Linaro is a not-for-profit (NFP) engineering organization that works on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the ARM architecture, including the GCC toolchain, the Linux kernel, ARM power management, graphics and multimedia interfaces. It was announced at Computex in June 2010 by ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments(TI) in a joint press conference. It also provides aligned engineering and investment in upstream open source projects, a monthly release of tools and software and support to silicon companies in upstreaming their system-on-a-chip (SoC) support.
Linaro produces ARM tools, Linux kernels and builds of key Linux distributions (including Android and Ubuntu) on member SoCs.
Linaro focuses on optimized open-source support of the ARM v7A architecture and ARM v8 Architecture, for example SoCs that contain ARM Cortex-A9, Cortex-A15, Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processor(s). Linaro engineering works with upstream projects on a set of requirements that are determined by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and posted in a public roadmap. At the end of each month there is a release of tools and software that acts as a staging tree for code that will be pushed upstream. Linaro works on software that is close to the silicon such as kernel, multimedia, power management, graphics and security. Linaro aims to provide stable, optimized and tested tools and code for multiple software distributions to use and hence reduce low-level fragmentation and improve the optimization of embedded Linux software.
In May 2011 Linaro introduced an automated testing system called LAVA (Linaro Automated Validation Architecture) that was developed by Linaro. LAVA aims at improving automated testing of the open source components that are used in the major Linux-based software platforms and to increase the confidence in the quality of enablement of the member's platforms. On November 1, 2012 Linaro announced the formation of the new Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) to focus on accelerating Linux development for ARM servers. The Enterprise Group is made up of the following companies: AMD, AppliedMicro, ARM, Calxeda, Canonical, Cavium, Facebook, HiSilicon, HP, Marvell, Red Hat, Samsung, ST Ericsson and Texas Instruments. The team will build on Linaro's experience of bringing competing companies together to work on common solutions and enable OEM's, commercial Linux providers and System on Chip (SOC) vendors to collaborate in a neutral environment on the development and optimization of the core software needed by the rapidly emerging market for low-power hyperscale servers.
On February 20, 2013 Linaro announced the formation of the Linaro Networking Group (LNG) with twelve founding member companies including AppliedMicro, ARM, Enea, Freescale, LSI, MontaVista, Nokia Siemens Networks and Texas Instruments (TI) at the Embedded Linux Conference (ELC). With ARM-based SoCs part of the transformation occurring in cloud and mobile infrastructure applications such as switching, routing, base-stations and security, Linaro’s members collaborate on fundamental software platforms to enable rapid deployment of new services across a range of converged infrastructure platforms. Developing the base platform for diverse and complex networking applications requires a significant amount of software that addresses common challenges. LNG's goal is to deliver this as an enhanced core Linux platform for networking equipment.