Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


How The Distro Needs Change to Help FOSS on Embedded Linux

Distros have been the backbone of Linux for the past two decades, but with the advances made in cloud technology and infrastructure, they have started to become less relevant as a solution and product in itself. To be specific: Distros have been reduced from being the universal FOSS product that delivers a complete solution to the user, to a set of very nicely maintained “free beer” types of repos full of packages that make up application building blocks for custom stacks packaged with Docker. The good news is that distros did not fail to deliver the spirit of FOSS as badly on the desktop and server side as they have for embedded Linux.

Distros were never focused on enabling the product builder using FOSS to make great products for embedded Linux. This lack of FOSS support for embedded has caused proprietary OS Dinosaurs like Broadcom and Qualcomm to not only survive, but to this day are still the primary choice of SDKs for the majority of embedded Linux devices that leave the factory. What has gone wrong?

In this session, Alexander Sack will explore how FOSS has failed embedded Linux. He will also present ideas on how a Distro 2.0 can focus on being more than just a packaging repo and can ultimately help FOSS also win embedded Linux.


Alexander Sack