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openSUSE support for ARM

Feature state

openSUSE Distribution
Rejected Information


As indicated by this [1] thread, and many earlier, there is demand for openSUSE ARM support. As discussed on the mailing list:

- the build infrastructure is already there

- there is a number of cheap and easily available existing ARM based devices (EFIKA MX [2], Sheeva Plug [3], Beagle Board [4], etc.) and many more are expected to arrive in the coming months

- we need developers

This last point is the most important, as creating an ARM port is more than just enabling ARM in the build service. Without enough developers this port can't be started, as there is a lot of work to do:

- sometimes it is enough just to fix packaging errors (where only x86 is considered in the spec file)

- often compiling on ARM needs some patching (either to find existing patches from other distributions or develop new ones)

- the openSUSE (YaST, etc.) tools need to be made aware of ARM

- testing on different target machines

Please add your comment, if you are interested in the ARM port and also that how you could help this initiative!

1. http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-buildservice/2010-06/msg00293.html

2. http://www.genesi-usa.com/products/efika

3. http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-22-sheevaplug-dev-kit-us.aspx

4. http://beagleboard.org/


icons/user_comment.png a. f. wrote: (8 years ago)

please consider me in!

i am probably not yet a "developer" in the strict meaning of the word, but i guess i can really help that project.

icons/user_comment.png A. J. wrote: (8 years ago)

Let's move the feature to the next release and not do it for 11.3.

icons/user_comment.png R. S. wrote: (8 years ago)

I will help fix packages.

icons/user_comment.png C. R. wrote: (8 years ago)

Im also interested on this port however, afaics the problem is:

1)access to real hardware that has enough resources to actually build the complete distro natively.

I can actually pucharse one of those little things, but It wont be much useful for building packages, as it has too liltte RAM. any other alternatives available that does not require using cross-compilers ?

icons/user_comment.png . . wrote: (8 years ago)

I have a Beagleboard and hope to get the Beagleboard XM when it is available, so I can help with testing.

I would hope for a more straightforward approach than is currently available with Angstrom, Ubuntu or Fedora for ARM.

icons/user_comment.png J. M. wrote: (8 years ago)

@Christian: We don't need real hardware - we've emulation and cross-compilers in place.

I can take care of these 2 and become mentor as i did the 11.2@arm during my GSoC.

IMHO we need 1-2 ppl acting as coordinators/distro-maintainers/dispatchers - this doesn't involve that much coding - but should prevent packagers from getting swamped or stuck in a problem. Being the voice/contact/hub.

Packagers/Package maintainers, of course. For most issues there's a patch - we just have to look around. And for the other 5% we can always ping our specialists. Its cool as you always see what you have achieved.

I could imagine to care for the qemu/gcc/cross-compilers/base:build (the "core") - how much time is left to co-maintain the rest i can't tell.

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

Been there, done that. I can tell stories of SPARC. Emulation is slow -- if it exists at all. Cross-compilers are tiresome and don't help beyond bootstrap, when ./configure depends on running some target code. Real hardware is the deal to get things done in a timely manner, as even a single machine takes time to build factory.

icons/user_comment.png G. F. wrote: (8 years ago)


Have you read http://lizards.opensuse.org/2009/06/16/opensusearmgsoc-cross-compilation-speedup/

Makes the performance side of cross compiles appear solved for ARM in OBS.

ie. Acheiving 50% of i586 compile speeds.  Not perfect, but better than a ARM can likely do natively.

icons/user_comment.png C. R. wrote: (8 years ago)

that exactly my point, even more, getting the distro compiled is one thing, but getting it _properly_ compiled is a different story, not to mention we need hardware to test the actual binaries.

Other than that, cross-compilers may require significant black magic in case stuff goes wrong.

icons/user_comment.png p. c. wrote: (8 years ago)

Well, cross compilation should not be a problem. MeeGo is completely built by an OBS instance. And Linaro ( http://www.linaro.org/ ) is also cross compiled.

Testing: I have an EFIKA MX and a Sheeva Plug, two completely different ARM based machines, others mentioned Beagle Board, so all three machines from my original post are covered

icons/user_comment.png C. R. wrote: (8 years ago)

meego is not the full distro, and Im yet to find any decent hardware (best one seems to the the openRD-client 

Dell, IBM and other vendors have said that they will ship ARM servers 2010/2011, but that's vapourware at the moment.

icons/user_comment.png C. R. wrote: (8 years ago)

ARM has announced "Eagle" quad core 2.5ghz and up to 1 TB memory hardware, so the posibility of getting real hardware to build the whole distrubution is  bit more realistic. 

icons/user_comment.png 6. 6. wrote: (8 years ago)

I'd think touchscreen support should go along with this actually.

icons/user_comment.png S. Q. wrote: (7 years ago)

I think we will see a lot of attractive (ARM based) tablet devices next year.

So I really would like to see such devices running openSUSE. Or may be smeego.

Or better both.  And yes, this essentially would require touchscreen support.

I'm a bit surprised that  suppport for such devices was not one of the results of the openSUSE strategy meetings.

icons/user_comment.png J. B. wrote: (7 years ago)

"And yes, this essentially would require touchscreen support"

Agreed, in which case this openfate request for multi-touch X-input patches becomes V important:


icons/user_comment.png S. B. wrote: (7 years ago)

I have a BeagleBoard C3. Ruinning the Angstrom distribution makes it difficult to build from sources. With Ubuntu I have a problem with recording audio. A openSUSE port would be most welcomed.

I tried Kubuntu, but KDE takes an age to boot, so now I boot with Gnome but have access to KDE apps.

I can help with testing.

icons/user_comment.png J. M. wrote: (7 years ago)

Windows 8 is going to be able to run on ARM, there are swirling rumors (especially as iOS and OSX begin to converge) that some of Apple's laptop models will switch to ARM processors, the vast majority of tablets and virtually all handheld devices are running ARM... if openSUSE doesn't get an ARM port soon, its chances of taking over the world are going to be vastly diminished. :-(

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (7 years ago)

Don't ask what openSUSE can do for you, ask what you can do for openSUSE.

icons/user_comment.png P. B. wrote: (6 years ago)

I was wondering what's the point of having a Ubuntu port to ARM. But I recently saw an exciting demonstration on a tablet, with somehow Debian running on Android natively--neither dual-boot nor virtual machine!

Clearly, there is a need for an ARM build of opensuse.

icons/user_comment.png L. K. wrote: (5 years ago)

Should this be marked as done?

Last change: 14 months ago
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