Software development for an embedded Linux system in most cases requires a free license of GCC (GNU C/C++ compiler) and accessories. Many developers find it disconcerting that the GNU tools are primarily available for Linux-based PCs. Any attempt to make GCC run under Windows in order to program an embedded Linux system has been fraught with problems until now. The popular Cygwin – as a Unix/Linux emulation environment under Windows – is much too slow and in most cases causes significant library and version conflicts.
Despite the high costs, commercial attempts by some companies to provide GCC as a Windows application have not lead to any practical solutions. Even here, there are typically significant library problems. As a result, many users have no other alternative than to use a Linux distribution as a second operating system on the Windows PC to be able to use GCC tools. Without some effort, this technically straightforward solution is not feasible for large companies in particular, because an IT department is responsible for the PCs. Users are not able to just install a new operating system to boot instead of Windows.
Another obstacle is often times getting familiar with a new PC operating system.Many questions can arise, such as: How can I change the network settings (e.g. IP address, etc.)? Where can I find a Telnet client? Which editor should I use? How can I later install other software components? The list could go on and nauseam. The bottom line is that significant orientation time is required for a knowledgeable Windows user to get familiar with the new environment.
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