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Open Source Automation Development Lab Survey

By Blog, Industry Partners

Written by Philipp Ahmann, an ELISA Ambassador, Chair of the Automotive Working Group, Chair of the Systems Working Group, and Technical Business Development Manager at Bosch 

One of ELISA’s industry partners Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL), which is the leading competence network providing services to use Open Source Software in industrial products, is hosting a survey to get a better picture on demands and pain points of industrial use of embedded Linux.

Their mission is to:

  • Support with services and products to use Open Source Software in industrial products sustainably.
  • Provide broad knowledge and a wide network of experts to accompany your product development throughout all stages.
  • Assist in complying with legal requirements, safety and security standards and we certify your products and processes.
  • Defend the interests of our members and those of the Open Source community.

They are independent and invite any interested party to join. Currently, they are asking for help in a survey until the end of September:

The idea behind the survey is simple:

The landscape of Linux distributions currently in use is very heterogeneous. A way forward can be to pick one or more existing distributions that come closest to an ideal industry-grade Linux and enhance them by adding missing components. In this way the current (unsatisfactory) situation of Linux distributions for embedded systems in industry applications can be significantly improved. The survey should help to identify these potential distributions, missing components and key additions needed. 

The results will be published to those who participated in the survey. Fill out the survey today by September 30 here:

Linux Foundation Europe

By Blog, Linux Foundation, News

Live at Open Source Summit Europe today, it was announced that Linux Foundation Europe launches with a dozen founding members that intend to collaborate to form a disruptive inaugural project, and original research offering new insights into the European dynamics of open source. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Linux Foundation Europe is led by Gabriele Columbro as General Manager. Columbro will continue to serve as the Executive Director of the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS). 

Linux Foundation Europe’s mission is to accelerate the growth of thriving open collaborative efforts focused on challenges and opportunities of all European constituencies, from individuals to public and private sectors, while providing an on-ramp for European projects and companies to succeed and collaborate on a global scale.

Gabriele Columbro, general manager, Linux Foundation Europe live at Open Source Summit Europe

“The Linux Foundation has done a phenomenal job bringing together the private sector and individual contributors on a global scale over the last two decades. As a native-born Italian raised in the thriving European open source community of the early 2000s, I am thrilled to focus our attention on long-standing challenges and opportunities we can help unlock in Europe through open collaboration,” said Gabriele Columbro, general manager, Linux Foundation Europe.

Inaugural members of Linux Foundation Europe include at Platinum level: Ericsson; at Gold Level: Accenture; at Silver level: Alliander, Avast, Bosch, BTP, esatus, NXP Semiconductors, RTE, SAP, SUSE, and TomTom; Associate level:  Bank of England, OpenForum Europe, OpenUK and RISE Research Institute of Sweden. Participation in Linux Foundation Europe is open to any organization and free for existing Linux Foundation members.

Learn more about Linux Foundation Europe here:

Open Source Summit North America (Videos)

By Blog, Industry Conference, Working Group

This year, Open Source Summit North America was held as an umbrella conference, composed of a collection of 14 events covering the most important technologies, topics, and issues affecting open source today in June. There were a total of 2,771 attendees with 1,286 of those attending in person in Austin, from 1,041 organizations across 68 countries around the globe. The event attracted a diversified mix of open source community members from across the ecosystem. 54% of attendees were in technical positions, and developers comprised more than a quarter of attendees. You can read the post-event report here. You can also view all of the event playlists on the Linux Foundation Youtube Channel.

The ELISA Project was featured in several sessions and represented by ambassadors and community members at the conference. If you missed these presentations, you can watch the videos below:

Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (panel discussion)Gabriele Paoloni, Red Hat (ELISA board chair) Kate Stewart, Linux Foundation (ELISA Executive Director) Paul Albertella, CodeThink (Open Source Engineering Process) Elana Copperman, Intel (Linux Features) Philipp Ahmann, Bosch GmbH (Automotive) Milan Lakhani, Codethink (Medical Devices) 

Meeting business and safety objectives while building safety critical applications is a huge challenge for any industry, particularly those who have not had previous experience with open source and Linux. ELISA’s charter is to help industries navigate technical and non-technical challenges in order to bring the benefits of open source to safety applications and help organizations provide the rigor needed for certification. This panel features ELISA working group leads who will share their vision of making Linux a prominent player for FuSa applications in several industries. Join us to learn more about the project and how you can contribute to the community’s overall success.

