Projects / Diskless Embedded Technology PC (DIET-PC)

Diskless Embedded Technology PC (DIET-PC)

DIET-PC (DIskless Embedded Technology Personal Computer) is a software kit enabling IT professionals to build embedded Linux appliances based on commodity PC or Mac hardware and various commercial embedded appliances. The focus is on platform portability, OS fundamentals and developer friendliness, rather than the end-user UI. The distribution is intended primarily for desktop graphical appliances, particularly thin clients (using the X11/XDMCP, ICA, RDP, and RFB graphics protocols). Although originally a network-booting OS, DIET-PC works well with various forms of solid-state persistent storage and hence is no longer strictly "diskless". The project uses QEMU virtual machines running Debian Linux (under Windows) as self-contained development environments, and hence may also be of interest for its unusual (non-x86) QEMU accomplishments.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  10 Jun 2009 02:11

    Release Notes: This release is a complete reworking of DIET-PC using iPKG packaging. It now operates as a Debian-like live feed, such that run-time upgrades are possible, rather than a collection of static downloads. Supported architectures currently include x86, x86_64, ARM, ARM EABI, and PowerPC 32. The minimum kernel version is now 2.6.15. Package granularity is much finer, allowing more precise tailoring using kbuild. Packages are installed into semi-independent root, /usr, and /usr/local zones, which can be aligned to persistent filesystem boundaries. Major upgrades include glibc 2.7 and Xorg 7.4.

    •  04 Apr 2005 12:27

      Release Notes: The Linux 2.6 kernel is now supported, and almost every software component was updated to the current version as of the release date. Versatility was improved, particularly with regard to hardware autodetection and ease of deployment (especially to permanent storage devices). GPL compliance was improved with a provision for source code and build instructions.

      •  08 Jul 2003 05:10

        Release Notes: This version converts DIET-PC from a special-purpose thin client framework into a general- purpose "embedded appliance" framework. This includes greater flexibility with regard to bootstrap methods (e.g. boot from PXE boot ROM, CD, or solid-state/conventional hard disk), and architectural changes permitting offline operation.

        •  22 Aug 2002 06:43

          Release Notes: The major improvement in this release is management of multiple embedded GUI applications, either concurrently (using minimalist window manager "evilwm"), or on an operating mode (runlevel separation) basis. Other improvements are largely concerned with initrd footprint reduction and improved security. DIET-PC now runs comfortably in 24 Mb of RAM in most cases. All embedded applications (apart from the X server) now run as an unprivileged user, to reduce exposure of the thin client's Linux OS.

          •  26 May 2002 12:38

            Release Notes: The main change in this release is a rewrite of the boot image preparation mechanism for smoother assembly of component packages.


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