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The top 7 Linux IoT projects

Jon Gold | June 12, 2017
IoT, in all of its manifold forms, is increasingly a Linux game, and the Linux Foundation lists seven projects as the key players in the march of connected open-source systems.

Big Idea: You’ll be stunned to learn that the big idea is drones – Dronecode aims to deliver an open-source UAV platform, encompassing everything from flight control and autopilot to a custom developer API for “advanced use cases.” Dronecode’s codebase can be used to create software for custom-built drones, whether you’re making them to swoop around and annoy the neighbors or monitor complex atmospheric conditions.


Started: 2016 (as joint)

Key Members: Lots of different stakeholders here, including CableLabs, LG, Microsoft, Samsung and Cisco, in addition to the usual players like Intel and Qualcomm. Everyone from the cable ISPs to the wireless providers to smartphone makers to Lowe’s is on the Open Connectivity Foundation’s membership rolls.

Big Idea: These were originally two different projects, but they merged in 2016 under the aegis of the Linux Foundation’s OCF. The idea is to combine IoTivity’s discovery and data management tools with AllJoyn’s service frameworks and router functionality for a complete, generic IoT platform.

Zephyr Project

Started: 2016

Key Members: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Intel is a platinum member, along with Linaro, NXP Semiconductors and electronic design automation company Synopsys.

Big Idea: Zephyr is a real-time operating system designed to be both highly secure and able to be run on devices with extremely limited computing power – i.e. lots of IoT endpoints. Everything from connected sensors to signage up to the wireless gateway level should be able to run Zephyr, and the current objective seems to be ensuring compatibility across the huge range of devices on which it could be useful.

Yocto Project

Started: 2010

Key Members: In addition to ubiquitous open-source names like Intel, AMD and Linaro, companies like Juniper Networks, Dell and even Comcast are participants in the Yocto Project.

Big Idea: Yocto is a project designed to help users create customizeable Linux distributions that will run on whatever embedded hardware is available. The core of the project is a development environment that includes tools and guidelines for the creation of those systems, and methods to keep them up to date for any system that a user wants to run them on. The idea is to allow app creators to focus more on core functionality and less on adapting their software to run on particular platforms.



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