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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:51 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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A bit new to OS porting (and may be in over my head, but that's one of the best ways I learn) and am looking to get Arch Linux running on the Genesi systems. I am lucky enough to hit the ground running due to the PlugApps people who have built Arch Linux ARM. It is an ARM-based port of Arch Linux that runs on the SheevaPlug and other NAS devices by the same mfg. Also, a gentleman by the name of wejp has done a lot of foot work to get Arch running on the OpenPandora handheld with a full X setup and touchscreen support (as well as Pandora-specific functionality that branches it off squarely in that direction). I'd like to build on both Plugbox itself and the Pandora port by wejp to bring Arch Linux to Genesi...

I guess to start, I'd like to know what is needed for the .img file that is suggested as the format for an installable OS for the Efika line of systems. Also, which version of ARM is the Efika line based on (v5te, v7, v7a, etc)? What it all boils down to is what do I need to know to get started. I'm reading up on the Efika line as much as I can, but a few directed statements/questions to shoot me down the right path would be helpful. Felt it better to ask than not. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help me undertake this interesting venture!


EDIT!!!: companion conversation on Arch Linux ARM forum...
http://archlinuxarm.org/forum/viewtopic ... 9a7bbecb8d


Last edited by CPUnltd on Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:40 am 
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Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:18 pm

180

Hornell, NY
The Efika MX uses the freescale i.MX51 system on a chip.
cat /proc/cpuinfo for all the info on what the chip supports.

If the arch linux arm userland can work with the chip based on what you see there I don't see any reason not to try out our kernel on it.

You can find the kernel sources at
http://gitorious.org/efikamx/linux-kern ... its/master

you will want to do
make mx51_efikamx_defconfig
first to be sure you are using the correct kernel config then the rest is the same as compiling any linux kernel.

you will want to be sure to either compile the following modules in static, or load them in your initrd:

pata_fsl
mx_sdhci
mmc_block
echi_hcd

The Efika MX uses uboot and I describe in detail (including scripts) how the process works in this thread here:

http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/vi ... 4591#14591

That should get you started getting arch booted at least in text mode. for other things I'm sure source is around someplace I would ask on #efika on the freenode irc network for the rest.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:11 am 
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Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:19 am

271

Italy/Greece
I collected great infos here:
http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/vi ... php?t=1984

Anyway as Arch is quite similar to CRUX you can find usefull info here:
http://crux-arm.nu/SupportedDevices/EfikaMX-SmartTop

An hard-float build is work in progress too.
acrux _at_ linuxmail _dot_ org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:56 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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Much appreciated!!! glad to have the responses I got so far, and so fast... I will do my best to make time to look into this and really figure this out for myself. I may ask a lot of questions about this (again, showing how new I am to this depth of Linux), but I do intend to get this done... don't care how long it takes me. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: interesting, but...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:41 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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wschaub

For your kernel sources link, what am I actually looking to download? I am VERY new to the whole git concept on the user end... my local LUG had a meeting about it a few months back, but that's the most exposure I've really had to it.

Your tutorial looks pretty straight-forward and fairly easy to follow, but I have to get the kernel first so I can actually get to the point of following the tutorial...

acrux:

my time is now extremely limited, so I will reply to your statements later today when I have time to thuroughly look it all over...


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 Post subject: Re: interesting, but...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:13 am 
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Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:18 pm

180

Hornell, NY
CPUnltd wrote:
wschaub

For your kernel sources link, what am I actually looking to download? I am VERY new to the whole git concept on the user end... my local LUG had a meeting about it a few months back, but that's the most exposure I've really had to it.

Your tutorial looks pretty straight-forward and fairly easy to follow, but I have to get the kernel first so I can actually get to the point of following the tutorial...

acrux:

my time is now extremely limited, so I will reply to your statements later today when I have time to thuroughly look it all over...


just type git clone git://gitorious.org/efikamx/linux-kernel.git

that should get you the most recent publicly published kernel source for the efika.


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 Post subject: the reawakening...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:43 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

10
been especially busy dealing with my shop and getting things in order there, but I'm fully intending on reawakening this topic... I have already done so on the Plugbox Linux forums (that is the remaster of Arch Linux for ARM)... so I intend on conversing on both forums simultaneously to come to spearhead the movement to get Arch Linux on the Efika officially!


