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Re: Debian on ARM platforms...

Scott Bambrough wrote...
> 1.  Will it ship with 2.2?  My general sense of the state of things is no, but
> correct me if I am wrong.

We are not scheduled for potato, but if we get our boot disks together
we should be released.  We have something like 3500 packages built.  A
bunch of them accidentally ended up in woody, I'm working to move them
back into potato.

I have built boot-floppies for 2.2.5 and 2.2.6, both were not suitable
for use by mortals.  That is mostly for non-ARM issues.  I'm working
on 2.2.7 now.  (tftp boot, nfs root, http fetch of required data)

> 2.  Who is leading/coordinating the effort?  The web pages seem out of date.

I've been building and fixing packages about half time.  The hard work
was done by those before me, I mostly tell developers that EOF is an
(int) and they need to update their config.* files. :-)

There was discussion about someone taking over the web page a while
back, but I don't think it happened.  I think Jim Pick is still the
one for that. 

> 3.  What platforms are you trying to support?

NetWinders, RiscPCs, ???  We are built (I think) for StrongARMs and
the armv4 instruction set.  I believe we are compatible with the armv3
instruction set for ARM610 and ARM710 support, I tried to provoke the
compiler into generating halfword instructions and failed.  I'd have to
look at the gcc build to know better.  I only have netwinders for ARM
machines, I'm going to need someone to make the RiscPC rescue disk.

> 4.  Where is it being built, and on what platform?

I have been building on a few early netwinders I wrenched away from
a development team. 

> 5.  Is the ARM Debian port making use of debian.rebel.com at all?

I believe Jim Pick has some machine from rebel set up for build daemon
use.  We are now stable enough that we could use the build daemon, but
someone would have to coordinate that.  I have a couple of machines
that could slave off of it if required.

> 6.  What if anything, could Rebel do to further things along for the ARM port?

How about some of those 600MHz StrongARM systems Intel was talking about. :-)
Seriously, the two weakest spots for Debian-arm are gdb and the
accelerated X server.

There is a massive difference between the gdb code from debian and the
gdb from rebel.  The Debian gdb code does not work on arm.  I have
made it work by replacing the binutils stuff in it and adding some
extra patches, but its a monstrous operation.  For potato it would
probably be ok to have a special gdb-arm package since it is too late
to push a huge arm patch into the regular gdb.

Debian does not have an accelerated X server for the netwinder.  I've
been using the FBDev X server to test on the box, mostly I use a remote
X server.  It would be good to kit an accelerated X server, I haven't
look at the issue at all.

                                     Jim Studt, President
                                     The Federated Software Group, Inc.

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