embedding linux into a scanner

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I'd really appreciate some help with a project I am about to embark
on. I want to build a scanner with an LCD monitor that will hopefully
scan an image and then maybe manipulate it and display it on an
attached LCD monitor.
I want to go down the route of installing linux on a small PC board
and to
then attach an interface from the PC board that will link up to
specific hardware parts and control them.
I understand this means I will require a graphics card to display to
the LCD monitor and so on.

My question is what flavour of linux do I go for ? I guess it has to
be minimalist ? I really want the OS to be hidden from the user.
Secondly I was wondering how will I install linux so it boots and then
goes straight to the application that will manipulate the scanner ?
Thirdly although C is normally used to control hardware I was
wondering if I can manipulate hardware using java's JNI because I
would also like to write the applications that will manipulate the
scanned image in java. Will this be possible or should i use C/ C++
through out.
Any help would be appreciated,

Re: embedding linux into a scanner
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Hi Paul,

I would suggest for your project, you get a normal PC, with any linux distro,
start from there.  work through what programs and drivers you need, and slowly
it down as small as possible.

you can easily start the scanner software (or windowing software, etc) that you
to run from inittab or the /etc/rc startup scripts.

If you use any kind of java in anyway to control the hardware, i'm pretty sure
still need an underlying IO driver layer, either in kernel or userspace, and if
do this in anything other than C/++ you'll just be making things difficult for


Damion de Soto - Software Engineer  email:     snipped-for-privacy@snapgear.com
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Re: embedding linux into a scanner

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To create small customized Linux systems, I use any distribution LINUX for
and then use the Linux From Scratch project and Busybox for the swiss knife of
This allows me to create custom Linux turn-key packages that can be distributed
few floppy disks of runtime code.  Using this technique, I have been able to get
to operate with only 8-16 Megs of RAM, using no hard disk - but very limited in

Steve Hathaway

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