Borner
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how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:17 am

Hi,

yesterday my new raspberry arrived. After the first contact with an 256MB board (a month ago) i'm a bit familiar with those boards.
The challenge was: how to enable the 512MB RAM functionality.
If i use the default raspian image, only 256MB RAM are visible.

If you read this official post: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2180
...It looks like, you only have to download one file, and 512MB are available.
download arm384_start.elf
But the file, where the post points to, does not exists.
So i downloaded the start.elf file, reboot - and still 256MB available.

Searching the web i found information, that somebody from the community wrote a tool to upgrade the firmware.
At this point of time my question was: what means "firmware" in the raspberry world. Normally a firmware is a software, which will be deployed (burned) on the chip. (like firmware for PC mainboards)
But (i'm not sure) in the raspberry world "firmware" is one (ore more) binary, which is loaded on every startup during boot(?).
After downloading an running rpi-update (where i get an bad feeling by running "some" tool from "anybody" downloaded "somewhere" from the web, which makes "something" with my machine)..
...the system still runs with 256MB, because you have to add an parameter to the config.txt (where you have to search the web again, how is the syntax of this option)


To make a long story short - there are a lot of questions and hurdles to activate the 512MB RAM:
1.) is there anything to do to enable the 512MB RAM?
2.) if yes, what is to do ?
3.) what tools i have use? Which one is/are trustworthy?
4.) are there any configuration-steps after upgrading, installing, etc.

I'm working on a dozen of linux system every day, but those steps are raspberry specific. So i needed one and a half hour only to activate the 512MB. Including reading threads at this board (which isn't funny, since some threads have 10 pages and more!)


Probably a lot of user has the same issue like me.


So my question is: could it be possible to place an "how to enable 512MB RAM after unboxing" - HowTo on an prominent place?

Borner

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malakai
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:27 am

Currently the 512 is pretty much with the developers I believe the short answer would be something like.

The Foundation couldn't talk about the upgrade as such they couldn't turn it over to developers (They didn't have any boards to give them as it happened too fast.) So there is a way to do it but it is pretty much for testing purposes and you may have to re-image when an official way is put out and it should be happening any day. The issue is if you put 512 on a 256 board it won't boot so the majority of people that own a board would be out of luck.

You can find it http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 42&start=0 if you have to revert to a different image once it is released and your ok with that go at testing it.
http://www.raspians.com - always looking for content feel free to ask to have it posted. Or sign up and message me to become a contributor to the site. Raspians is not affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. (RPi's + You = Raspians)

itimpi
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:33 am

You need the latest firmware to for the additional RAM to be seen and made usable. Running rpi-update will now update the firmware to handle 512MB boards. Note that rpi-update needs to be manually installed as described at https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update.

I would assume that soon either a new image will be made available incorporating this firmware, or the apt-get mechanism repositories will be updated to supply it.

Borner
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:58 am

my currently question is no more: how to enable, because it works for me now.

The question is: isn't it possible to place and step-by-step HowTo somewhere here, where users with an 512MB pi can find it easy?!
Or is an HowTo like this not needed?
You need the latest firmware to for the additional RAM to be seen and made usable
Right. And you need to change the config.txt.
And (for my case) i could find it great, if there is an community feedback if the Hexxeh scripts are validated / works well.

And all these points should be putted together somewhere, i think.

itimpi
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Borner wrote: Right. And you need to change the config.txt.
Only if you are not happy with the default GPU allocation of 64MB. I suspect most people will run with the default as this gives good graphics performance while still leaving plenty for most software.

The Wiki has now been updated with information on new config.txt options for GPU ram allocation.

Borner
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:34 pm

Only if you are not happy with the default GPU allocation of 64MB.
Really? Because in my case, the command
$free
shows 256MB until i added the parameter @config.txt (followed by reboot) ?!
The Wiki has now been updated with information on new config.txt options for GPU ram allocation.
That's great. Could you give me a hint, where i can find it? Thank you.

