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I've heard that Android is based on linux (or unix?). That means, engineers at google modified linux code to run on android phones or tablets. I would like to become those engineers someday. Where should I start? Should I start looking at embedded linux?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Actually google did more writing an app platform / virtual machine system to run on top of linux than they did modifying linux. They basically just used it as a base to build off of, they hardly had to touch it.

As for your question, just start doing things. Get yourself some linux distros, install them on your computers or in VM's, learn your way around them, then start poking at custom platforms like embeded once you already know the ropes. Find some devices to hack, code up some projects of your own, then find some open source projects to lend a hand with. Along the way you'll figure out how to answer your own question.

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// Great answer. I guess there is no short way. Just installed ubuntu :) –  Moon Apr 16 '11 at 22:50
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A good place to start would be to learn to compile the Linux Kernel. Go to www.kernel.org and start downloading the git versions and try to compile them first. Dont install them yet! Just learning to build the kernel will get you going for sure.

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