Finding the Path from Embedded to Edge using Product LinesSteffen Evers, Bosch.IO & Philipp Ahmann, Robert Bosch GmBH

Linux is used for many embedded device classes today. However, it is increasingly desirable to connect these devices with each other and with the cloud. Embedded container technology can be used to make this easier by merging server/cloud and embedded technologies. However, it also leads to more challenges e.g. in respect to security, safety, traceability, and SBOMs. Using Linux across multiple device classes and product lines, and adding cloud technology, causes the complexity and efforts to explode.

In this talk, we describe how Bosch, and others, use embedded containers and “reference systems” to avoid redundant work and get a large number of embedded projects under control.

A reference system is an adjustable compilation of tools along with a pre-configured bundle of packages for a common use case and defined set of devices. This reuse significantly reduces development and maintenance costs, and speeds up the time to market. In this way, reference systems can form the base for your product lines.

Bosch uses the in-house Debian-based embedded distribution “Apertis” as the basis for several reference systems, e.g. for automotive infotainment systems. In doing so we push as many efforts as possible from individual projects into Apertis, as the meta-layer. Thereby, the users can focus more on the actual functionality and applications. e.g. one issue that we have addressed in the context of software management is the handling of GPLv3 in embedded devices. Another topic has been mainline support for kernel drivers.

BOF: SBOMs for Embedded Systems: What’s Working? What’s Not? – Kate Stewart

With the recent focus on improving Cybersecurity in IoT & Embedded, the expectation that a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) can be produced, is becoming the norm. Having a clear understanding of the software running on an embedded system, especially in safety critical applications,  like medical devices, energy infrastructure, etc. has become essential.  Regulatory authorities have recognized this and are starting to expect it as a condition for engagement.  This BOF will provide an overview of the emerging regulatory landscape, as well as examples of how SBOMs are already being generated today for embedded systems by open source projects such as Zephyr, Yocto and others,  followed by a discussion of the gaps folks are seeing in practice, and ways we might tackle them.

Static Partitioning with Xen, LinuxRT, and Zephyr: A Concrete End-to-end Example – Stefano Stabellini, AMD

Static partitioning enables multiple domains to run alongside each other with no interference. They could be running Linux, an RTOS, or another OS, and all of them have direct access to different portions of the SoC. In the last five years, the Xen community introduced several new features to make Xen-based static partitioning possible. Dom0less to start multiple static domains in parallel at boot, and Cache Coloring to minimize cache interference effects are among them. Static inter-domain communications mechanisms were introduced this year, while “ImageBuilder” has been making system-wide configurations easier. An easy-to-use complete solution is within our grasp. This talk will show the progress made on Xen static partitioning. The audience will learn to configure a realistic reference design with multiple partitions: a LinuxRT partition, a Zephyr partition, and a larger Linux partition. The presentation will show how to set up communication channels and direct hardware access for the domains. It will explain how to measure interrupt latency and use cache coloring to zero cache interference effects. The talk will include a live demo of the reference design.

RTLA: Real-time Linux Analysis Toolset – Daniel Bristot De Oliveira, Red Hat

Currently, Real-time Linux is evaluated using a black-box approach. While the black-box method provides an overview of the system, it fails to provide a root cause analysis for unexpected values. Developers have to use kernel trace features to debug these cases, requiring extensive knowledge about the system and fastidious tracing setup and breakdown. Such analysis will be even more impactful after the PREEMPT_RT merge. To support these cases, since version 5.17, the Linux kernel includes a new tool named rtla, which stands for Real-time Linux Analysis. The rtla is a meta-tool that consists of a set of commands that aims to analyze the real-time properties of Linux. Instead of testing Linux as a black box, rtla leverages kernel tracing capabilities to provide precise information about latencies and root causes of unexpected results. In this talk, Daniel will present two tools provided by rtla. The timerlat tool to measure IRQ and thread latency for interrupt-driven applications and the osnoise tool to evaluate the ability of Linux to isolate workload from the interferences from the rest of the system. The presentation includes examples of how to use the tool to find the root cause analysis and collect extra tracing information directly from the tool.

