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Re: Feedback from the community -> ARM

On Thursday 10 June 2021 12:44:23 Marcin Juszkiewicz wrote:

> W dniu 10.06.2021 o 16:43, Uwe Kleine-König pisze:
> > next week there is a (virtual) meeting at ARM who invited some
> > people involved in Linux on ARM CPUs. One of the topics there is to
> > tell them Debian's needs and pain points.
> >
> > My current list (based on own experience and asking for feedback in
> > #debian-arm) currently has:
> >
> >   - Fragmentation
> >     - Vendor kernels vs. mainline
> >       This got better in the past is my subjective impression, but
> > it still hurts. Device tree made this a tad simpler, but it's not
> > unusual to have vendor specific bindings.
> >     - early boot code
> >       U-Boot (or general: bootloader) is device specific and more
> > often than not there is only a Vendor variant available.
> >       Also today there are more relevant components: ATF, UEFI/EDK2
> >     Vendors care at different intensities (and profit from external
> >     developers) Would Arm Base System Architecture (BSA) help? (This
> > is only for AArch64 though, arm32 still relevant for us.)
> >   - relevant SoC/SBC vendors:
> >     - Allwinner
> >     - Broadcom / RaspberryPi Foundation
> >     - Marvell
> >     - NXP
> >     - Odroid
> >     - Rockchip
> >     - some more for sure (which?)
> >   - Graphics
> >     Similar problematic, vendor blobs vs. OSS
> >
> > Is there anything on your mind that is missing above and that you'd
> > like to be shared with ARM?
> Sorry if it offends someone but I see Debian Arm team to be more
> Debian Arm SBC team. Sure, it is most of available hardware as it
> includes Windows-on-Arm laptops and Apple M1 systems too but Arm world
> has also something outside of SBC.
> My questions (probably get ignored):
> 1. When CBSA spec gets released? It is mentioned in BSA spec but
>     not public.

New acronym, please define.

> 2. Are there plans to enforce BSA compliance for new designs?

> 3. How many years we need to wait for Arm systems to work out-of-
>     the-box? I mean unpack, connect input/video/power, boot generic
>     distro installer, install, reboot and use. So far there are
>     nearly no such ones outside of server space.

This is also true, and a bit of a sore spot with me. Why? Because the pi 
folks furnish only the bare 4.19-something realtime kernel, only in 
source form direct from kernel.org if you want a real-time system, 
needed to run something like LinuxCNC, which is capable of running 99% 
of the CNC machines that make your fawncy toys on this planet. And with 
only a few exceptions, makeing product faster than the the machines 
original desgner had in mind.

They are snotty as hell, on their forum and will not offer any help in 
configureing, building, or installing that kernel. Questions are 
ignored, and if you ping the forum again, you will get invited to take a 
long walk off a short pier.

Because the pi's u-boot is configured differently from anybody else's, I 
spent a couple months studying how to install that kernel once it was 
built, and finally invented my own installer which has worked well now 
for over a year, on several more machines now, a very simple installer 
that unpacks a less than 30 meg tarball preconfigured to copy whats 
needed to the proper locations on the pi's u-sd boot card while its 
mounted in a card reader. And it Just Works. But it has been far from 

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.
 - Louis D. Brandeis
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>

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