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Upload exe file to arm-a9 vs to linux kernel

Hi

I am getting a bit confused reading Doc file - 

1. what is the difference between  - writing my own program for the arm a9 (on the PLUTO SDR), and writing a program for the linux in it?

2. what is an image file??? Looking around the internet i can't find a straight answer.... Is it just another name for an executable file?

3. once i create the image - how do i bring the linux kernel to use it?

Thanks!!!

Side Note

It feels like in order to get into PLUTO-SDR and using iio-lib, i already have to know all about PLUTO-SDR and iio-lib. it is really frustrating... i gave up on using python for my program and headed just to work with C and cmaker, I hope it will be easier.

Do you know any easy way of getting into it(efficiently use PLUTO hardware via lib-iio)?