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TorizonCore Overview

 

Article updated at 03 Mar 2020
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Introduction

Torizon is an embedded computing platform that makes it easy to develop robust and scalable products, the main component is TorizonCore: a minimal embedded Linux image that has the base for over-the-air updates and features a container runtime.

During this article, you will be introduced to a fast time-to-market operating system with a simple and effective update process and security-focused features. While the Torizon ecosystem may feature unique tools, the TorizonCore OS is fully open-source.

Note: In case you are looking for Getting Started Section and Torizon Related Articles, please take a look at the Torizon page on the Toradex developer website.

Optional

In case you want to take full advantage of this article, Toradex advises you to go through the Getting Started Guide.

Parts of TorizonCore

This section is more detailed on TorizonCore. Along with explaining the benefits of using Docker Containers, Aktualizr and OStree, we are going to share with you some reliable sources that might help through the process.

Docker

Docker is a container engine that makes available the running and management of all containers in the device. According to Docker:

A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings.

Toradex provides some good examples of how to start writing your first Dockerfile and installing Docker to your development machine for cross-development. Take a look at them in Getting Started Step-by-step Guide:

Aktualizr

Aktualizr consists of a C++ application working as the client-side for OTA, it can manage the entire software update process. Please take a look at Aktualizr GitHub for more information.

OStree

Ostree is a technology used by TorizonCore with the objective to deliver bootable filesystem trees to a device. The basic principle is having a git-like set of work with the filesystem tree for the device.

Development process for TorizonCore


  • Development process for torizon

    Development process for Torizon

Getting started

First time in touch with TorizonCore, the basic principles are going to be structured. Although it's highly recommended for you to start learning from Getting Started Guide, Toradex provides a lot of features for you to start learning from.

Development

Containers? They're everywhere! the development of your own application for TorizonCore begins. In this stage, tools and containers are used to create the first prototype, also, some solutions are going to be developed.

Build

Create a lean and deployable package containing all necessary configurations, applications, and packages.

Testing

Now it's time to simulate field usage, make sure to debug everything!

Production

Production of the first hardware and software in unification. The tested package is deployed to the first release of the hardware.

Update

Planning an embedded project requires a reliable and secure way to deliver software updates remotely. Enjoy our Over-The-Air and update your System with security.

Available Containers

Toradex provides Containers that can be used with the TorizonCore OS, to differentiate architectures, the name of a container begins with the architecture it has been built for:

  • arm64v8: torizon/arm64v8-debian-qt5-wayland-vivante
  • arm32v7: torizon/arm32v7-debian-qt5-wayland

If there is no architecture indicator in front of the container name it means the container is intended to be run on your development machine and not on the module:

  • Development machine: torizon/debian-cross-toolchain-ssh-armhf

All of our images are based on the slim release of Debian, which contains only the minimal packages. Refer to Debian Container article and learn more about our image hierarchy.

Note: These images can be found in our Docker Hub.

Toradex provides graphic images with Wayland Weston. Containing configuration and packages for easy use of graphics stack functionalities.

Image Name Description
debian-wayland-base Containing wayland libraries without a compositor
debian-wayland-base-vivante Contains binary drivers for Vivante GPUs (i.MX 8 modules)
debian-weston Containing wayland libraries and weston compositor
debian-weston-vivante Contains binary drivers for Vivante GPUs (i.MX 8 modules)
debian-qt5-wayland Containing wayland libraries and Qt5 compositor
debian-qt5-wayland-vivante Contains binary drivers for Vivante GPUs (i.MX 8 modules)
debian-kiosk-mode-browser Containing chromium package to run web-GUI or show website on a screen

Ease your development, exploring Torizon with our development containers is way more pleasant!

Image Name Description
console base images Extended image with console packages to be used as exploring containers during development (contains unnecessary packages for final images)
debian-shell Shell utilities for the Torizon platform
debian-dev-tools: Developer tools
cnab-app-base Used for TorizonCore Docker App support
ostree-easy-installer-builder Container that can be used to add some custom content to a torizon-core image
ostree-push-to-garage This tool can be used to generate, sign and publish an update that can then be uploaded and distributed via Here! or ATS Garage.

To leverage the flexibility of the Torizon platform, Toradex partners with software companies from different industry segments and technologies to offer you Partner Demo Containers. Those containers are ready-to-run demonstrations with out-of-the-box compatibility to both Toradex hardware and the Torizon platform.

           Partner Demo Container Brief Description
Codesys Codesys Codesys PLC Runtime CODESYS programmable logic controller (PLC) demo runtime on a Torizon container and how to use it
Crank Crank Software Crank Storyboard Crank Storyboard allows you to build an embedded systems optimized, rich GUI on a cross platform IDE

Attention: Available as soon as we progress with the IDE integrations for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

Additional Information

  • The full image is quite minimal featuring basic command-line utilities.
  • The kernel itself is following mainline.
  • There is no package management in the base system.
  • Docker containers can be used to acquire other features.
  • The minimal image is even more bare-bones containing just the bare minimum to support OTA.

TorizonCore Release Details and Roadmap

Toradex provides a public release roadmap for the TorizonCore platform:

Next Steps