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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:04 am

I hope there are still people following this project.  Both plugwash and I put a lot of time in over the weekend to fix problems the autobuilding process and clean out dependency knots so that the autobuilders could keep on building.

As of Sunday evening, the binary package count is now at 21124.  That means about 4000 packages have been built so far and we have about 13000 to go.  Of course, as plugwash points out, this metric isn't quite as important as finding the critical packages that create a dependency logjam.  Unfortunately, clearing the logjams is a manual and somewhat laborious process, but we're getting better at it.  I now fear that this project isn't going to be quite as automated as I originally thought, but those are the breaks.

Other than clearing the dependency logjams to keep the build queues from emptying, hopefully things will begin to settle down so I can begin working on a QEMU image that others can play with and a Raspbian web site so that this project has more than a blank page to mark it's place on the Internet.

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:55 am

Just for kicks I thought I would post a picture of the Raspbian build cluster in it's final home on a shelf deep in the bowels of my basement.



The future of Raspberry Pi OS's is getting its start in a place best suited for growing mushrooms.

joemegahertz
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:55 am

I'm sure quite a lot of people are still looking at this page.  I check it so often I've changed it to my start page lol! But honestly ive told quite a few people about it.  Most people aren't so interested in the pi itself but more the process of converting a distro to new hardware.  Keep up the good work.

john.mills
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:44 am

Hi Mike,

There certainly is a large interest out there for your work, what you are doing is building the foundations at this point for what is to follow. At the moment there are not many PIs out there in the open. Once they start shipping in any volume your repository should be complete and the work can start on shaping Raspbian to the release you want it to be. Time to a degree is still on your side. If it takes you a month longer to finish the builds then it is not really a bad thing at this point.

As you will be going the Makers Faire you will be able to explain your position in person to Liz and Eben. From what I have read they sound very reasonable, I would love to see Debian be the base for the Pi going forward and I think there are very sound reasons why it should be. The fact that you are working on the more optimised Hard Float version goes a long way to making the argument that the default shipping version should be based on your builds.

The 'real value for a user will come once you are able to download and run a version of Raspbian with a GUI and some applications, games and utilities etc. The demand will increase I am sure. The vast majority of people will not want to download the source code and compile themselves. I think a polished release along the lines of Mint Debian edition would be a real win for this project and showcase just what can be achieved by a motivated community.

Good luck with the Raspbian website I think it will be a useful tool to gather like minded people together and will allow better collaboration going forward. I am sure some of us here wouldn't mind trying to get some publicity for you and the work you are carrying out.

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bleep42
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:38 am

Hi Mike, Yep, I've been reading all your posts since about page 2 when I first spotted it.

I have thought that the Pi will be greatly improved by enabling the hardware float, but didn't realise it would be so difficult I naively assumed all float operations would be posted through a common interface, which would either then handle them itself in software, or, if a hard float unit was available pass them on to that. But it seems that in Linux all the floating point operations are handled natively and separately by each piece of code, thus forcing you to re-compile every software package to make it hf aware.

So yes you have followers, and yes I'll be using your Raspbian as soon as I get my Pi.

Many thanks for all your hard work, I very much hope there are people high up in the foundation keeping a close eye on what you are doing and offering you support when you really need it.

Regards, Kevin.

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AndrewS
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:53 am

bleep42 said:


I naively assumed all float operations would be posted through a common interface, which would either then handle them itself in software, or, if a hard float unit was available pass them on to that.


AIUI that would only work if every single floating point operation were handed off to a library call, rather than being simply compiled 'in place', which would add far too much overhead. As well as having to marshal between float/integer registers, as already discussed earlier in this thread.

And you'd probably have to write code like:

floatlib.addf(floatlib.multiplyf(2.0, 3.5), floatlib.subtractf(125.0, 3.14))

instead of:

(2.0 * 3.5) + 125.0 - 3.14


benosteen
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:55 am

Don't worry, lots of people are tracking this! Huge congrats on the work so far!

dukla2000
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:42 pm

Another lurker here watching with interest. Last thing I compiled was in Fortran about 30 years ago and source code control had just moved beyond a diagonal line across your card deck. So in awe of folks who understand this slightly more complex stuff! Keep up the good work.
Daily driver: Pi3B, 64GB Samsung Evo+ @100MHz, DVB-T, onboard WiFi for internet, BT/USB dongle for KB/mouse, 250GB HDD via USB for media, Raspbian Jessie Lite with Openbox desktop.
Museum: Pi B

hexameron
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:03 pm

Would I be right in thinking that you can use the same kernel for HardFP that you would for float-soft ? That makes life a lot easier than I expected.