Gain Skills to Enhance Your Career

By Blog, LF Training & Certification

It’s the time of year that kids around the world are heading back to the classroom. This is great timing to jump on the opportunity to improve your own knowledge and gain the skills to pursue a lucrative career in open source technology. The recently released 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report from the Linux Foundation and edX found 93% of hiring managers are having difficulty sourcing candidates with open source technology skills, and nearly six in ten are giving open source professionals higher salary increases than other roles.

There are a lot of different open source technologies in high demand, but the skillsets most sought after are cloud computing/containers, DevOps and Linux. This is not surprising as to make the most of a cloud deployment, you need to understand at least basic Linux operations and commands, as well as DevOps practices which are used for developing and operating cloud deployments. In addition to gaining these skills, verifiable certification exams like the popular Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) enable you to demonstrate those skills to employers.

Linux Foundation Training & Certification provides comprehensive training in all of these and many other open source technologies including blockchain, web development, networking, cybersecurity and more. To make this training more accessible to everyone, we’re offering a FREE companion training course with a certification exam purchase through August 30, 2022. This means if you purchase a CKA exam, you will receive access to the Kubernetes Fundamentals training course at no additional cost.

Be sure to use code BACK2SCHOOL at checkout to save.

Join us at ELISA Project September Events

By Blog, Industry Conference, News, Working Group, Workshop

Launched in February 2019, the ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project works with Linux kernel and safety communities to agree on what should be considered when Linux is used in safety-critical systems. The project has several dedicated working groups that focus on providing resources for system integrators to apply and use to analyze qualitatively and quantitatively on their systems.

If you’re new to the project and would like to learn more about the community, ELISA has several upcoming events in September that you can attend to meet ambassadors or project members, receive updates about technical milestones and goals of each of the working groups and ask questions or get involved. Focused Working Groups include Automotive, Linux Features for Safety-Critical Systems, Medical Devices, Open Source Engineer Processes, Safety Architecture, Systems and Tool Investigation and Code Improvement and they are always looking for more participants.

September events:

  • ELISA Summit – Hosted virtually for participants around the world on September 7-8, this event will feature overview of the project, the mission and goals for each working group and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and network with ELISA leaders. View the schedule here. Registration is free and open to the public.
  • ELISA Forum – Hosted in-person in Dublin, Ireland, on September 12, this event takes place the day before Open Source Summit Europe begins. It will feature an update on all of the working groups, an interactive System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) use case and an Ask Me Anything session.  Pre-registration is required. To register for ELISA Forum, add it to your Open Source Summit Europe registration.
  • Open Source Summit Europe – Hosted in-person in Dublin, Ireland, and virtually on September 13-16, ELISA will have two dedicated presentations about enabling safety in safety-critical applications and safety and open source software. Learn more.
  • ELISA Workshop – Hosted in-person in Manchester, England, at Codethink offices. This workshop offers an opportunity for active ELISA contributors and members to have interactive discussions on predetermined topics and have side-by-side working sessions. Learn more.

Hazard Analysis Application to Complex Software (Video)

By Blog, Workshop

The Spring ELISA Workshop, which took place on April 5-7 virtually, had more than 130 global registrants that learned more about the various working groups, hot topics related to enabling linux in safety applications and networked with ambassadors. If you missed the workshop, you can check out the materials here or subscribe to the new ELISA Youtube Channel and add these sessions to your watch list.

