More than 35 million devices already run MontaVista Linux, but the embedded Linux vendor isn’t resting. The company today announced Mobilinux version 5, its way of pushing Linux further into the embedded device space while staving off competitors.
Based on the Real-Time Linux-enhanced 2.6.21 kernel, Mobilinux 5 promises better security, performance and power consumption over previous versions.
Dan Cauchy, director of product marketing at MontaVista, told
InternetNews.com that Real Time is “in MontaVista’s blood” since it helped kick off some of the Real-Time Linux enhancements a few years back.
Making Linux more responsive and faster is a key theme throughout the
Mobilinux 5 release. The Execute In Place (XIP) feature aims to improve the
RAM footprint required to run the Linux kernel and applications. According
to Cauchy, XIP allows developers to save quite a bit of RAM.
With the LOT Library Optimization Tool, MontaVista is aiming to further
minimize size by stripping out unused and unnecessary elements from a project.
“So before you deploy your product you run this tool,” and any code that includes unused libraries gets stripped, Cauchy said.
As a result of the optimizations in Mobilinux 5.0, Cauchy said mobile
phones based on the OS would be able to boot in fewer than five seconds, which he
argued is faster than either Microsoft-based phones or the Apple iPhone.
On the security side, Mobilinux 5.0 includes a mobile version of SELinux
(security-enhanced Linux), which Cauchy said was an industry first. SELinux was
first developed by the National Security Agency and enforces granular
access controls on the Linux kernel based on user and application
Mobilinux version 5 is not entirely based on MontaVista’s flagship Professional Linux 5, which came out earlier this year and itself is
a change from the past development model. Mobilinux version 4 had been based
on MontaVista Linux Professional 4.
Cauchy explained that the MontaVista Linux Pro 5
edition was based on the 2.6.18 Linux kernel, which MontaVista felt wouldn’t
be sufficient for the mobile industry.