Photos: A look at the Linux OS that wants to get inside your car

Linux is nothing if not flexible. The open source operating system can be found on phones, servers and PCs throughout and beyond this world.

Now the OS is being manoeuvred to seize pole position in the car. Not only is Google planning to launch its Google Voice-controlled Android Auto in-car system – but this week saw the release of the in-vehicle infotainment system in the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) stack.

AGL is built on top of Tizen In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) software, a version of the Tizen Linux-based phone OS modified to interact with in-vehicle electronics.

"Using AGL means the industry benefits from the stability and strength of a common Linux distribution, Tizen IVI, at the core while bringing their own unique applications and functionality to market faster," said Rudolf Strief, director of embedded solutions at The Linux Foundation.

The current release of AGL provides a range of apps designed to control in-car entertainment, climate and navigation. Apps are built using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

Here you can see the AGL Home screen. From here users can use touch to launch any of the system's apps.

The system is still at an early stage, with new features and capabilities to be added. AGL will be designed to be customisable, allowing multiple car manufacturers to build their own branded systems around the same core software.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the AGL project can find the code, Design Requirements Documents and more on the AGL wiki.

AGL is free to download and anyone can participate in the open source community. The AGL initiative is driven by the Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup of the Linux Foundation.

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.