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Now I got my Raspberry Pi. I am an experienced application software developer, but I've never done hardware stuff or low-level programming before. I want to build a minimal Linux, including drivers for all hardware on my Pi. For learning purpose, I don't want to install any pre-built Linux distribution on my Pi. Where should I start?

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Have you done any research at all? Do you have any idea of what you would like to achieve, besides something that's minimal. –  Impulss Jan 31 '13 at 6:17
    
Building a minimal Linux itself on the board cannot be a goal? Does it need to be as big as say, building THE Android killer? –  powerboy Jan 31 '13 at 6:25
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And I am asking how to get started, not asking someone to walk me through from start to finish. Why down vote? Beginners are not welcome? –  powerboy Jan 31 '13 at 6:32
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@powerboy I've played around with BuildRoot. It's a project to build minimal Linux environments for embedded systems. I'm still not sure if it's a good match for the RPi or not since the RPi is both an embedded system and a regular computer. For example, a BuildRoot system doesn't have a package system like APT on Debian. I've used this customized BuildRoot configuration, customized for Qt5: github.com/nezticle/RaspberryPi-BuildRoot –  Steven Devijver Jan 31 '13 at 7:10
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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You basically have three levels to choose your starting point from:

  1. Satisfy for something already available and concentrate on doing the hardware stuff. In this case I recommend you Adafruit Occidentalis, a debian based distribution aimed for people interested in HW-modding of the RPi.
  2. Start creating a new distribution. Here's a generic link to get started from: http://www.tuxradar.com/content/how-build-your-own-linux-distro
  3. Create a totally custom Operating System, but then there is not basically reason to call it Linux. Here's a link for on on-line course: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/freshers/raspberrypi/tutorials/os/
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+1 on #3 there. I'm going through it now and its a good insight into ARM assembly and some basic OS operations. –  tkeE2036 Jan 31 '13 at 16:42
    
I am doing the same thing! Nice beginner tutorial! –  powerboy Feb 1 '13 at 5:34
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