In April, Raffaele Giannessi, Industrial PhD, and Fabrizio Tronci, Functional Safety Manager and Alessandro Biasci, Project Manager at Huawei, presented a session titled, “Hazard Analysis Application to Complex Software.” In this talk, they showcase the methodology to apply STPA to software non-physical system and application of case study on dynamic memory allocation.

Watch the video below.

If you are interested in learning more about the ELISA Project, please join us at one of the September events:

  • ELISA Summit, a virtual conference happening on September 7-8 . ELISA ambassadors and leaders will offer an introductory overview of the project, more in-depth technical content, emerging trends, and hot topics related to open source software in safety-critical applications. Register to attend at no cost here:
  • ELISA Forum, in-person in Dublin, Ireland on September 12. This is a co-located event with Open Source Summit Europe. ELISA Ambassadors and leaders will offer an overview of the project, the activities of the various working groups (WGs) and how the WGs interact and work together to tackle the challenges in advancing open source in safety-critical systems and bridge the gap between functional safety and Linux kernel development velocity. There will also be in-depth updates for the System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) methodology to a sample use case and a Q&A session. Pre-registration is required. To register for ELISA Forum, add it to your Open Source Summit Europe registration.

Integrity of the Safety Application Address Space (video)

By Blog, Workshop

The Spring ELISA Workshop, which took place on April 5-7 virtually, had more than 130 global registrants that learned more about the various working groups, hot topics related to enabling linux in safety applications and networked with ambassadors. If you missed the workshop, you can check out the materials here or subscribe to the new ELISA Youtube Channel and add these sessions to your watch list.

Red Hat’s Christoffer Hall-Federiksen, Senior Software Engineer, and Gabriele Paoloni, Senior Principal Software Engineer and Chair of the ELISA Project Governing Board, presented a session titled, “Integrity of the Safety Application Address Space.”

In this video, you’ll get an overview  of the address space descriptors and critical Linux Kernel code involved along different scenarios (process creation, memory allocation, context switch, etc.), safety goals and an interactive discussion on the next steps. 

Watch the video below.

Introduction to ELISA (Video)

By Blog, Working Group, Workshop

The Spring ELISA Workshop, which took place on April 5-7 virtually, had more than 130 global registrants that learned more about the various working groups, hot topics related to enabling linux in safety applications and networked with ambassadors. If you missed the workshop, you can check out the materials here or subscribe to the ELISA Youtube Channel and add these sessions to your watch list.

At the workshop, Shuah Khan, Chair of the ELISA Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and Kernel Maintainer and Linux Fellow at the Linux Foundation, joined Kate Stewart, ELISA TSC member and co-chair of the Medical Devices Working Group, to kick off the workshop with an introduction to the ELISA Project.

You can view the video below, which is intended for new community members interested in the project and those who aren’t regular participants in the working groups.

We invite you to join a working group to learn more! Click here to check out the working groups and subscribe to their mailing lists and calendars to join meetings.

Lund Linux Con (Video)

By Ambassadors, Blog

Recently, Philipp Ahmann, an ELISA Ambassador and member of the Technical Steering Committee and Technical Business Development Manager at Bosch, had the chance to speak at the Lund Linux Con about the technical strategy of the ELISA Project, the established work groups as well as the work of the Automotive Working Group.

The Lund Linux Con is a Linux Kernel focused conference in the south of Sweden, typically taking place in May every year. More than 100 participants attended the in person event sponsored by Axis Communications, Western Digital and Volvo Cars to meet and exchange about various Linux Kernel related topics. You can watch Philipp’s presentation below or check out his slides here:

If you’re like to learn more or watch other sessions from the conference, you can view the Youtube Playlist here:

#Lund #opensource #linuxkernel #functionalsafety #Linux

ELISA’s New Systems Working Group

By Blog, Working Group

Written Philipp Ahmann, ELISA Ambassador and TSC member and Business Development Manager at Robert Bosch GmbH

Many projects share architectural elements, including container technologies, RTOS requirements, or virtualization, but safety concerns mainly touch single-point elements of such a system rather than sticking everything together. This construction of full system architectures is created by distributors or within companies towards a product. Due to their complexity, these systems utilize the work results of various related projects, either open source or proprietary. 

