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PeeWeeLinux
A Small Linux Distribution for Embedded Application

NEWS

October 2, 2004: The peeweelinux@adis.on.ca and peeweelinux-devel@adis.on.ca mailing lists are no longer. Both lists have been replaced by a new mailing list on SourceForge. The old mailing list archives have been preserved.

March 8, 2003: It has been really quiet on the PeeWeeLinux development front for me this past year. The project hasn't been forgotten, just neglegted. There's no lack of ideas but no time to actually do it. The CompactFlash to IDE adapters are now available on my Adi's Electronics website, at http://adis.ca/store/.

February 26, 2002: Just release a maintenance release of PeeWeeLinux. The pwlconfig configuration utility relies on ncurses. Added lxdialog from the kernel sources to PeeWeeLinux and modified pwlconfig to build a lxdialog binary on first run. This should fix issues with using PeeWeeLinux on post RedHat 6.2 systems. The new 0.61.1 release is available on SourceForge and ibiblio.

October 13, 2001: The server hosting the mailing lists has been rebuild. The list manager has been changed from Majordomo to Mailman. This means changed locations for the mailing list archives and a new form to join the mailing lists. Details are below

March 5, 2001: A number of new applications were added to PeeWeeLinux. Mostly to support audio streaming. The list of changes can be found in the Chenagelog. The basic kernel has been revised with the addition of tunneling and bridging. PeeWeeLinux 0.61.0 is now available for download from http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/peewee/.

January 27, 2001: A new PeeWeeLinux beta release is now available! Version 0.60.1 includes the new kernel build feature in pwlconfig. This will allow for a custom kernel package to be build right from within the pwlconfig environment. The updated pwlconfig files can be found at peeweelinux-0.60.1-cfg.tar.gz.
Important: 0.60.1 is a beta release! The kernel distributed with the 0.60.x release is a must. If an earlier release is updated the kernel build will fail. In this case the RPMS/kernel-source-2.2.17-* file should be replaced with the kernel sources found here: kernel-source-2.2.17-11.i386.rpm

Archived Old News

WHAT IS (PeeWeeLinux)

PeeWeeLinux is an ongoing development effort to provide an environment that makes the configuration and installation of a Linux operating system on an embedded platform as easy and painless as possible. Some of the key features of PeeWeeLinux are:

  • Developed on a RedHat 6.2 platform
  • Packages build and maintained using rpm
  • Packages are customized to minimize memory footprint
  • Ncurses driven graphical configuration and installation tools
  • 2.2.x kernel enhanced for embedded applications
  • USB support
  • PCMCIA support
  • XFree86 support
The configuration utility is menu driven and allows for complete packages, or a subset of files from packages, to be included in the target system. Target system using syslinux or lilo bootloaders are supported. Targets can consist of root ramdisks, read-only root partitions and conventional single read-write root partitions. Projects can be saved for later use; thus making it very easy to test several different configurations.

PeeWeeLinux includes a complete and growing assortment of utilities and applications for a variety of products. Custom configuration files and binaries can be added to a project and saved with a project. Possible applications for systems build with PeeWeeLinux include:

  • Rescue floppy disks
  • Routers
  • Firewalls
  • Thin-Clients
  • much more

The PeeWeeLinux kernel sources include a number of important features for embedded applications; like GPL compliant drivers for flash devices, the latest available network drivers, USB and PCMCIA support.

PeeWeeLinux as a whole is distributed under the GPL license. Individual packages and components are licensed per their respective owners. Download locations for the complete PeeWeeLinux distibution are listed in the download section.

PeeWeeLinux is available free and there are no hidden costs or royalties for using it.

SCREENSHOTS

So a picture speaks a thousand words? Here are some screenshots of the pwlconfig configuration utility for PeeWeeLinux 0.53.7. Click the image to see the full size screenshot.

Main Menu
Main Menu
Main Menu
Package Selection
Main Menu
File Selection
Main Menu
Target Selection
Main Menu
Projects Menu
Main Menu
Backup Menu

DOWNLOAD

PeeWeeLinux is now available in three formats. Only one of these files is required to have a fully functional development environment.

