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Re: package requests for grip

Hi Neil,

You are correct of course and in no way was I trying to undermine the value of the various emdebian projects.

However...my limited experience with embedded systems sees the size of flash chip grow so rapidly that its hard to get anything under 256MB at a reasonable price, which set us off a path of  seeing whether we could avoid the various embedded build projects (OpenEmbedded, Buildroot etc) and use reliable, standard Debian. We can - I can build a minimal RFS in 20 MB (JFFS2).

With respect to updating packages,  this is unlikely to be a problem on real commercial devices - I can't see releasing a device to a customer that has the ability to apt-get because I can never be sure that no Em(Debian) packaging or other errors arise. Then I have large quantities of bricks in the field.  I think more common (thinking now about my home wireless router for example) is that the manufacturer keeps the original RFS,  does the updates, re-creates the flash image and distributes that. 

I struggled for many months with various projects (including the commercial TimeSys Builder) and found Debian to be by far the easiest and most reliable solution. It's trivial to debootstrap a file system for any architecture on a i86 platform, pull in the rest of the packages on the target board with the NFS mounted filesystem (or QEMU), scrub it, jffs2 it and release. Not to mention the nice toolchain packages you guys provide.



--- On Thu, 9/3/09, Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> wrote:

> From: Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org>
> Subject: Re: package requests for grip
> To: debian-embedded@lists.debian.org
> Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009, 11:59 AM
> On Thu, 3 Sep 2009 10:11:25 -0700
> (PDT)
> Gertjan Hofman <gertjan_hofman@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > 
> > Just curious if another approach would work for
> you.  I build RFS
> > file systems from plain debian and spend a little time
> writing a
> > small (dumb) script to remove stuff such as apt caches
> and man
> > pages.  Just for kicks, I downloaded the packages
> you wanted onto my
> > test ARM board, that has a debian RFS mounted via
> NFS.  I then ran my
> > slimming down script and made a JFFS2 file system
> image.  Unless I
> > mucked it up somewhere (i didnt go back and
> actually  try all the
> > software you wanted), the RFS ends up being 192 MB,
> the JFFS2 image
> > about 80 MB.  Easily fits in your 128MB flash.
> The whole exercise
> > from scratch to a complete RFS should not take more
> then an hour.
> The problem with that is that as soon as the packages are
> updated, the
> manpages and other data reappear. It's OK to use 'rm
> -rf ./usr/share/man' as long as you never install an
> updated or new
> package. . . .
> -- 
> Neil Williams
> =============
> http://www.data-freedom.org/
> http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/
> http://e-mail.is-not-s.ms/

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