As a result of these recent discussions with industry partners and the open source software (OSS) community, the ELISA Technical Steering Committee (TSC) approved the formation of the Systems Work Group in June 2022.

Although the use of these systems heavily differs, their system architecture elements are repeating. As mentioned, the embedded systems world often ends up with a heterogeneous architecture mixed with RTOS and Linux, virtualization and containers. This is true for medical, industrial, automotive and other industries. These systems have to fulfill certain compliance requirements, including a proper Software Bill of Material (SBOM). It is needed to tailor them for various product lines, to enable a quick project start, reduce maintenance and training efforts and ensure faster product ramp ups. Lastly, these systems typically connect with cloud services for features like monitoring, over the air update, or feature extensions, to increase their maintenance time and to architect higher care for safety as well as dependability, reliability and safety. 

Working Groups, Project interaction and Architecture

The Systems WG explicitly encourages the collaboration of companies and OSS projects to develop a reference system as a workbench. It will target a community, which either also works toward enabling safety use cases with open source software or which plans to make use of open source mixed-criticality system elements as a base for their product lines. 

Currently, the ELISA project already interacts with following community projects:

Taking these puzzle pieces from different projects and bringing them together in a reproducible showcase with goals such as proper SBOM generation is not established in any other open source project so far. There is a lack of an umbrella work group within the extended embedded and edge domain, which provides a reference architecture and a reproducible, dependable system to serve as a blueprint to explore new use cases, functions, or modules. It goes well in line with the recent trend toward software defined vehicles and the first steps into software defined industries, but is not limited to this.

Although the reference architecture may include elements like hypervisors or containers, which have explicitly not been part of ELISA so far, it should enable other working groups to showcase their work on process, features, and tooling with the implementation of a reference system. It can also create ideas and show potential risks or hazards due to a better system understanding; a systems-based understanding of an architecture later on used in a similar way in real world products.

As an important remark, the working group starts with a reference system fully based on “as- is” open source technology. Only a few of the elements contained in the reference system have been developed with considerable safety in mind. This means the created system will act as an example and stimulus environment for mixed criticality Linux based use cases, but is not at all safe or certifiable. 

Instead, it should enable users to exchange certain elements like the container technology, RTOS, or hypervisor technology. This will require a modular design, good documentation and a way to reproduce the system with easy to follow steps.

Next steps and Beyond

The starting point for the reference system is based on the work Stefano Stabelini presented during the Open Source Summit North America, hosted in Austin, TX, June 21-24, called “Static Partitioning with Xen, LinuxRT, and Zephyr: A Concrete End-to-end Example”. As a next step, the system architecture presented in this tutorial will be further extended by adding the Yocto Project as build tooling for all system elements and enhancing the base Linux operating system by adding Automotive Grade Linux towards the end of this year. A full SBOM shall be generated as well. 

Through early 2023, it is planned to extend the system to a physical hardware next to the existing QEMU image, and to also to add container technology, along with cloud connections represented. By doing so, it is possible that a Debian-based Linux may be used as a guest VM or within a container to pick up a wider community.

The work will be documented in a way that showcases why and how the system is configured as it is, while the underlying tooling will enable reproducibility by a few steps as checkout, build and deploy.


Along with proper documentation on tailoring and reproduction of the showcase, the reference system can serve as a workbench to challenge concepts and implementations from ELISA and other open source projects. It can be used as a quick start to test new ideas during proofs of concept and to let others easily experience achievements of the ELISA project working groups dealing with Linux features, tooling, architecture and more. It is there to foster collaboration of a wide range of open source projects and enables learning from real world scenarios close to later product line architectures. 

Join us

The new Systems WG hosts weekly meetings on Mondays  at 15:00 UTC (8 am PT/11 am ET). To receive the meeting invitation (and working group posts), simply subscribe to the mailing list. The meeting invitation will be sent to you after subscription. Also feel free to reach out to one of the ELISA ambassadors to learn about further ELISA activities.