I think you should take a look at Linux ICE and nGhost.
so i am almost ready to build up my carputer. just trying to figure out a couple more things before i really dive in to it.
anways, i am planning on building a custom linux for whatever board i finally pick, hopefully i can get my hands on one that has an SD card slot, if not a CF interface will work.
this a carputer version of DSL
the idea would be be build a custom kernel with a decent amount or all of the drivers i need build right in, the build the other ones outside as modules and have them either stored on the CF in a separate partition or inside the initramfs. the a custom initramfs would be build around busybox. this should result in a system that i can be at a shell within 5 to 6 seconds. the CF would also have a another small partition that would have some failsafe config file that you could load.
i am also planning on using egclib for the c library for this system.
for GUI i am kind on tossed up between making something using enlightenment 17 or 16, GNUStep (which should make it a simple matter of recompiling the code for OSX for applications), using clutter and writing a custom GUI, or using the framebuffer and SDL w/ openGL.
i would probably have a small 32 meg partition that would hold use configuration data that the initramfs would load at some point.
the idea would be to have the kernel and initramfs loaded from the CF right in to memory, i know for work i have a system booting into its burnin test in 8 to 10 seconds after post. and that is with it loading the files over a 100 megabit network, and includes the time to set the HW clock from a network time server. the total compressed image size is like 7 to 8 megs for the kernel and ramdisk, about 20 uncompressed in to memory.
if i can get the whole system in to 60 megs know i can build a linux image that i can get to a console in about 6 seconds after post, and thats including the time to set the hwclock from a NTP time server.
this way if i need i can just do a shutdown, and when the car is turned back on the image loads from the CF and can enter the GUI, if there was a storage device that was connected and not cleanly unmounted it could be checked as a background process.
what do you guys think?