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Debian Automotive

Debian Automotive is a Debian Pure Blend that contains automotive software.

What is Debian Automotive?

Debian Automotive is a collection of software relevant for a car. Many modern cars have a number of processors and complex network transports, Debian Automotive is an attempt to provide free software to enable collaboration on software that runs on those processor types and networks as well as interface with sensors and other automotive APIs.

Why do we need Debian Automotive?

During the keynote of the second Automotive Grade Linux summit, Ken-ichi Murata, Project General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation stated that “A community distribution for automotive Linux is essential. There are a core set of requirements specific to the automotive industry, and collaborative development can help meet those needs faster and more efficiently.”

The simple answer to why we need Debian Automotive is that we need to have our cars run Free Software. Besides a collaborative platform, we need to be able to add, monitor, replace, or modify the software that runs in our car. This Debian blend aims to help us do these things.

How can I get Debian Automotive?

Since Debian Automotive is a Debian Pure Blend you can build it like any other pure blend. Currently, that won't provide much automotive specific software since the software specifically for Debian Automotive has not been uploaded to Debian yet.

What is in Debian Automotive?

Package list

A complete list of packages will be available once building the image has begun. Until that time, this page will describe some of the planned software in Debian Automotive (DA.) A recent Linux kernel is likely needed, one that has cgroups. This is because very fast boot times are required in an automotive setting and cgroups allows us to bring in systemd which is a initialization system that replaces SystemV init and can boot a Linux based OS very quickly.


In addition to software packages, Debian Automotive is going to provide an SPDX document that applies to the package. This is because a traceable software supply chain is a requirement for automobile makers. The regulatory environment is quite different for cars, as are the safety requirements.

See also