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Re: Official support Odroid hardware and other ARM development boards.

Hi Luke,

On 02/26/2014 05:44 PM, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:46 PM, Reg Lnx <regier.kunkel@gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you Karsten.
It answers a lot of questions and it makes sense. I think we can say the
very same about the odroid, it has some non free things too.

  indeed it does.  i've been working at every opportunity possible to
get a software-libre compliant *desirable* processor available for
general use.  four years and counting.  it's getting boring.

I jumped in late and haven't read the entire thread, but what
do you consider "desirable"?

So it looks like we still don't have a 100% open source computer.

Ahem.... You can run our boards with 100% open source, and I think
our quad-core GHz i.MX6

There's one key piece that's normally closed-source (the GPU), but
there's an open-source alternative here:

There are also some open-source bits with licenses other than
GPL/LGPL provided by Freescale (notably, some of the VPU code),
but the restrictions are pretty reasonable: Don't use on non-Freescale

  oh you do... they're just shit compared to the "latest and greatest",
because you have to go back about.... 2 to 5 years in technology terms
to get them.  which means they're either useless, or expensive, or
both.  take the latest software for example: you simply can't run
libreoffice or firefox in under 512mb of RAM nowadays.   or at less
than a 1ghz processor speed.

  the manufacturers of successful products just *do not* wish to work
with software libre individuals.  sure they're prepared to take
whatever they've created "for free" and say "thank you very much, fuck
off now, BYE sucker, we'll fuck you over for the next revision you
release as well har har that's what you get when you release code with
such a lame license that doesn't need us to pay you any money har
har"... you get the drift.

Again, ahem... We try very hard to give back when we can.

Essentially everything we provide is open-source, although we do
ship closed-source binaries (for the GPU) as well.

  but, working from the ground up is the only way that this situation
is going to change.  The Plan:

1) make some successful desirable mass-volume hardware that respects
software freedom
2) sell lots of it
3) put the money made back into funding software libre
4) put the rest back into solving a non-free issue whilst not
compromising the profitability needed for the next iteration round the
5) repeat from 1.

I don't know what you consider "lots", and we don't put **all** of
our money back into free software, but we do spend time and money
on various open-source projects, so I'll take some exception to the
brush you've used to paint us "greedy manufacturers"...

if !do above, expect current situation (support for ARM hardware in
GNU/Linux distros) to remain very very low.  other methods aren't
working out.

We'd love to have an "easy button" for folks wanting to use our
boards with Debian.

The best routes at the moment are Robert Nelson's eewiki:

And our home-brew notes:

Has anyone given thought to a Debian "porting" group funded
by manufacturers for "official" Debian support?

We'd be interested in something like that, both out of self-interest
and also to help the community...


Eric Nelson
Boundary Devices

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