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Embedded Operating System Development Environment

Posted by EmbeddedNewbie 
I am interested in working with embedded operating systems and I was wondering if there was a setup that would be better than working on the host operating system itself.

Let me explain this a bit more.

I want to run different toolsets for embedded systems which have various dependencies. Instead of using the host operating system, currently Ubuntu 8.04 and filling it up with stuff I want to use virtual machines to work with each one and then delete and/or take snapshots of OS variations that are suitable for what I want.

Currently I have Virtualbox and I installed Ubuntu 8.04 as a guest but I find that this takes a lot of performance from my compputer. Is there any better virtualization software or can I install a more stripped down version of linux as a guest to work on embedded linux development?

Furthermore, what tools do you advise me to examine for embedded linux development?

Thanking you in advance,

A complete Embedded Linux newbie
check out g++ from codesourcery. a pretty good env.
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