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BMW gets closer to adopting Linux as the mainline platform

by Zohaib Ahsan
Published: Updated:
BMW Linux

The ever-growing popularity of Linux reaches a new level as BMW shows more interest in making a complete shift to Linux.

This news shouldn’t be surprising for anyone as the famous car-manufacturing company, namely BMW, has always been invested in Linux and the open-source world. However, they have hinted towards taking their Linux usage up a notch at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe held this week.

At the event, the company’s representative, Helio Chissini De Castro, did a presentation on the pathway taken by BMW for the adoption of Linux as a mainline platform. A little bit about the guy: he has been working for BMW as a software engineer and OS domain lead since 2015 and has great familiarity with the KDE Project, Linux distributions, and FOSS. So, if anyone knows about the relationship between BMW and Linux, best believe that it’s him.

In his presentation, Helio first talks about the differing nature of companies and their effects. Afterward, he shifts his attention towards how BMW has already been using Linux in their in-vehicle infotainment system. With that being said, this move served as a pavement for further adoption.

Although the Linux-based operating system of the company is based on Yocto, the BMW development team has given its touch to it. From the presentation, we can also see that both the integration of binary blobs and compilation is done within the company. Apart from that, the developers have saved their legacy codebase by porting the BMW GUI code to Linux.

Afterward, the presenter discusses the importance of safety, security, compliance, and ecosystem in their journey to fully adopting Linux. Also, he highlights how BMW is a part of the ELISA project by Linux Foundation, which aims to enable Linux in safety applications.

Helio also talks about the need for solving algorithm limitations and how difficult it is to form relationships amongst a plethora of protocols and limitations. When it comes to compliance, he highlights that BMW has established the TODO initiative and OSS Compliance Tooling Group, because the other internal tools were getting old.

The final parts of the presentation were about how the company has been attempting to give its assembly lines the Linux edge. In the future, BMW aims to have various parallelly-running architectures, complete independency between applications and base system, and, most importantly, a Linux LTS base.


The relationship between BMW and Linux is stronger than ever as there are high chances that the company will soon move to a Linux-based mainline platform. Also, you can have a better look at the presentation shown at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe.

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