Linux Symposium

Tuning your car with Linux and Opensource

Steven Alan DuChene

This paper will introduce the concept of using semi-open hardware and firmware that is developed in a collaborative opensource manner across the internet to allow the user to modify the fuel and ignition management systems of various gasoline or flex-fuel vehicles. Up until recently these aftermarket engine control systems have exclusively used MS Windows applications to tune and configure the embedded cpu setup. Within the last few years however this hobbyist driven community around the Megasquirt series of control systems has developed and released two different tuning and configuration software packages that are fully supported on Linux based systems.

A high level overview of engine management systems will include discussion of what tuning an engine means in this context and how this process has evolved with the introduction of electronic or computerized control systems. A brief introduction to the Megasquirt engine management system covers the history and motivation that lead to it's development and continued popularity as well as the various licensing restrictions surrounding the hardware and associated firmware needed to run the system. A survey of available external tuning software that allows a Linux user to tune and alter the setup of the of the Megasquirt will conclude with screenshots and feature lists.

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