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Old 04-20-2009, 01:21 AM   #1
drmozes
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Slackware ARM port: help with testing for release v12.2-rc1


Hello

I'm really happy to announce release candidate 1 of Slackware ARM!

Originally aimed at the ARM-based desktop machines Slackware ARM is a full port of Slackware version 12.2, but can also be used on embedded devices (I'm currently waiting for the Marvell SheevaPlug to arrive so that I can add support for it).

If you'd like to help test Slackware ARM, the easiest way is to do a full system installation inside a QEMU host, running on your Slackware x86 system (although you may find a speed improvement if you're running QEMU in a 64 bit OS on the same hardware).

The regular Slackware installer is provided, so once you've got QEMU running, the installation is almost identical to Slackware x86.

Download & Installation details can be found at:
ftp://ftp.armedslack.org/armedslack/...MU_INSTALL.TXT

I'll really appreciate all testing and feedback, as I plan to do a formal release very soon.

Thanks!
Stuart Winter
 
Old 04-20-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
niels.horn
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Since I am interested in emulating all kinds of platforms, I'll will try to install this port under QEMU and report back the results...
 
Old 04-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
niels.horn
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ok, I successfully installed armedslack on Qemu!

First some random remarks:
- I used my pre-existing qemu-0.10.2 that I had installed from a package downloaded from slacky
- I had to use VNC to connect, as my keyboard went crazy trying to connect directly to qemu (but this might be a local problem, did not investigate it further)
- Installation took about 4 - 5 hours as expected. During installation of the bind package it seemed to hang, (no processor activity), but after some more waiting installation continued
- armedslack still contains xap/gimp-help, a package that has been removed from "normal" slackware. Maybe this should be removed from armedslack as well...

Now a possible bug I found:
- After installation I was caught in an endless loop of fsck trying to file-check /. The documentation explains why, but turning off file checking in fstab does not solve it. The rc.S script *always* runs fsck on the root partition, without checking fstab. The solution is 'touch'ing a file called /etc/fastboot as can be seen in rc.S:
Code:
if [ ! -r /etc/fastboot ]; then
    echo "Checking root filesystem:"
    /sbin/fsck $FORCEFSCK -C -a /
    RETVAL=$?
fi
For the rest, I'm still playing with it, if I find anything interesting, I'll report it here...
 
Old 04-22-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
drmozes
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Hi Niels,

Thanks for the report.

Quote:
- I had to use VNC to connect, as my keyboard went crazy trying to connect directly to qemu (but this might be a local problem, did not investigate it further)
I've never had a problem with the keyboard, on the various test installations. Have you checked what build options the version on slacky uses? What exactly happens?


Quote:
- Installation took about 4 - 5 hours as expected. During installation of the bind package it seemed to hang, (no processor activity), but after some more waiting installation continued
Yeah this crops up every now and then - it's actually a bug present in Slackware (it happens on x86) and we don't know what it is.
The quick fix is to flick to the next virtual console and back.

It's weird that it only happens on the bind package, but at least it's not ARMedslack specific ;-)

Quote:
- armedslack still contains xap/gimp-help, a package that has been removed from "normal" slackware. Maybe this should be removed from armedslack as well...
gimp-help no longer exists in -current, but is in 12.2 (which is the version I've ported).

Quote:
Now a possible bug I found:
- After installation I was caught in an endless loop of fsck trying to file-check /. The documentation explains why, but turning off file checking in fstab does not solve it. The rc.S script *always* runs fsck on the root partition, without checking fstab. The solution is 'touch'ing a file called /etc/fastboot as can be seen in rc.S:
Code:
if [ ! -r /etc/fastboot ]; then
    echo "Checking root filesystem:"
    /sbin/fsck $FORCEFSCK -C -a /
    RETVAL=$?
fi

Aaah, I know why, I think.. Originally I used tune2fs in the script that turns off fsck checks, but of course that only works for ext* filesystems. Perhaps I didn't re-test with ext* after I did that.
Are you using an ext* filesystem? I hope so ;-)

I'll add back the tune2fs in addition to switching off the fspass number and rebuild the installer.
 
Old 04-22-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
niels.horn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
I've never had a problem with the keyboard, on the various test installations. Have you checked what build options the version on slacky uses? What exactly happens?
Well, to begin with, I should explain that my keyboard has a Brazilian lay-out (br-abnt2) both in the console and in X.
What happened is that not a single key was in the right place, not even the Enter or Shift keys. I had to kill the process to get out of Qemu.
I am not a regular user of Qemu, I just use it for some tests (I prefer VirtualBox and / or VMWare) and don't know if this problem occurs in other situations.

About the build options of the slacky package, I found this in the Slackbuild file:
Code:
./configure \
--prefix=/usr \
--enable-linux-user \
--enable-system \
--enable-uname-release=R
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
Yeah this crops up every now and then - it's actually a bug present in Slackware (it happens on x86) and we don't know what it is.
The quick fix is to flick to the next virtual console and back.

