Clear Linux Is Being Used Within Some Automobiles

Written by Michael Larabel in Clear Linux on 14 September 2019 at 03:54 PM EDT. 18 Comments
Intel's speedy Clear Linux distribution could be running under the hood of your car.

While we're fascinated by the performance of Intel's open-source Clear Linux distribution that it offers meaningful performance advantages over other distributions while still focused on security and offering a diverse package set, we often see it asked... who uses Clear Linux? Some argue that Clear Linux is just a toy or technology demo, but it's actually more.

Intel obviously doesn't publish their list of users for Clear Linux, but over recent months we're seeing more companies coming forward to say they use the distribution in varying capacities within their organizations. Earlier this year at OSTS 2019 we heard about a variety of Clear Linux deployments ranging from Alibaba switching from their CentOS distribution to Clear Linux, Microsoft bringing Clear Linux to Azure, and MontaVista getting behind commercial support for the platform.

We've also heard of Clear Linux deployments for automobiles, but nothing official until now. There have been indirect mentions of Clear Linux usage for automobiles in the past -- such as with their quest to provide lightning fast boot times. That presentation, for example, noted there is a hard requirement of a rear camera being functional within two seconds after power on. Obviously they wouldn't care about rear camera requirements for automobiles unless they were catering to that market. I've also heard other mentions of Clear and vehicles/IVI systems in the past.

Now Intel's Project ACRN, their open-source lightweight hypervisor for IoT/edge computing, has published an interesting piece. They noted how the ACRN hypervisor is used on an Intel Apollo Lake processor within Chinese car maker Chery's new SUV. They mention the operating system stack and it's an interesting combination: Clear Linux and Android 9.

Off a lone Apollo Lake SoC, this Chinese car maker is using Clear Linux to do all the low-level tasks while Android 9.0 is ultimately what's used for driving the UI/infotainment displays within the car and interacting with the user.

Certainly an interesting use-case and a performance-sensitive area where many probably didn't expect to see Clear Linux.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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