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 Post subject: Leap in progress!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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Well, last night/this morning, I found out that Plugbox CAN BOOT on the Efika!!! I took the rootfs that wejp made of Plugbox for OpenPandora and extracted it to the 'installer' partition of an SD card formatted for reinstallation of Ubuntu on Efika. When I boot with the SD card in the slot, I get the actual login screen for Plugbox... but the keyboard is not currently functional and the Efika's 'loading dots' (the 5 dots across the middle of the screen) are in a constant loop... so I figure it's a matter of drivers (and maybe a little firmware) that will be the deciding factor of how long it takes to get Plugbox functional on the Efika being run via SD card (and possibly installable)! I'm going to play around with this more when I get home from work (about 3am CST, if I still have the energy :P) to see if I can splice some things together from the standard Efika image and the Plugbox rootfs... if anyone has any ideas or insight as to how I can get the keyboard working, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to pulling this off! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Leap in progress!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:38 am

51
CPUnltd wrote:
Well, last night/this morning, I found out that Plugbox CAN BOOT on the Efika!!! I took the rootfs that wejp made of Plugbox for OpenPandora and extracted it to the 'installer' partition of an SD card formatted for reinstallation of Ubuntu on Efika. When I boot with the SD card in the slot, I get the actual login screen for Plugbox... but the keyboard is not currently functional and the Efika's 'loading dots' (the 5 dots across the middle of the screen) are in a constant loop... so I figure it's a matter of drivers (and maybe a little firmware) that will be the deciding factor of how long it takes to get Plugbox functional on the Efika being run via SD card (and possibly installable)! I'm going to play around with this more when I get home from work (about 3am CST, if I still have the energy :P) to see if I can splice some things together from the standard Efika image and the Plugbox rootfs... if anyone has any ideas or insight as to how I can get the keyboard working, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to pulling this off! :D


Hi

Do you use your own kernel or the installer kernel ?
The Ubuntu kernels uses initrd as default and loads drivers from that.
If you can't use the keyboard it is probably a module that isn't loaded.


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 Post subject: Re: Leap in progress!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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micken wrote:
Hi

Do you use your own kernel or the installer kernel ?
The Ubuntu kernels uses initrd as default and loads drivers from that.
If you can't use the keyboard it is probably a module that isn't loaded.


I did not use the Ubuntu kernel... I dropped everything from Arch into the partition and deleted everything Ubuntu... was thinking about saving the syslinux folder from Ubuntu, but wasn't sure if it mattered... can I just copy/paste the Ubuntu kernel or will I have to recompile?

Also, for installing, does Ubuntu offer a GUI or do I dd the partition?


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 Post subject: Re: Leap in progress!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

1589

Alamo Heights, TX
CPUnltd wrote:
micken wrote:
Hi

Do you use your own kernel or the installer kernel ?
The Ubuntu kernels uses initrd as default and loads drivers from that.
If you can't use the keyboard it is probably a module that isn't loaded.


I did not use the Ubuntu kernel... I dropped everything from Arch into the partition and deleted everything Ubuntu... was thinking about saving the syslinux folder from Ubuntu, but wasn't sure if it mattered... can I just copy/paste the Ubuntu kernel or will I have to recompile?

Also, for installing, does Ubuntu offer a GUI or do I dd the partition?


This is complicated; to re-enable USB when we come out of Standby on the Smartbook, we need to reload the USB module, and therefore, it actually is a module and not built-in to the kernel.

When you deleted the installer partition and copied over the Plug rootfs, you deleted all the kernel modules.

What you will need to do is compile a kernel from those sources probably with USB and ext4 built-in (since Ubuntu uses modules, we use modules for now). Ubuntu puts them in the initrd; but that means using Ubuntu's initrd scripts before the real rootfs is mounted. This is probably not what you want.

Once you get that kernel compile done, you can copy the modules to the rootfs and things should be fine. Just don't let the system suspend with USB built-in...
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst


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 Post subject: kernel 101...
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:38 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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so I'll need to learn about compiling kernels at this point... joy...

