[Dev] Parabola ARM

Michał Masłowski mtjm at mtjm.eu
Thu Sep 5 10:33:06 GMT 2013

> Putting the interesting role-playing IRC matters aside.. I am curious
> whether MichaŁ has knowledge regards blobs to be found in one of these
> newer all-in-one devices (that could make a fine file | mail | web
> server).
> 1. | http://cubox-i.com/ {Freescale i.MX6 SoCs with GC880 & GC2000
> OpenGL/ES 2.0}

There is a project reverse engineering the Vivante GPUs [0], it's not
ready for GC2000.  It supports CG880.

The VPU has nonfree firmware [1][2].

One CuBox-i page names the wifi chip [3], it requires nonfree firmware
and there is no reverse engineering project for it known to me.

Sources for CuBox software are not available yet.  I haven't found any
information on bootloader signing or similar restrictions.

Are there devices with better free software support?  AllWinner SoCs
have a VPU with nonfree drivers [2] and a Mali GPU.  The GPU is being
reverse engineered [4] while there is no Mesa driver yet (?).  There are
some SoCs with no 3d acceleration, less devices use them.

Are there devices with wifi working without nonfree software?  Only ones
with PCI (miniPCI, miniPCIe, etc) cards with an ath9k-supported chipset
or ath9k_htc-supported USB one (they need more power than Replicant
phones can provide).  No ARM board that I know about has it.  (All
devices supported by Replicant have wifi requiring nonfree Broadcom or
Marvell firmware.)

Assuming we can get a fast and available device that can be supported by
a fully free system, can we port Parabola to it?  I don't believe it
will be much easier than mips64el, while I have no knowledge of the
various Arch on ARM projects.  Would we have the resources to keep our
packages up to date regarding security issues or dependencies upgraded
in Arch?  (Off-topic: many packages that fail to build on mips64el fail
to build on x86_64 too.)

[0] https://github.com/laanwj/etna_viv
[1] http://rhombus-tech.net/freescale/iMX6/
[2] https://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects/reverse-engineering
[3] http://cubox-i.com/cubox-i-a-mini-computer-starting-at-45/
[4] http://limadriver.org/
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