Appweb on Tiny Devices


We’ve been porting Appweb to various embedded environments including VxWorks, Windows CE and several embedded Linux platforms, but the OpenWrt platform has been a favorite. It is an Open Source Linux firmware project for devices such as the Linksys NSLU2 pictured here. Whereas other projects try to cram in a lot of functionality and leave precious little flash and RAM space available, OpenWrt configures a bare minimal system which leaves a lot of space for new apps.

With OpenWrt, you get a powerful and highly configurable platform for small embedded Linux systems. This device here is a full HTTP web server generating dynamic web apps on the device. OpenWrt has a simple menu configuration utility similar to the Linux kernel so you can select what components and apps to include in the device firmware.

Appweb is very compact and with OpenWrt and uclibc, the footprint is tiny. The Appweb configuration here is configured with a full server-side MVC web framework, database, regular expressions, authentication, directory listings, HTTP client, ranged and chunked transfers, error logging and file upload. With all this, the flash footprint is 792K.

Lots of fun to have a full server-side web server running on a device shorter than a writing pen.


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