Mini TTY In Development For The Linux Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 April 2017 at 07:20 AM EDT. 16 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Linaro and other ARM/embedded developers continue working on minitty, a minimal TTY implementation for the Linux kernel that's targeting embedded systems.

The mini TTY implementation is designed for systems not needing the full TTY layer. The minitty code only supports serial port outputs with no VTs or PTYs, no job control support, no hung-up state, and various other features have been stripped out. The motivation for this is reducing the size of the kernel and dynamic memory requirements when using Linux on embedded systems. Beyond that, "the existing TTY code is quite large and complex", per Linaro's Nicolas Pitre.

Writing this minimal TTY implementation has turned out to be easier than putting the current TTY code on a diet. "The existing TTY code is quite large and complex. Trying to shrink it is risky as the potential for breakage is non negligeable, and its interchangeable layers impose a lower limit on the code to implement it. Therefore, the approach used here consists in the creation of a parallel implementation with the very minimal amount of code collapsed together that interfaces with existing UART drivers directly and provides TTY-like character devices to user space. When the regular TTY layer is disabled, then this minitty alternative layer is proposed by Kconfig."

Those potentially interested in this mini TTY implementation for the Linux kernel can find the details via this patch series. Minitty in its current form is less than three thousand lines of new code.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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