Embedded Linux processors are increasingly used for real-time computing tasks such as robotics and Internet of Things (IoT). These applications require robust and reproducible behavior from the host OS, commonly achieved through immutable firmware stored in read-only memory. SkiffOS addresses these requirements with a minimal cross-compiled GNU/Linux system optimized for hosting containerized distributions and applications, and a configuration layering system for the Buildroot embedded cross-compiler tool which automatically re-targets system configurations to any platform or device. This approach cleanly separates the hardware support from the applications. The host system and containers are independently upgraded and backed-up over-the-air (OTA).