As Linux continues to gather momentum in the embedded systems community, more and more developers want to “kick the tires” and try Linux in an embedded application. But how does one get started? There are a bewildering number of options for doing embedded Linux development, ranging from commercial distributions to community-supported distributions to roll-yer-own environments. However, many of these approaches have common characteristics from the perspective of preparing for cross development. This paper attempts to capture those characteristics and walk the reader through the process of getting ready to start their first embedded Linux development project.