Linux use is growing rapidly in the embedded domain, fueled by the availability of low-cost, low-power, high-performance ARM-based MPUs with working Linux ports and communication stacks. Unfortunately, getting started with Embedded Linux can be a daunting experience due to fragmented open-source development tools with command line interfaces and a lack of interoperability. Just getting a Linux cross-development environment up and running may take hours for a Linux expert or days for an embedded developer with a microcontroller background.


It was with this in mind that ARM has extended its Development Studio 5 Community Edition (DS-5 CE) to include a fully featured, free software development environment for Embedded Linux, including Android. The tool provides an integrated solution including an Eclipse IDE, GNU cross-compiler, DS-5 debugger, Streamline performance analyzer, online help and software examples. In addition, the software runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS hosts.


Needing only an Ethernet link to the target, the graphical DS-5 debugger provides powerful debug features typically available only in commercial debuggers. It also includes Linux-specific functionality, such as a target file system explorer and an automated flow for application download, launch and connection to the debugger. The ARM Streamline performance analyzer helps developers identify code hotspots, system bottlenecks, inefficient threading, ineffective use of the cache memories and GPUs, and many other software issues.