LxNETES and the open community

Hi all!

I want to explain some reflexions about the uClinux version for Digi modules and processors (LxNETES). I’m writing this post with the only intention of showing my point of view about LxNETES and the strategics followed by DIGI on this subject. Please, don’t take this post as a critic against Digi. I’m just explaining my modest opinion as a simple user.

I’ve been using LxNETES for the last ten months. First, on the UNC20, more recently, on the Connect-ME. I must say that LxNETES (uClinux) is a wonderful OS with lots of capabilities and, although I don’t know Net-OS, I would choose LxNETES again if were to start again with the Digi modules. uClinux let integrate almost any Linux application in your solution. The Boa web server is compact, fast and flexible. The TCP/IP stack seems to be rock-solid. Busybox, etc.

FsForth, the creator of the LxNETES port of uClinux has really done a good job, mainly for the UNC20 (now ConnectCore 7U), a module that was initially developed to use this OS. I’ve been getting a fabulous support from FsForth Spain and Germany for the last months. Always ready to help and improve their OS. This is a great thing.

Nevertheless, I’m wondering why Digi/FsForth doesn’t make LxNETES freely available for the entire community. It’s true that the LxNETES development kits are not expensive compared with the NET-OS ones but I thing that this is the detail that prevents the Digi modules/processors to be popular for the open community. As a professional developer, I’m using LxNETES+Digi modules for my professional customers. Nevertheless, I’m planning to start an open source project where the use of the Connect-me or any other Digi module could be difficult to understand. For that kind of projects, there are many other possibilities: Etrax (Axis), Blackfin (Analog Devices), Coldfire (motorola), etc. All these solutions present a real GPL Linux/uClinux OS where big communities share their experiences, detect errors and improve distributions. That’s the strength of the open community and many companies have understood its philosophy. My personal experience tells me that more and more start-up companies finds in this feature lots of possibilities.

LxNETES, being available only to customers that buy a development kit will never be as popular as the ports listed above. Digi sells hardware. Making LxNETES freely available should make Digi sell more hardware. FsForth belongs to Digi. They maintain the uClinux port and designs new harware based on Netsilicon processors. Enlarging the LxNETES community will improve the OS and will do it more popular. The Netsilicon processors have a lot of advantages for those looking for uClinux with Ethernet. People like me are currently looking at other more complicated solutions just because they want an open source community with free toolchains, schematics, examples and great user forums.

I think that’s all. It’s just my opinion.

Anyway, LxNETES is a great tool.


Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t read it as unwarrented criticism and welcome all feedback.

We have discussed internally ways to better support our LxNETES customers and will definitely take your suggestions into consideration. We’re pretty excited about some of the changes already in progress for our embedded Linux products, but it’s a bit too early to generally announce them. Watch for more details in the next few months.

If you have additional suggestions about what you believe will work or won’t work, please feel free to email me directly at jleier at digi dot com.

Best regards,

  • John


I’ll been waiting for those news :wink: