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Re: aligning my embedded Linux efforts with emdebian

+++ Jim Fred [03-08-06 19:52 -0400]:
> I've had some off-line emails with Wookey about aligning my embedded
> Linux efforts with emdebian. I have ARM720 based hardware with a Linux
> distribution and cross tools 

> The advantage of aligning my embedded ARM Linux efforts with emdebian
> is: [1] more testers for emdebian, [2] additional contributions to
> emdebian, [3] I and my customers would benefit from support and features
> I can't provide on my own and [4] theoretically improve efficiency by
> reducing duplicate efforts. 

Just to re-iterate what I already said to Jim - All of this is 'A Good

Whilst I'm posting emdebian.org has now transferred the domain to SPI/Debian
control and we have a new Webmaster Mike Hjorflies so hopefully the website
will get back to being vaguely up to date again soon.

> Toolchain... we built or
> own because [1] it's nice to be self-sufficient, [2] tools at
> http://emdebian.sourceforge.net/crossdev.html need an FPU - the ARM720
> doesn't have one,

That must be a misaprehension. Alsmost no ARM CPUs have FPUs (The 7500FE is
the only one available SFAIK - apart from some Cirrus chips with Maverick
'FPU's) and a lot of people have been using that toolchain succesfully.
There may be some other problem with it on ARM720 but I've certainly
compiled code for ARM710 on it OK.

Anyway it's going to be superceeded soon, but I need a bit of help to iron
out remaining bugs in the 3.2.3 toolchain I've done. (I've just joined the
cross-gcc list for this purpose).

> Here are some possible directions I could take:
> [] find/modify or contribute a script to download and build gcc,
> binutils, glibc, uclibc. Our script does ARM but could be modified for
> other architectures.

There are lots of these as people have pointed out. I've examined several
(listed here: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/armlinux/toolchain/ ) and there is the
Debian toolchain-source method which I have used to make gcc-arm-linux and
binutils-arm-linuc packages as descibed on that page, and then ther's Dan's
stuff which sounds good as it actually runs the test suite, which is a 'Damn
good thing' IMHO - including that in any packaged Debian tools would be great.

(Dan - expect me to bend your ear some about that shortly :-)

> [] Use debs for various applications. Offer a more full-featured
> alternative to BusyBox. Figure out how to use debs on an rpm based PCs.

'alien' is often sufficient. It certainly worked reasonably well for
producing the emdebian cross-tools in RPM form.

The emdebsys method avoids relying on any debian infrastructure so it builds
systems on non-debian boxen too.

> [] Port my board-specific patches to the most recent Debian ARM kernel

Debian arm kernels used to have a separate tree to the usual linux-arm
stuff, but I'm not sure there's anything much left in it that is important.
I haven't been keeping up on this very carefully.

> [] Incorporate emdebsys into my master makefile or vice versa.
> Any comments, suggestions or direction?

As above, I think.

(I'm away for 2 weeks from tomorrow so I won't be able to contribute for a

Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK  Tel +44 (0) 1223 811679
work: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/     play: http://www.chaos.org.uk/~wookey/

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