Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-arm (74 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-arm] OpenSUSE ARM and Raspberry Pi

On 22.02.2012, at 16:11, Alfio Emanuele wrote:

Hi guys.

Maybe you've already heard about it, but recently something apparently
cool came to my eyes.
A group of British folks from the Cambridge University have built a
credit-card-sized computer

on top of an ARM CPU, called the "Raspberry Pi". The most impressing
fact about this device
is its price: 25 and 35 $ (respectively model A and B).

Here are some spare specs from their website:
- ARM 700Mhz Broadcom CPU
- 128 and 256 MB RAM (depending on the model)
- 1080p30 playback capabilities
- HDMI and composite video output
- 3,5 mm audio
- 1 and 2 USB ports
- an ethernet rj45 connector.

For further info give a look at their website
http://www.raspberrypi.org/ (specs into FAQs).

Now, it has started like another OLPC project: a cheap machine for
educational purposes,
but because of its price, size and everything is great for industrial
purposes too
(there's someone at broadcom developing a cheap expansion card that can
be used
to drive motors, sensors and stuff like that - see
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/500).

Some guys at Fedora have been working on their ARM distribution and will
be
relasing their Raspberry version tomorrow -
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/676

There also is a working Debian version with basic software such as LXDE
a browser
and a Python interpreter.

Being interested in writing software for these machines and - first of
all -
in OpenSUSE, I was wondering if we had software able to run on the Pi.

I started looking at the ARM opensuse project and, thanks to miska,
I discovered that yes - we have some software ready.

In particular the Pi processor is an ARM11 (ARMv6), and we
have some compatible ARMv5 packages in the repository,
but still not enough to have a nearly complete working desktop system.
(There isn't any web browser, is there?)

Right, the ARMv5 tree currently builds even less than the ARMv7 tree. You're
more than welcome to join in and help to get this stuff fixed however! :)

Also, it seems there are no enough ARM machines working to the
Build Service to serve this project.

We don't use ARM machines in the build service - everything is compiled through
emulation on x86. Hence it's slightly slower than you would expect it to be :).

We have to do this due to security reasons. There is no workable virtualization
solution available for ARM atm. And we can't possibly build random people's
code without being sure that we're really secure.

I'd be glad to know how every thing's going on, how can I help

and what can I do to help openSUSE beat Fedo.... I mean, rock all the
way.
But, principally, if someone else is interested in it.

And, just a note: Because of their price, couldn't a couple more Pi
take the place of the PandaBoards?
Referring to the campaign, http://pledgie.com/campaigns/16098
With the money, ~415€, you could buy like 10

Pi boards plus SD cards and stuff, but this is just a flash idea)

Maybe it's just a fool thought, but I sincerely hope to see
a lot of geckos on these little machines.

It depends on what our goals are. For compiling, the pandas are _way_ superior.
In addition to CPU power (which the pandas have a lot more of) you also need
RAM.

For simple, small server tasks, they might be good. For a thin client they
sound great. For a small hackable device, they are awesome. But I would like to
see one device work really great for now, before we completely dilute our
efforts. And that device is the Panda, since that's what is currently the most
open, fast platform available.

That doesn't mean that we'll keep you from hacking away on it :). Create a
small fake specfile with all the packages you need, kick off "osc build" for
the armv5el target and copy the buildroot that you get out of there onto your
Raspberry Pi and hack away! :)


Alex

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