I have a small device that runs a light weight embedded linux. I can telnet and ssh to the device. This device has no package management utility on it that I can tell.

I am trying to install a pre-compiled audio recorder such as LAME, however I am having a hard time getting details on this device to find a package that I can use.

How can I tell details about the distribution it is running so i can find packages that I can use? Additional are there other consideration to look at such as hardware for a pre-compiled linux application?

  • 1
    As a hint, most embedded Linux devices have their programs installed on a compressed read-only file system like cramfs in flash storage. Usually to add new programs, you'll have to make a file system image that has the files you want, then rebuild the compressed image. But you'd have to look at how the system loads from flash to know the exact details. I don't think anyone can give you a good answer with such thin data
    – infixed
    May 2, 2016 at 20:02
  • Can you run cat /etc/*-release or lsb_release That might at least show the distribution (I don't know anything about embedded systems, however)?
    – Michael A
    May 2, 2016 at 20:02
  • Including more information in your question about the device itself (make/model/version) would enable us to better support you.
    – J363
    May 3, 2016 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


Passing the commands below as root will give you an overview of the device's hardware and the kernel and drivers running on the device, maybe the name of the distribution too.

uname -a 
cat /etc/issue 
cat /etc/lsb-release

The current LAME source code can be obtained from https://sourceforge.net/projects/lame/files/lame/3.99/

You can scp the extracted tarball to your device and attempt to compile it yourself locally. Compiling instructions are in the INSTALL file.

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