Adapted Debian tools so you can build/cross-compile Debian packages or adapted packages with info on how to cross-build and build smaller packages.

Emdebian is experimenting with different approaches to cross-building and small-system-friendly packages in order to produce sustainable and robust long-term solutions. For cross-building there are two main approaches: [ Scratchbox] ([wiki:scratchbox2 pkg]), which allows cross-builds to appear to be native to the apps being built, and dpkg-cross ([wiki:dpkg-cross pkg]) which allows conventional cross-builds to occur in a Debian-compatible way. EmdebianSlind is a distribution built using dpkg-cross, and now we have emdebian-tools to build modified debian packages.

For package meta-data making packages more suitable for shrinking, two approaches are currently being investigated. The STAG approach uses a $(DEBIAN_DIR) directory to overlay changed info from the /debian directory, and is used by STAGE. The udeb approach of Debian-installer gives a tighter integration with Debian, with embedded packages having changed names so they can exist in the debian package namespace. Both mechanisms have pros and cons which are discussed in EmdebianMetaData.

Project Website

August 17th 2006: The server has moved to a new machine in Europe instead of the US.

Wiki SiteMap

[:EmdebianWebLayout:Emdebian Web Layout]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Quick Start Guide


Wiki pages in continuous devel



Cross Toolchains

Emdebian builds [:EmdebianToolchain:cross-toolchains] for use on standard Debian development machines. [ Repository details]. [:EtchCrossToolchains:Toolchains for Etch].


EmdebianPackagingGuidelines is a document explaining to package maintainers the sorts of things they should be aware of in their packaging to make their packages 'Embedded-friendly'. This includes cross-building and small-system-building.

[:Embedded_Debian_packaging_infrastructure:Embedded Debian Packaging Infrastructure] explains how the Emdebian repositories are organised, where the repositories are located and how to setup your system for emdebian uploads.

[:Embedded_Debian_packaging_rules:Emdebian packaging rules] details how emdebian packages should be built and organised.


Things that need doing are:

Set-up a buildd inside scratchbox

Document setting up the buildd so developers and non-developers can try it out for themselves.

Integrate ["uclibc"] in the story. This will definitely give some size boost toward smaller footprint to the packages.

Once we have proven that this works start pushing things into Debian proper.

Optional :

See also: EmDebian/DeBootstrap and EmDebian/CrossDebootstrap .

Wacky Ideas

There are also a few ideas that may need to be investigated further to decide whether it is a good idea to make them a new TODO item. These are collected on the EmdebianWackyIdeas page.

Donations / Donors

[:EmdebianDonations:Emdebian Donations and Donors]

Meetings, Conferences, Work Sessions


May 14th - May 21st, in Mexico. DebConf6EmdebianStuff

April 12-16th, in Extremadura, Spain. DebianEmbeddedWorkSessionExtremadura2006

February 25&26th, in Brussels, Belgium. [ Fosdem2006]

October 25&26th, in London, UK. [ London Linux World Expo]


February 24&25th, in Brussels, Belgium. [ Fosdem2007]

June 17-23rd, in Edinburgh, Scotland. [ DebConf7]