Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (194 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Growing some openSUSE ARMs
Just a quick reminder that openFATE is the supposed to be the way to
discuss ideas like this.

And yet, no one has brought up:

fyi: I don't really think openFATE works all that well because you
can't edit the comments down into a readable end-product. A team page
on the wiki might be the best way to track plans and options.


On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM, Andrew Wafaa <awafaa@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Sorry for the cross posting, but I thought it worth the extra noise ;-)

One of the things that came out of the recent Geeko Love-In for me was a
new project to immerse myself in within openSUSE. Yeah I know, we have
enough existing projects already so why create a new one? Simples!
Believe it or not but openSUSE is behind the curve in a specific
segment, and that segment has yet to explode to its full potential. That
segment is ARM. No I'm not talking about your upper body appendages, but
the architecture that powers most of your little devices (and some
bigger ones too). Almost all smartphones, tablets and many other
consumer devices are powered by ARM from one of the numerous licensees.

Didn't openSUSE do something about this a while ago? Yes we did.
Unfortunately the effort seems to have bitrotted somewhat, there were
numerous reasons and I don't even prophesise to know the all either.

As such I'm going to try and kickstart things, and see it through and
hopefully see it grow.  As I mentioned, this idea came up at the
conference when I was talking to numerous people (I forget how it all
started, but that doesn't really matter). There was an overwhelmingly
positive view on the matter, and that for me was all that counts. Now
let me be crystal clear here, *THIS WILL NOT BE A ONE MAN SHOW!!* I
mentioned previously that my view is that we as a community are pretty
lazy at times with getting our hands dirty. As such if you think things
are going slow or not going in the direction you would like, don't moan.
Get your hands dirty and help make a difference.

The process will not be an easy one either, so don't expect a port to
magically appear over night. If we're lucky we might be able to have a
working port in 6 months. Maybe longer, maybe shorter; ultimately that
lies with us as a community.

Stage one has begun already thanks to Adrian Schroeter, Alex Graf and
Dirk Mueller. Stage one comprises of getting the boot strap process to
work. At a cursory level this means getting the packages required for
setting up a build chroot environment and for building these packages on
the target ARM architecture. This will possibly take a fair amount of
time, and no I won't give any timelines for this - how long is a piece
of string?

openSUSE has a couple of advantages here, 1) we have the OBS which can
cross build and if need be cross compile packages for numerous
architectures (ARM included) so we are going to make a start with that;
2) SUSE are going to be doing another HackWeek (I think it is next week)
which means Adrian, Alex, Dirk and anyone else that has knowledge,
experience or interest can join in the fun and pain almost full time for
a week - let's not kid ourselves here there is a high probability for
lots of pain, but also fun ;-) Thing is HackWeek is not just for SUSE
staff, it is also for the community. You can join in and spend some
quality time on the project with those that know a whole heap of stuff,
and learn from them and maybe even teach them something too.

We are going to be targeting ARMv7 nothing older I'm afraid this means
CORTEX-A8 and above (looking at A9 primarily and then the new A15 when
it's available), it gets too messy otherwise and it is already messy
enough.If you have knowledge and experience, please help out. If you
don't take part you have no justification to complain - you've got to be
in it to win it ;-)

So I'm basically just giving you all a heads up on this effort, and will
update you as regularly as possible (I'm hoping to do something weekly
maybe). In the meantime, if you're interested join #opensuse-arm on
Freenode and the opensuse-arm mailing list. *DO NOT HARRASS* for
updates, if there is something to say it will be said. If you've got a
question, ask and *WAIT* for an answer. If you want to help out but want
to know how ask and *WAIT* for an answer. I will try and get something
on the wiki soon, with a todo list etc.

Thanks and here's to getting our Geeko some ARMs.



Andrew Wafaa
IRC: FunkyPenguin
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