I would like to introduce myself to the group. I have recently
received an IGEPv2 board , which is based on the Beagle Board, but
with wifi, bluetooth, ethernet, and more RAM. I'm still at the "wow,
it's tiny and it runs Linux" stage. I should get a bit more time over
the next month and Christmas to play around properly with it.
I'm new to embedded development, but neither new to Linux nor ARM
(writing my first ARM assembly some 15 years ago). However, for the
past 6 years I've not even built a Linux kernel, preferring to use the
default kernel in Fedora for simplicity :)
Firstly, a thank you to those involved in Fedora ARM for getting it to
this stage. If I get the time, I'd really like to contribute some
(probably small) effort to help get Fedora ARM working well on the
IGEPv2 and Beagle Board. As I progress, I'd like to know what I can
do to help.
In the meantime, I have some questions. Apologies in advance if these
1) There are various different kernels from different sources. I'm
used to there being a small set of "right" kernels (that is, Fedora's
idea of "right") for x86. I fully appreciate that different ARM-based
boards are quite different in capabilities (like different instruction
a) Is there likely to be some standardised vanilla Fedora ARM kernel
source? (Or is that simply the source RPM available for Fedora?)
Then patches /could/ be offered for the more common systems (e.g.
Beagle Board & clones, SheevaPlug).
b) Would it then make sense to offer these as pre-built RPMs for common systems?
c) Is there any guidance on which version is good to use as a base?
I've seen quite different kernel versions being used (from 2.6.27 to
2) I understand a little bit about the different calling conventions,
FP differences (e.g. soft FPU versus VFP), and instruction set
differences (v5 versus v7).
a) Can the kernel can be safely built with a different instruction set
targeted? (I know there are different optimisation options passed to
GCC. Apologies if this seems a bit newbie-ish.)
b) For FP-heavy programs (e.g. ogg encoding), is it possible to build
the packages with VFP/NEON but still get them to work in a soft FPU
system? I'd imagine any call to an external library would have to
somehow be defined to use a different calling standard.
3) There seem to be some missing dependencies in the packages in the
current Fedora ARM repository. For example, emacs is requiring
libotf, which doesn't seem to be there in the repository. And
likewise with the xorg-x11-font* packages needing ttmkdir. I'm
confused as to how the RPM could have been successfully built without
it. What am I missing?
4) I see there has been some discussion over unaligned data access.
(Oh, I remember that from the ARM2 days.) It seems as if the
Cortex-A8 cores allow unaligned data access when set up to do so .
Does this, in any way, help with the compatibility of packages
5) I've managed to get various source packages missing from the Fedora
ARM repositories to compile successfully (natively). I guess there is
a reason why there are not in the repos right now -- is that reason
down to time and priorities, or is there some blocking bugs with many
of these packages?
I look forward to being able to contribute something back into Fedora!
Recently OLPC announced that we're working on two new ARM devices --
a laptop (XO-1.75) and tablet (XO-3), both running on Marvell's Armada
610 (MMP2) SoC:
We're interested in shipping Fedora ARM on both devices, since we've
been using Fedora on our x86 laptops all along. I've got the Fedora
12 rootfs running on an MMP2 board already, but we've got a few
questions about how shipping Fedora ARM in a product would work:
* Since Fedora ARM isn't an official release or secondary architecture
yet, is it possible to ship a legal Fedora remix using its packages?
* Which release would it make most sense for us to use? I know that
F13 isn't available yet, although I see that dgilmore's started some
F13 package builds in koji.
* Do you think there's much of a chance that F14 could have ARM as
an official secondary architecture?
* Relatedly, what could we do to help that happen, and to help with
the port in general?
Chris Ball <cjb(a)laptop.org>
One Laptop Per Child
I actually wanted to build a kernel for the guruplug, but some other tasks
on my plate just ate my time...
did anyone else attempt to build a kernel with the guruplug patchset? If
noone did so far, I will give it a shot at end of June / early july, though
I must say I may fail, as this will be my first kernel build attempt.