[Dev] [ARM] Parabola ARM Port

ingegnue ingegnue at riseup.net
Mon Dec 15 16:19:22 GMT 2014

Ok, so from that Arch thread: "If the boards are not yet standardized enough that the kernel can be easily used across multiple boards (the great majority, really)"

And this post, in full: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1248427#p1248427

With that in mind...

FWIW if you search "gpl violations arm" you'll get a lot of results. For example, Allwinner, member of Linaro... I think there may be freedom issues that would narrow down what we would "officially" support.

^The above scared me away from Allwinner and made me look at Linaro skeptically.
^That sounds ugly...

As far as I see, GTA04, BeagleBone Black and Novena are easily the freest ARM systems I've found, so I would prioritize supporting them over, for example, anything with Allwinner in it (Cubieboard), if we have to choose between boards. I may get a BeagleBone myself and help with this port...  

The nightmare scenario in my mind would be the ARM manufacturers sneaking in nonfree features to the kernel in those 70,000 lines of code per pull. But if we have the Linux-libre kernel, then maybe that possibility would be minimized, and more so if we avoid supporting the manufacturers that violate the GPL.

Not an expert by any means, but I hope this info is of some use.

On December 15, 2014 3:14:23 AM EST, "Isaac David Reyes González" <isacdaavid at gmail.com> wrote:
>I'm excited to see real efforts for a wholly free ARM distro going on,
>something higher than Debian I mean. There are far more ARM CPUs than
>ones nowadays, and while not all of them will be able to work with free
>software a substantial proportion will. Those ought to be covered. This
>an increasingly important computing platform dominated by GNU+Linux,
>Android/Linux and other free-software-based operating systems;
>the success of ARM indirectly is the success of free software for the
>masses too.
>Ok, so here I will be trying to address some issues that I think went
>overlooked before the thread forked:
>>We need some research before packaging anything:
>>- how archlinuxarm.org works (e.g. crossbuilding) and what we should
>>  from them?
>Maybe everything that is already libre or can be repackaged to meet the
>standards, as you do with normal Arch I guess. The big problem with
>is the myriad of kernels they support. See
>https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1227684#p1227684 for a
>discussion on merging Arch with ArchARM, developers from both camps
>and discussed kernel proliferation. I just counted 48 from ArchARM's
>repo but we may not need to support them all. The details can be found
>my attatchment and I hope this introductory research will help Parabola
>decide what kernels to use (deblobbed) from ArchARM if any. I could add
>this info somewhere in the wiki during the following days if you like
>It would be nice to do the same for u-boot.
>>- what devices we want to support: popular here, sufficiently free and
>>  also something fast for building packages (some certainly don't
>>  support cross-compiling and native builds are a good way of finding
>>  bugs); will we compile packages for ARMv7 only?
>>- what kernels will we use?  can we avoid deblobbing and releasing a
>>  different kernel tree for each board?
>>- u-boot trees; there are existing deblobbing projects for specific
>>  boards
>>- what's missing in the development tools that we used for mips64el?
>Michał Masłowski clearly knows what he says. This is the way to go
>>We should aim for compiling all packages
>Even packages that don't need repackaging? Is this what you do with x86
>>Do you know any fast multicore boards with much RAM and a SATA port
>>would work for native builds?  I think i.MX6 Quad and Tegra K1 are the
>>fastest SoCs that work without known to me bootloader blobs (Samsung
>>Exynos is not ok).
>All in all Novena board is a good candidate: iMX6 Quadcore, 4 GiB in
>works without nonfree software, in fact there's just a couple trivial
>keeping it from being FSF-endorseable at the time, no treacherous
>of course and unlike many board developers the Novena people is working
>hard to collaborate upstream and keep their software updated. Linaro
>interested in getting some Novenas and use them to build software
>Dev mailing list
>Dev at lists.parabola.nu

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