Running Linux on 8bit microcontroller

by Ruchira on April 22, 2013



Yesterday I was stumbled upon an amazingly cool project which is running linux on 8bit micro controller. ATmega 1284P is used as the processor which has a operating frequency of 20Mhz and built on 8Bit AVR architecture.

The minimum requirements to run linux kernel is mentioned as 2MB RAM and 80386 processor (32bit) on Linux documentation project. This 32bit requirement is addressed by emulating ARM processor inside the micro. And micro is overclocked to 24Mhz.



Well this is a nice proof of concept and simply amazing achievement. You might be wondering how fast it runs :) Web site says,

uARM is certainly no speed demon. It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt (“init=/bin/bash” kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu (“exec init” and then login). Starting X takes a lot longer. The effective emulated CPU speed is about 6.5KHz, which is on par with what you’d expect emulating a 32-bit CPU & MMU on a measly 8-bit micro. Curiously enough, once booted, the system is somewhat usable. You can type a command and get a reply within a minute.

Read more about the project here

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
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