How Far Should I go?

cenobyte at dragoncrypt.com cenobyte at dragoncrypt.com
Tue Oct 25 13:20:15 EDT 2011


 OK, so if aboriginal is not usable on the Ben, would bootstrap linux 
 be?


 On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 13:57:40 -0601, Alan Post wrote:
> I've never tried; I doubt it would work, but only for these reasons:
>
>  - I *think* we still have kernel patches in OpenWRT that aren't
>    pushed upstream.  Those patches would need to be applied to your
> 	 kernel tree, along with the appropriate kernel config file.
>  - The squashfs/tgz filesystem would need to be converted to
>    something that can be flashed to the Ben.
>
> Aboriginal Linux is not properly a linux distribution.  It's the
> smallest possible self-hosting Linux system.  There is no curses
> library, most of the tools included in busybox don't have files
> in /etc set up, &c.
>
> When I say it is qemu-ready, I mean that you can use the program
> qemu to run the resulting system in that emulator.  The "novel"
> thing to do in that emulator is of course to compile Aboriginal
> Linux again. :-)
>
> -Alan
>
> On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 02:21:20PM -0500, cenobyte at dragoncrypt.com 
> wrote:
>> 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 dragoncrypt.com
>> >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 dragoncrypt.com
>> >>>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 dragoncrypt.com
>> >>>>>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:
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>  https://github.com/pikhq/bootstrap-linux
>> >>>>>	http://www.landley.net/aboriginal/
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>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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