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Re: sources.list for 9G20

On Thu, 23 Feb 2012 12:36:04 +0100
Alexander Burger <abu@software-lab.de> wrote:

> > > we have a Glomation 9G20 Single Board Computer with Emdebian 5.0 (Lenny)
> > > pre-installed.
> > 
> > On device:
> > 
> > What is the output of: 'uname -a' ?
>    # uname -a
>    Linux GESBC 3.2.5 #8 Mon Feb 13 15:17:46 CET 2012 armv5tejl GNU/Linux

OK, armv5 which would normally be armel in Debian. (With a kernel which
is much, *much* newer than Lenny.) That CPU can also run armv4 and
you'll see why that is important later..

> > What is the output of: 'dpkg --print-architecture' ?
> This gives "unrecognized option" (for BusyBox v1.16.1)

Expected - bad news follows....
> > What is the output of: ' dpkg -l busybox coreutils' ?
>    # dpkg -l busybox coreutils
>        Name           Version
>    +++-==============-==============
>    ii  busybox        1:1.11.1-1em1

It was 1:1.10.2-2 in standard Debian Lenny, so that is expected too -
as is the lack of coreutils... bad news no imminent.

> > I can only be certain about which repository to use once I can see the
> > three outputs above.
> I see. I hope the above is useful.

Yes, you are running Emdebian Crush 1.0 Lenny.

deb http://www.emdebian.org/crush lenny main
deb-src http://www.emdebian.org/crush lenny main



You are also, therefore, running the old ARM port (armv4|StrongARM)
instead of the current armel port (which would be suitable for armv5
normally) or the brand new armhf port (which has a minimum of armv7).
Changing from ARM to armel (or armhf) is a complete reinstall -
although the kernel can remain unchanged. There's no support for
migration from ARM to armel or to armhf. (That might arrive with
MultiArch but that's not possible yet and ARM will not be able to
support MultiArch, only armel and armhf.)

There have been no Debian or Emdebian packages built for ARM since
Lenny. However, your box was installed before Lenny was released (which
is why it references unstable - the stable release at the time was
Etch and Lenny was 'testing', new uploads all go into unstable.) So
there might be a few updates which were made between the date when your
machine was installed and when Lenny finally got released.

Current Emdebian toolchains for Squeeze won't build for ARM -
the toolchains for Lenny are still available but Lenny will be
disappearing from the Debian mirrors once the Wheezy release process
starts in a few months from now. If you want to do stuff with the
packages on your device, get a local mirror of Debian Lenny ARM *now*
so that the Lenny toolchains remain installable for you. Emdebian won't
be dropping Emdebian Crush 1.0 Lenny - it doesn't take up enough space
to worry about and there are no updates, so it needs to stay. We should
be able to retain the Lenny toolchains, if only for ARM, as we have
enough space for those too. You'll need a genuine Debian Lenny chroot to
be able to do stuff with the Lenny toolchains. At that point, the old
emdebian-tools become available again. 


Note carefully the warning on that page: 
"This package is neither part of unstable nor experimental. This
probably means that the package has been removed (or has been renamed).
Thus the information here is of little interest ... the package is
going to disappear unless someone takes it over and reintroduces it
into unstable."

That is why you need a local Lenny mirror if you are going to be doing
anything with these packages. It cannot be reintroduced because the
support upon which it relies has "gone away".

The armel and armhf ports are only available for Emdebian Grip which is
the (larger) binary-compatible Emdebian distribution which doesn't use
busybox as the main shell, it uses coreutils and dash, it includes perl
etc. and is therefore larger than Crush but still 40% smaller than

Emdebian Crush did not get a 2.0 release and it won't be getting a 3.0
release because of the amount of work involved in cross-building
packages to apply changes for busybox support instead of coreutils and
perl. There is hope for a jump to 4.0 (possibly a backported 3.0
version) once MultiArch is fully working for cross-building.

There are, therefore, no package updates for Crush and updating even
the existing packages is quite likely to fail for some packages. (Crush
was an almost entirely manual effort {by me}. Many packages didn't
cross-build automatically and needed a bit of manual "assistance" -
much of which I've since successfully forgotten to ease the pain...)

However, you may as well update the apt source so that at least that
side of things is happy. You also now know a bit more about what is
going on and what you are running.

This also means that you have the sources which is important for
compliance even if not useful for rebuilds.

Unfortunately, there simply won't be even minor updates for
Crush until (quite a while) after the Wheezy release. (Even that depends
on quite a lot of other stuff being fixed in Debian first.) When Crush
development is restarted, all packages will be armel and armhf, so it
will still mean a complete reinstall.

Is that enough bad news?


Neil Williams

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