When developing embedded products, creating a custom Linux operating system can be a daunting task. The challenge is choosing a single starting point: a multitude of Linux distributions are available to developers and users, but finding a standardized position from which to build is difficult. Enter the Yocto Project, a collaborative effort between the Linux Foundation and independent developers to gather standardized templates, tools, and methods for creating custom Linux systems. The open source tools are coupled with Poky, a versatile build system, to form a flexible, robust architecture for developers. This article gives an introduction to the Yocto Project’s utility when creating your own Linux-based systems and offers a specific exercise to walk readers through development system setup using Yocto Project 1.3.