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Re: Suggestions for how ARM Ltd could help Debian?

ext Tony Lindgren wrote:
It only runs configure on a connected ARM machine. Scratchbox includes cross compilers for arm-linux-gcc 2.95, 3.3, and arm-linux-clibc, so it's a
pretty big download. I've just used the cross compilers so far.

Just to clarify a bit:

The major thing scratchbox does is that it allows you to run the ./configure script inside scratchbox on the x86 machine, only the cross-compiled test programs which configure uses to test for various things are executed on an arm device. Thus we can typically cross-compile most software by simply doing

./configure && make && make install

This is a rather drastic simplification of what scratchbox does, but it is the main feature.

Further we've been lately cross-compiling Debian packages using scratchbox and what we call "rootstrap". Rootstrap is a big chunk of Debian-arm stuff (it is effectively a root filesystem of a working Debian system) which is put into scratchbox and then we can create Debian-arm .debs by cross-compiling them. We've successfully used .debs created this way with Debian and Familiar.

One of the nice things about this rootstrap is that since it is a functioning Debian root filesystem, you can use apt-get to install/update additional stuff to it if your application needs them. This rootstrap stuff is not yet "released" but a direct link to the latest is here:


It is a rather big download, but you can build gtk2 apps with it :)
Worth noting is that this rootstrap and creating Debian packages works a lot better with the scratchbox-0.9.7.x releases (as compared to the stable 0.9.6.x releases). It is still not entirely trouble free, but we are getting there.

We've also got uclibc toolchains for x86 and arm in there as well, although they are a bit outdated currently (uclibc-0.9.21 is used whereas the latest is 0.9.24).

The documentation available on scratchbox.org is a bit scarce at the moment, but it should be enough to guide through installation of scratchbox (including setting up the ARM device for the transparent execution of ARM executables). Be aware that some of the stuff that scratchbox needs to do to function probably compromises your system security, so don't install it on a shared computer unless you trust your users.


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