 Calendar and Exercises

There are many things you will have to do to get your computer set up, etc. ECE497 Calendar and Exercises also gives the step-by-step details along with due dates.


We'll be using the text Embedded Linux Primer, by Christopher Hallinan, 2nd edition, published by Pearson Prentice Hall.

The text is not Beagle specific, rather it pulls examples from many embedded processors. It has many listings which detail the outputs from various processors. One of your tasks will be to reproduce the listing for the BeagleBoard.


Grades in the class aren't based on the traditional homework and exams, rather, they are based some daily exercises ECE497 Calendar and Exercises, a couple of minor projects and a major Beagle-based project and your portfolio. The projecst will be done with teams of 2 or 3 people. We have people in the class with strong embedded backgrounds and others with strong Linux background. The goal is to have teams include complementary skills.

Your portfolio is a collection of what you, as an individual, have contributed to the community and the team.

Labs and Exercises 25%
Minor Projects 25%
Project 50%

The Calendar gives the due dates. I'll give a 10% reward to being early and 10% per day penalty for being late. You must complete all the labs to pass the course.


Often I ask you to do an exercise and then write a memo about it. Here are things I look for in a memo.

  1. Have To, From, Date, and Subject field on the top.
  2. Use a meaningful subject. Exercise 08 Using ALSA for Audio Processing is meaningful. Exercise Memo is not.
  3. Start with a couple sentence introduction giving an overview of what the exercise is about.
  4. Answer all the questions in the exercise.
  5. Use tables.
  6. Note any parts of the exercise you were unable to complete and explain why.
  7. End with a few sentences of concluding remarks. What did you learn? What else would you like to learn? What do you suggest for other related exercises? What extra interesting things did you do?
  8. Attach you code at the end. Use a fixed width font (Courier is a favorite of mine). Print 2 UP and 2 sided to save paper.


Since we are working with the open source community, you need to know where the action is. Here are some useful links to what's happening in the Beagle community.