It's weird that it only happens on the bind package, but at least it's not ARMedslack specific ;-)
I probably ended up doing something similar. I was working on some other things while ARMedslack was installing and probably flipped back and forth between the consoles enough to "revive" the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
gimp-help no longer exists in -current, but is in 12.2 (which is the version I've ported).
ok, just noticed the difference


Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
Aaah, I know why, I think.. Originally I used tune2fs in the script that turns off fsck checks, but of course that only works for ext* filesystems. Perhaps I didn't re-test with ext* after I did that.
Are you using an ext* filesystem? I hope so ;-)

I'll add back the tune2fs in addition to switching off the fspass number and rebuild the installer.
Yes, I did use ext3 for the installation. I thought ext4 might be a bit too heavy to emulate, so I selected good old ext3.
 
Old 04-24-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
MS3FGX
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Very interesting. With the increased availability of ARM platforms, I have been keeping an eye out for different operating systems that will run on them. Like the SheevaPlug specifically, actually.

Good luck with the project. I think this will become increasingly important in the near future.
 
Old 04-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
drmozes
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Distribution: Slackware
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niels.horn View Post
Well, to begin with, I should explain that my keyboard has a Brazilian lay-out (br-abnt2) both in the console and in X.
What happened is that not a single key was in the right place, not even the Enter or Shift keys. I had to kill the process to get out of Qemu.
I am not a regular user of Qemu, I just use it for some tests (I prefer VirtualBox and / or VMWare) and don't know if this problem occurs in other situations.
OK - can you try with one of the keyboard layouts? The list is available in qemu(1); adjust your qemu start script to include a -k <yourkblayout>

According to the qemu man page this shouldn't be necessary unless you have a nonstandard keyboard such as that from a Mac, but it's worth a go.

Quote:
Yes, I did use ext3 for the installation. I thought ext4 might be a bit too heavy to emulate, so I selected good old ext3.
ext4 seems ok to me although I haven't done any timed tests, but usually I notice pretty quickly if the speed has decreased, because it I've eaten twice more pizzas that normal waiting for the firefox source to extract ;-)

I've uploaded the new isolinux/initrd.img which will now use tune2fs -i0 in addition to setting the fspassnum to 0. Apart from needing to update mkinitrd's README.txt to be non-x86 specific, I *think* a release is almost upon us!

Cheers
s.
 
Old 04-25-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
niels.horn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
OK - can you try with one of the keyboard layouts? The list is available in qemu(1); adjust your qemu start script to include a -k <yourkblayout>

According to the qemu man page this shouldn't be necessary unless you have a nonstandard keyboard such as that from a Mac, but it's worth a go.
OK, I'll do some tests and report back here

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
I've uploaded the new isolinux/initrd.img which will now use tune2fs -i0 in addition to setting the fspassnum to 0. Apart from needing to update mkinitrd's README.txt to be non-x86 specific, I *think* a release is almost upon us!

Cheers
s.
I'll give it a try as well!
 
Old 04-25-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
niels.horn
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The "-k pt-br" option solved the keyboard problem in Qemu

I'll do a fresh install now to test the new initrd.
Will report back in a couple of hours...
 
Old 04-25-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
niels.horn
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ok, left the installation running and went out (I do have a life to live sometimes )
The new initrd works fine, no more reboots to fsck the / partition!

I guess this version is ready for an official release now
 
Old 04-28-2009, 03:06 PM   #11
drmozes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niels.horn View Post
ok, left the installation running and went out (I do have a life to live sometimes )
The new initrd works fine, no more reboots to fsck the / partition!

I guess this version is ready for an official release now
Almost! Almost! I've got the new 2.6.29.2 Kernel to upload and a couple of other package updates to go out, and then more checks.

I'll reply when it's ready.

Thanks for getting back to me about the qemu keyboard - I've updated the qemu helper scripts with some useful information.
 
Old 04-28-2009, 04:13 PM   #12
niels.horn
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ok, ok... testing my patience...

I noticed you were even ahead (1 day I think) of Slackware(intel)-current when Slackware(arm)-current released the new dialog package.
Are we going to see the 2.6.29.2 kernel first in ARMedslack as well?

No need to respond, just joking around
I'll wait for the ChangeLogs...

<edit>
Seems Slackware(intel) just released the new kernel in -current
</edit>

Last edited by niels.horn; 04-28-2009 at 07:43 PM.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 04:58 AM   #13
koloth
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You think i would be possible to install Slack on an ARM Pda (Ipaq...) ?
 
Old 04-30-2009, 02:10 AM   #14
drmozes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koloth View Post
You think i would be possible to install Slack on an ARM Pda (Ipaq...) ?
The Linux on PDA distributions tend to be tailored to the device, where as running a full Slackware installation (which ARMedlack is) might not be the best choice!
However, I guess it's possible if you have a Kernel and boot loader for it. I know Linux was ported to the iPaq many years ago, although you'd have to check how well maintained that support is. It'd definitely be possible to run the ARMedslack binaries on it, but the challenge would be to pair down ARMedslack enough size-wise to fit on the compact flash.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 04:42 AM   #15
niels.horn
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I am very interested in the concept of the plug-computer, like the SheevaPlug mentioned in the original post.

Anyone with experience here?
 
  


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