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Re: Debian on Raspberry Pi and Pine* and probably ARM support in general (was Re: Debian on Pine64 H64B?)

On Saturday 04 September 2021 13:08:42 Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 04, 2021 at 08:31:11AM -0700, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
> > On 2021-09-04, LinAdmin wrote:
> > > The unnamed decision makers of Debian some unknown time ago
> > > decided that Pi and Pine stuff won't be supported by Debian.
> >
> > I personally have added support in Debian for:
> >
> >   Raspberry Pi 1
> >   Raspberry Pi 2b
> >   Raspberry Pi 3b+
> >   Pine64+
> >   Pinebook
> >   Pinebook Pro
> >   RockPro64
> >   Rock64
> >
> > And other platforms... others have added support for other Raspberry
> > PI and Pine64 platforms, as well as numerous other platforms...
> >
> > I used the Pinebook as my primary computer for over a year, using
> > absolutely zero software from outside of Debian...
> I was going to point out that Vagrant was probably the person very
> likely to be able to contribute most. I note from
> https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Allwinner that the H64 from
> Pine is supported in Bullseye.
> Sometimes it comes down to the fact that we haven't got the hardware -
> most of the people who run ARM have at some point bought dead end
> ARM projects that never actually went anywhere in an attempt to get
> them supported.
> Sometimes it comes down to problems beyond Debian's control: most
> often a vendor kernel with no source / with other issues / tied in to
> hardware in obscure ways, a U-Boot similarly ... Often, if you contact
> the vendor they have no real understanding of why a Debian person
> would be asking.
> > Debian isn't a consumer product, it is a community project. It is
> > largely a volunteer effort, suppored by the community, so... if you
> > want something supported, please help to add the support.
> >
> > It pretty much comes down to submitting patches, bug reports, merge
> > requests, etc. to enabled the appropriate kernel options, bootloader
> > support, and debian-installer support.
> >
> > Debian doesn't generally support patches that wouldn't be acceptible
> > in upstream projects, or support non-free binary blobs out of the
> > box, so maybe the support isn't as good on a per-platform basis as
> > some other targeted distros willing to use vendor forks or patches
> > for various components.
> Armbian / DietPi / Raspberry Pi OS have different viewpoints, include
> different amounts of vendor code / have different attitudes to
> firmware. Things "based on" Debian do things differently and sometimes
> it's hard to see what they've done. As a consumer: if there's
> difficulty getting Debian to work on the board you bought, help us by
> going back to the manufacturer/vendor and politely pointing this out
> as a problem for you.
> Help the maintainers of the ARM64 and armhf installers by using them -
> and using reportbug to tell people what went wrong where.
First, they have to be interested in your failure reports.  Until now, 
such has not been the case. No interest...

> > The support isn't always perfect; maybe all features don't always
> > work; I don't and can't personally test all combinations of features
> > on all platforms, nor have the time to enable all features on all
> > combinations of platforms. Thankfully, there are others in the
> > community who test and improve what they can.
> >
> > Debian could always use more people helping with testing and perhaps
> > more importantly, upstreaming of support to make sure it works for
> > their use-cases...
> >
> > I know not everybody can dive in and fix all kinds of issues, but
> > there is a pretty broad spectrum of ways to help out... sometimes
> > things are even supported but undocumented. Documenting workarounds
> > and filing bug reports appropriately is one angle that could
> > potentially help.
> >
> > > I switched to Ubuntu LTS which made me (and many others) happy.
> >
> > Curious what exactly is different with Ubuntu that makes it work for
> > you...
> Real Ubuntu LTS from Canonical or, to take the H64 from Pine example,
> the Armbian based on Ubuntu Focal? https://www.armbian.com/pine64/ [or
> any other third party rebuild similarly].
> If you're on the Raspberry Pi4 - yes, you have Ubuntu LTS - but you
> also have Debian https://raspi.debian.net.
> Strictly, discussion of other distributions is off topic here unless
> you've documented issues of where XYZ distribution works and Debian
> doesn't on the same hardware. I await these direct comparisons from
> you with interest.
> All the very best, as ever,
> Andy Cater
> > live well,
> >   vagrant

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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