  • ISO image to create an official PeeWeeLinux CD
  • Source tar.gz archive includes all of the CD in a tar archive
  • Binary tar.gz archive includes all of the CD except for source rpms

Current and old releases of PeeWeeLinux are available on SourceForge. The latest release is also available on ibiblio.org formerly known as metalab.unc.edu and it's worldwide mirrors. Here are the download locations:

PRODUCTS

PeeWeeLinux is available free from the download locations listed in the download section. To purchase any of these products go directly to the Adi's Electronics store.

3.5 Compact Flash to IDE Adapter 2.5 Compact Flash to IDE Adapter Plugin Compact Flash to IDE Adapter
3.5" CompactFlash to IDE Adapter. 2.5" CompactFlash to IDE Adapter. Plugin CompactFlash to IDE Adapter.
PeeWeeLinux CD-R Sandisk SDDR-31 64MB Compact Flash
PeeWeeLinux on CD-R USB Compact Flash Reader CompactFlash Cards

REQUIREMENTS

The PeeWeeLinux development environment requires a pre-existing Linux system with a complete set of development tools installed. PeeWeeLinux is currently developed on a RedHat 6.2 system with some updated packages and a not necessarily a stock kernel.

Currently the loading of target devices directly attached to the development system are supported. These include floppy drives, IDE hard drives, scsi hard drives, M-Systems Disk-On-Chip and CompactFlash devices. CompactFlash has been successfully loaded using PCMCIA adapters and USB readers.

CompactFlash to IDE adapters are ideal for attaching a CompactFlash card to a target device. They are currently being used with great success inside the K-Net Router, Datalux IPIX and many other embedded boxes in lieu of a common hard disk drive. Feel free contact me with any questions.

MAILING LISTS / DISCUSSION

PeeWeeLinux is supported through a mailing list. You can subscribe to the mailing list, or you can access the list archive.

Prior to October 2, 2004 PeeWeeLinux had two mailing lists. The archives for these older lists are still available and contain valuable information about PeeWeeLinux not found anywhere else.

DOCUMENTATION

Any help in producing useful documentation for PeeWeeLinux would be greatly appreciated. Any volunteers? For now the mailing list and its archives are the best resource for information.

HISTORY

PeeWeeLinux was created out of the need to develop a small crash proof satellite router for K-Net. The idea was to build a flash based system that loads the operating system into a ramdisk thus eliminating any risk of corrupting the filesystem due to power failures, brownouts or even operator errors. In essance an embedded Linux system.

The first K-Net Router was build on a RedHat 5.2 platform. The operating system was assembled in a way similar as described in the Bootdisk-HOWTO. Most binaries were taken from the running RedHat 5.2 development system. The exception were some system utilities which were compiled to depend on less libraries.

When the system was run on the target platform it became evident that there were significant problems because the 2.0.35 kernel would not support vital features of the motherboard used. Migration to RedHat 6.1 with a 2.2.12 kernel was the answer. But this move also meant a tremendous amount of additional development work since RedHat 6.1 was based on a different libc version.

PeeWeeLinux was conveived to make the process of building an embedded system repeatable and reliable. The tedious task of stripping each library and binary and ensuring that dependencies are met had been done when the PeeWeeLinux packages were build.

Eventually Ralph Stickley became interested in the PeeWeeLinux development environment to develop the operating system for the Datalux IPIX. He created and maintained 'pwlconfig', the ncurses driven configuration utility, and he was the driving force to add X windows and X dependent applications.

Today PeeWeeLinux is actively being developed and used. Work is underway to keep PeeWeeLinux at the cutting edge of Linux development by including the latest stable kernel versions and increasing the applications and utilities available. Features are being added to 'pwlconfig' on an ongoing basis.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or bug reports. If you are using PeeWeeLinux I would encourage you to post your questions to the mailing lists. A much braoder audience is reached via the lists and response times tend to be much quicker.

CREDITS

The listed individuals have made contributions to PeeWeeLinux.
  • Ralph Stickley, creator of the pwlconfig PeeWeeLinux configuration tool