What is Automotive Grade Linux?
Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is an open collaboration between contributors from the Automotive Industry, the Communications Industry, Semiconductor Industry, Academia, Community and others, combining open source components into a core operating system software stack suitable for automotive applications.
AGL builds upon over $10B of investment made in the Linux kernel, as well as many other open-source software projects. It is leveraging the technology contributions made by the Communications, Consumer Electronics, and Enterprise Computing Industries while defining and developing new functionality.
The Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup will work with the Tizen project as the reference distribution to develop a reference platform that is optimized for a broad set of automotive applications ranging from Instrumentation Cluster to In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) and more. The Linux Foundation will host this effort, providing a neutral environment for collaboration among the Linux kernel community, other open source software communities and the automotive industry.
All work is carried out by the AGL Workgroup members directly within upstream projects. The upstream projects are then integrated into an AGL reference distribution.
And what it is not...
Automotive Grade Linux is not
A production system: The concept of AGL is to provide engineers a technology platform they can use to jump-start their development work. To be production-ready AGL will need to be adopted to target hardware platforms, outfitted with a custom user experience, and provided with long-term support.
Limited to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI): While Linux is a great fit for IVI, its flexibility allows for much broader use inside and outside of cars as well: instrument clusters, climate control, intelligent roadway instrumentation, etc. There is no "one size fits all" distribution, and the goal of AGL is not to provide a universal solution, but rather offer an optimized embedded Linux OS stack as a starting point for engineering work.
A universal solution: There is never a single solution that will fulfill the need of all applications. It is not the goal of AGL to provide such a solution, but rather a technology compendium in form of a reference implementation and supporting documentation that can easily be tailored and extended.
A standalone project: Reinventing the wheel is a waste of resources and makes no sense. Hence, AGL draws on other open-source projects as much as possible. For each feature and functionality extension to meet AGL requirements a suitable upstream projects will be identified to collaborate within. The upstream project will then be integrated with AGL. AGL incorporates a strict upstream first policy.
The "Debian" and "Fedora" of Automotive Linux
Debian and Fedora are two cutting-edge Linux distributions, integrating the latest technologies developed and supported by a broad community of individual developers as well as commercial entities. They often appeal to organizations who are developing next generation systems, and want to test-drive functionality that will be production-ready in the near future. Downstream, Canonical and Red Hat offer enterprise support for Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux to meet typical requirements of production systems: long-term updates and security patches, support, documentation, enhanced user experience, etc.
In a similar manner, AGL is seeking to become the upstream Linux distribution for automotive use by facilitating cooperation between multiple industries and the open-source communities.
The goal of AGL is to provide:
A developer distribution geared towards rapid prototyping and jump-starting engineering projects.
A broad community of support, with individual developers, academic organizations and companies.
An upstream distribution for commercial products, where commercial distributions provide what the AGL distribution can not: long-term support, optimization for specific use cases and hardware, etc.
An automotive-focused core Linux operating system stack that meets common and shared requirements of the automotive ecosystem.
A Reference Distribution, to help demonstrate the capabilities of the technology without intending to set any standards or establish compliance requirements.