How Far Should I go?

cenobyte at cenobyte at
Mon Oct 24 15:21:20 EDT 2011

 When you say qemu ready, does that mean it will work on the Ben itself 
 too? Would I reflash like for OpenWRT?

 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:49:32 -0600, Alan Post wrote:
> From any linux box you should be able to type:
>  $ ./build mips
> From the aboriginal linux root directory and it will create a 
> quemu-ready
> image for the mips platform.  IIRC, just typing ./build will give
> you a list of platforms it builds for.
> -Alan
> On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 01:33:30PM -0500, cenobyte at 
> wrote:
>> The bootstrap linux looks easy, but do I need to do something
>> special to build it for MIPS? I still build it from my external
>> computer, right?
>> On Sun, 16 Oct 2011 00:25:04 -0600, Alan Post wrote:
>> >On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 12:39:09AM -0500, cenobyte at
>> >wrote:
>> >>On Sat, 15 Oct 2011 23:24:32 -0600, Alan Post wrote:
>> >>>On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 11:31:12PM -0500, 
>> cenobyte at
>> >>>wrote:
>> >>>>I am wondering what you all think about how far I, or any of
>> >>us, for
>> >>>>that matter, should go with hacking on the Ben. For one, Qi
>> >>adapted
>> >>>>OpenWRT rather than made a new distribution from (near)
>> >>scratch. Was
>> >>>>this due to time constraints, or something else? Would it be 
>> worth
>> >>>>it for someone to learn the MIPS architecture sufficiently well 
>> to
>> >>>>make a Ben Tailored OS? Or, since the new Nanonote may or may 
>> not
>> >>>>have a similar chip, is it better to stay "on the surface" as it
>> >>>>were and not get too involved in low-level stuff? Maybe the
>> >>>>experience alone of deep MIPS knowledge will be worth it even
>> >>if we
>> >>>>move to another chip in the future? If one does not go deeper 
>> than
>> >>>>the kernel and other basic utils, I suppose "from scratch" would
>> >>>>mean getting a custom kernel and utils, tuning them, then 
>> building
>> >>>>from there, right?  I think in general, x86 GNU/Linux is
>> >>assumed to
>> >>>>be as optimized as it could be, but I'm not sure about other
>> >>>>architectures like ARM, MIPS, etc. Since someone has already 
>> done
>> >>>>the work, perhaps it is not good to try and re-do it...?
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>>If you'd like to stay with Linux, but are interested in moving 
>> off
>> >>>of OpenWRT, you might find one of these projects interesting for
>> >>>your effort:
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>Neither of these are "ready-to-go" for the Ben; the second isn't
>> >>>strictly a distribution.  They are both an attempt to build the
>> >>>smallest *self-hosting* linux environment, and in that role make
>> >>>good bootstrapping tools.
>> >>>
>> >>>They're essentially one step above Linux From Scratch.
>> >>>
>> >>>-Alan
>> >>
>> >>By 'self hosting' do you mean that in a network sense, or in the
>> >>sense that you can actually compile on them? That does sound
>> >>interesting although I wonder if there are any systems that can 
>> run
>> >>a full shell for the Ben (not busybox). Thanks for the interesting
>> >>links.
>> >>
>> >
>> >I mean self-hosting in the sense that one could recompile the image
>> >for the Ben on the Ben.  With the caveat that with 32MB of memory,
>> >some pieces of this process may well not compile due to memory
>> >constraint.  It would certainly require telling gcc that it has a
>> >memory limit.  IIRC gcc starts with a pretty generous assumption
>> >of how much memory it has to work with.
>> >
>> >I'm not sure what self-hosting in a network sense is.  What would
>> >that be?!
>> >
>> >-Alan
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