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SubjectANN: CML2+OS, Integrated Kernel & Operating System Configuration and Generation


Integrated Kernel & Operating System
Configuration and Generation

August 29, 2000

The Embedded Debian Project is pleased to announce the availability
of the first of a series of DEVELOPMENT releases of CML2+OS, a system
for the configuration and generation of both a Linux kernel *AND* an
operating system (i.e. root filesystem). CML2+OS is being designed
to assist embedded Linux developers in configuring and generating
small (1 to 10Mb) Linux target systems.

CML2+OS is based on CML2, (CML stands for Configuration Menu Language)
currently under development to replace the existing Linux kernel
configuration system. See for more
information on CML2.

Some of the goals of CML2+OS are

0. Open Source.

1. Run on Debian, RPM based, or any other Linux development host.

2. Cross development; i.e. build an ARM target system on an x86
development host.

3. Support a wide range of target architectures (e.g. ARM,
PowerPC, MIPS, SPARC, Intel x86, Alpha and Motorola 680x0).

4. Fully integrated kernel *and* OS (i.e. root filesystem)
configuration and generation. For instance, if loadable
module support isn't configured in the kernel, then the user
won't (by default) be presented with the option to include
'modutils' in the OS. If SCSI support isn't configured into
the kernel, then SCSI /dev nodes won't be created.

5. Ability to generate a system in a number of ways, such as
to a directory tree for NFS root, to a compressed initial
ramdisk, etc.

6. Support for profiles, which are pre-designed configurations
for various target boards and target functions (e.g. firewalls,
routers, file servers, web servers, etc.).

7. The ability to generate systems from binary packages (for
convenience) and/or source packages (for flexibility).

The home page for CML2+OS can be found at the Embedded Debian web site:

As I mentioned, this is a DEVELOPMENT release. This means that it
doesn't fully work yet, and a lot of what does work still needs work.
However, it *HAS* actually built a few small systems that have
booted on a PowerPC VME board. I don't recommend using it at this
stage unless you're willing to get your hands dirty.

CML2+OS is expected to be ready for beta testing in one to two months.


The architecture of CML2+OS consists of a front end (the Configurator)
and a back end (the Generator). The Configurator (front end) is based
on extending the CML2 rulebase with configuration rules for the operating
system. It produces a standard Linux '.config' file augmented with
OS configuration information.

The Generator (back end) takes this config file, and generates a file
system containing the OS.

There are many conceivable ways of building such a filesystem. The first
implementation will be based on a simple, yet powerful technique of
extracting pre-built binaries from existing Debian binary packages.
This will enable the building of minimal operating systems for ARM,
PowerPC, SPARC, Intel x86, Alpha and Motorola 680x0 architectures.


CML2+OS has been developed as part of the Embedded Debian Project
(, and is being released under the GPL. Funding
for this project is being provided by AMIRIX Systems Inc.


If you're interested in participating in the development of CML2+OS,
you should join the 'emdebian-discuss' mailing list. Instructions
on how to join the list can be found on the Embedded Debian web site:

For companies in the embedded Linux business, participation in the
Embedded Debian Project is a viable way of having a voice in the
design and implementation of an embedded Linux distribution which
can be used as the basis of their own products.


Frank Smith <>
Embedded Debian Project

$Id: ANNOUNCEMENT.OS,v 1.7 2000/08/29 12:41:00 fismith Exp $

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