//Edit:
I found this: http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt#Memory
Sorry, but I'm not sure, how to read the section. Normally the config.txt is an key=value store. But at the wiki I found something like this:
gpu_mem GPU memory in megabyte. Sets the memory split between the ARM and GPU. ARM gets the remaining memory. Min 16. Default 64
gpu_mem_256 GPU memory in megabyte for the 256MB Raspberry Pi. Ignored by the 512MB RP. Overrides gpu_mem. Max 192. Default not set
gpu_mem_512 GPU memory in megabyte for the 512MB Raspberry Pi. Ignored by the 256MB RP. Overrides gpu_mem. Max 448. Default not set
There is no example, so I try to interpret this.
The config file could contain:
gpu_mem=32 -> where i have an 480/32 MB Split.
Or the file could contain this:
gpu_mem_256=16
gpu_mem_512=32
Which means: if this config file is parsed on an 256MB machine split 240/16 and if we are running on an 512MB machine split 480/32MB in order to have one configuration file which runs on both types of raspberry. Is this correct?

//Edit.... okay, it looks like my suggestion is right, after reading this example file with some more comments https://raw.github.com/Evilpaul/RPi-con ... config.txt

W. H. Heydt
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:25 pm

(The real question has been addressed by others...I want to address my opinion on a side point that was made in passing... --whh)
Borner wrote: At this point of time my question was: what means "firmware" in the raspberry world. Normally a firmware is a software, which will be deployed (burned) on the chip. (like firmware for PC mainboards)
But (i'm not sure) in the raspberry world "firmware" is one (ore more) binary, which is loaded on every startup during boot(?).
I think of it this way... "firmware" is software that is stored in non-volatile electronic memory. Originally, firmware was manufactured into ROMs, then PROMs, then EPROMs, then EEPROMs, and now in flash memory.

Now think about the Raspberry Pi. It's defaul non-volatile storage is...flash memory (in the form of an SD card). So, the firmware is indeed stored just the way it is in any other computer. It's just that in the case of the Pi, it's a whole lot easier to update it. All you have to do is download the binary blob and copy it into the FAT32 partition of the SD card.

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malakai
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:36 pm

Borner wrote:my currently question is no more: how to enable, because it works for me now.

The question is: isn't it possible to place and step-by-step HowTo somewhere here, where users with an 512MB pi can find it easy?!
Or is an HowTo like this not needed?
This really comes down to a final decision on what and how the memory allocation is going to be handled since that hasn't been decided (at least it would seem if it has been then it would have been announced by someone) so taking the time to write an article takes them away from working out what the end product will be. At this time this is how to enable it but it isn't written in stone and could be completely changed so you will in essence have to start all over again with your first question how do I enable 512mb ram under the final version.

It seems stable the way it is but again this release is really just a patch even if it stays this way it will probably just be rolled into raspi-config as the original version was so the article would read type sudo raspi-config and follow the prompts.
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Borner
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Location: .de

Re: how to enable 512MB

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:40 pm

This really comes down to a final decision on what and how the memory allocation is going to be handled since that hasn't been decided (at least it would seem if it has been then it would have been announced by someone) so taking the time to write an article takes them away from working out what the end product will be.
Right, i understand.
So it's not a question of time for writing an article how to enable 512MB RAM. This is a community, where anybody could write down those lines. I would do that, if I would know, which way is the recommended/official one.
So the point is (as you wrote), that there is an missing final dissension, how the 512 MB RAM End - configuration will look like. Right?!

So by the way: there are more than 1000 views on this post during last 4 days. It looks like, I'm not the only one how had this question?!

asb
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:44 pm

Hi folks. Please see http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 66&t=21590 for info on updating an existing Raspbian image, or else just grab 2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian.zip from the downloads page.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:47 pm

I, too, was wondering about this, and, in particular, was amazed at the apparent complexity and weirdness that seemed to pervade the issue.

However, it seems I worried for naught. All I had to do, to get it to see all the memory, was (the usual):

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

routine. That fixed it.

So, it seems that should be the stock answer to this (all too) FAQ.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

adlambert

Re: how to enable 512MB

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:14 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:I, too, was wondering about this, and, in particular, was amazed at the apparent complexity and weirdness that seemed to pervade the issue.

However, it seems I worried for naught. All I had to do, to get it to see all the memory, was (the usual):

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

routine. That fixed it.

So, it seems that should be the stock answer to this (all too) FAQ.
That's due to the new updates that are now released, that weren't available before. This includes a new SD card image. See the front (blog) page at www.raspberrypi.org

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abishur
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Re: how to enable 512MB

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:23 pm

Just to repeat, the correct and official answer is:
asb wrote:Hi folks. Please see http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 66&t=21590 for info on updating an existing Raspbian image, or else just grab 2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian.zip from the downloads page.
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