I'll most likely need an ARM device to compile on unless I make a proper qemu VM that is ARM-based. Where is the best place to go to quickly absorb what I need to know about kernel compiling? I admit to being TOTALLY new to this... what I'm comprehending here is that after compiling the kernel with the proper modules, I should be able to copy the kernel to it's proper location along with the modules post compile and I should be able to boot and function just fine, right? Curious... what if Arch Linux uses udev? will that info alter my process at all (cause Arch DOES use udev... and I'm not sure what Ubuntu uses). Keeping the communication lines open as much as possible on this one (both here and at the Arch Linux ARM forum... which I may just link both to each other so people can feed off both convos)...


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 Post subject: Re: kernel 101...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:39 am 
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Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

1589

Alamo Heights, TX
CPUnltd wrote:
so I'll need to learn about compiling kernels at this point... joy...

I'll most likely need an ARM device to compile on unless I make a proper qemu VM that is ARM-based. Where is the best place to go to quickly absorb what I need to know about kernel compiling? I admit to being TOTALLY new to this... what I'm comprehending here is that after compiling the kernel with the proper modules, I should be able to copy the kernel to it's proper location along with the modules post compile and I should be able to boot and function just fine, right? Curious... what if Arch Linux uses udev? will that info alter my process at all (cause Arch DOES use udev... and I'm not sure what Ubuntu uses). Keeping the communication lines open as much as possible on this one (both here and at the Arch Linux ARM forum... which I may just link both to each other so people can feed off both convos)...


The best place would be the Arch Linux mailing list or forum; they can best tell you how they build kernels and what the requirements are.

It may well be that Arch has moved past 2.6.31 and requires a later kernel (as is true of everything released in the last 10 months or so) in which case you're going to run into some difficulties.

I would say that porting a Linux distribution is going to be a little hard on someone who hasn't compiled a kernel in their life..
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst


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 Post subject: Re: kernel 101...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:53 am 
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Genesi


Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:28 am

409

Finland
CPUnltd wrote:
I'll most likely need an ARM device to compile on unless I make a proper qemu VM that is ARM-based. Where is the best place to go to quickly absorb what I need to know about kernel compiling? I admit to being TOTALLY new to this...


Since you're really new at this, the best thing to do is to start with following some general kernel compilation tutorials.
Also, don't go through the trouble of getting an ARM device or setting up a QEmu VM to compile a kernel - cross compiling is a lot easier to get going and will have your kernel compiled in a matter of minutes on a decent machine.
Cross compilers for ARM are in the Ubuntu package repository by default.

You can find some starting info here:
http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2010/1 ... ntu-10-10/
http://www.arm.linux.org.uk/docs/kerncomp.php
http://www.plugcomputer.org/plugwiki/in ... g_Computer

And many more.

The Efika specific kernel source repo is here:
https://gitorious.org/efikamx/

Oh, and, have fun learning new stuff like this :-)

Johan.
Johan Dams, Genesi USA Inc.
Director, Software Engineering

Yep, I have a blog... PurpleAlienPlanet


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:10 am 
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

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@Neko:
Thanks for the info... I'm pretty sure I have a third thread started in Arch's main forums (if not, I will start one in the "Other Architecture" section and see what feedback I get)... I know I've got something going along side this one at the plugapps site (Arch Linux on ARM). Hopefully I can rise my skill level to the challenge, as I do wish to contribute to the Linux community... and since I like Arch as much as I do (knowing the high potential of having it on every device that I own is SO COOL), this is one of the best ways I can both learn and contribute simultaneously (at least until I get into game design). Arch is on kernel 3.0.x now (so far, all iterations of Arch that I've seen)... wonder what issues I'd be coming across... newer kernel SHOULD warrant less issues, but I know that's not always the case. I may be new to custom kernel compilation, but I'm not that new to Linux... Well, let the games begin!

@PurpleAlien:
Will do my research and see how much I can absorb within the next week or so on the raw basics... I've got a nice gateway server I bought secondhand for cross compiling with... but I thought it was always best (compatibility wise) to compile on the system you will be using... maybe that's not as "strict" of an edict to follow as it used to be. I know I've seen plenty of ARM cross compiling tools in Arch's repos as well... had installed a few on my laptop a while back, but never got to play with them... time to drop them on my server... :D And thanks for the links!


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