[armedslack] EABI ?

Sunil Amitkumar Janki psychicistnonconformist at gmail.com
Sat Jun 23 09:08:49 UTC 2007

Stuart Winter wrote:
> The only thing is that the whole point of the project was to run
> Slackware on my ageing StrongARM (which needs armv3) RiscPC -- which EABI
> does not support.  Hmm.  I'll have to think about this.

I don't know what the reasons are to completely abandon the old ABI but 
it possible to make these older ARM versions functional with the new EABI?

That would extend the useful life of the hardware enormously. I don't 
like throwing
away working hardware, I still have some i486 and Pentiums lying around, 
and neither
should you.

> On the other hand, if Linux 2.6 was ported to the Iyonix I would be happy
> since I could use that as a desktop machine and with the speedups from
> rebuilding as EABI, it'd probably be much more usable
> (can you tell I am not a scientist? :-) )

It's really a shame the patch for 2.4 was never integrated into the 
kernel proper
and/or updated for 2.6. That would have alleviated the process a lot and 
you could
be running the newer Slackware releases on your Iyonix. Now for the time 
you could just install those in chroots and build software that way.

I initially built Slackware MIPS that way from the installed Debian 
system, just until
the point that it could become self-hosting after six days of building 
and rebuilding
using LFS as a guideline.

I have been looking into your 2.4.27 kernel diff but it's huge and it's 
really time-consuming
to try to make sense of it and split it up into smaller pieces that I 
could understand,
not that I'm in the least knowledgeable about kernel matters anyway :-).

If you could point out which pieces, a.o drivers, are important to get 
2.6 running on
your Iyonix PC that would help a lot and I could focus on those things 
that have to be
added or ported from the functional 2.4 kernel. I have a 2.6 kernel 
booting on my
Dell Axim X3 PDA with an Xscale PXA26x processor so most of the pieces 
are pretty
much there already.

> I could maintain the Old ABI version for a while but there'd come a
> point that I could not be able to build new software and so on, and I
> prefer to keep up with Slackware developments.

This will of course only work in the short term. In the long run it's 
not beneficial and
could even be considered a waste of time since it could be spent at 
fixing the fundamental
problems instead so you could indeed keep up with the latest Slackware 

> I wonder if Openoffice has been maintained for ARM?  I know Peter Naulls
> ported it for the PsionNetbook project but I don't know if it was
> maintained afterwards (I know he wouldn't have).

You know, Lemote have ported OpenOffice 2.0.4 to MIPS, and since the 
included Debian
system has a Chinese version installed and it works that's proof that 
it's possible to port
OpenOffice to any architecture, including ARM.

The CEO has sent me the patch to get it to build on MIPS, but sadly the 
build process
doesn't work at the moment on Slackware MIPS. I'm still trying to figure 
out why it doesn't
but as a last resort I'm considering building it on the included Debian 
(in a chroot) if that
yields a working OpenOffice build.

I could do the same for ARM but where is the cheap ARM hardware that 
should be abounding
now that the Windows and the x86 hardware that can run it is becoming 
less and less
valuable and relevant? Apart from Castle's Iyonix I have only found this 
website with
embedded boards: http://www.toradex.com/e/computer_boards.php.

It's really time for an Acorn Risc Machines renaissance and seeing what 
Lemote have done
with their miniature Fu Long computer I am really interested in an ARM 
equivalent as well.


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