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:08 pm

hexameron said:


Would I be right in thinking that you can use the same kernel for HardFP that you would for float-soft ? That makes life a lot easier than I expected.


Yes, you would be right.  The image I provided to Dom and that he brought up on Pi hardware used the Debian armel kernel.  What is particularly nice is that it makes using a chroot environment convenient to switch between the armel side and the armhf side since the same kernel works with both.

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ScoobyDoo
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:30 pm

Ive been following this thread and can"t believe all the time,effort, money you"ve put into this project, it"s truly great
Will you be compiling the motion package??
It"s a motion detection/CCTV program which would benefit greatly
From being converted to hf

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:47 pm

ScoobyDoo said:


Will you be compiling the motion package??
It"s a motion detection/CCTV program which would benefit greatly
From being converted to hf


Motion is currently part of Debian armhf so we will certainly try to build it.  It seems 98% or more of the Debian armhf supported packages seem to be coming over without much trouble so if it supported by Debian armhf, we'll likely have it too.  I can't exactly say when though.

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:01 pm

I finally found time to produce a QEMU image of Raspbian armhf that I hope others will find useful. The disk image can be found at the following link:

http://debian.raspbian.com/qemu/

There is a .rar file for Windows users and a .tar.bz2 file for Linux users.  Warning, it expands to 8GB is size when unpacked.

As I use Windows 7 for my desktop environment, the instructions in the README file are for getting this image running under the Windows version of QEMU 1.0.1.  Hopefully it won"t be too difficult for people running a Linux desktop to figure the settings out for their environment. The tricky part is getting QEMU working with a virtual network adapter, which I leave as an exercise for the end user.

Note that QEMU is emulating ARMv6+VFP hardware by specifying the arm1136 chip and the versatilepb hardware.  This configuration isn"t supported by actual hardware and the regular Debian kernel for versatilepb hardware won"t work and freezes with an ARMv6 CPU. Included with the image is a handbuilt kernel with the .config modifications required to support ARMv6+VFP hardware.

More information on using this image can be found here:

http://debian.raspbian.com/qem.....README.txt

With this QEMU image you can use apt-get to install the "devscripts" and "dpkg-dev" packages and attempt to compile any Debian package just as plugwash and I are doing on real ARM hardware.  My hope is that this QEMU image will allow more people to examine packages that may not be cooperating with us on the autobuilder side of things.

As my time to work with QEMU is limited, it would be terrific if someone wanted to take ownership of maintaining this QEMU image as Raspbian evolves and we have more packages making it more useful to work with.  I'll coordinate with you to get any updates back onto the Raspbian repository servers.  Because the Raspberry Pi hardware is a bit limited in terms of memory and disk performance, even after Pi hardware is widely available, maintaining a Raspbian QEMU image will still be very useful.  Developers will be able to build Debian packages and other software in an environment where the memory and disk capacity can be greatly expanded beyond what the Pi will ever support in real hardware.  The emulated CPU isn't the fastest, but not too shabby on decent desktop hardware.

Good luck and let me know if you found this useful.  Now, what else was on my todo list?

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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:19 pm

mpthompson said:


Good luck and let me know if you found this useful.  Now, what else was on my todo list?


Making edos-builddebcheck ignore build-depends-indep

Bluemerlin
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:21 pm

Ok, it's downloaded.

Any specific task you would like me to do with it once it's installed?

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:25 pm

plugwash said:

Making edos-builddebcheck ignore build-depends-indep
LOL! I knew there was something.  Back to the salt mines...

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:43 pm

Bluemerlin said:

Any specific task you would like me to do with it once it's installed?
First, make sure that you can do an 'apt-get update' from root to make sure the networking is hooked up and you can install packages -- devscripts and dpkg-dev would be to good ones to try as you'll need them if you are going to build Debian packages.

After that, I'll need to get back to you and others on this list as to how you might help us out with problem packages.  We're kind of making this up as we go along and need to sort out how to best identify and get help with problematic packages (plugwash is probably shaking his head at this point ).  It may take a few days for us to sort out a process.

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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:43 pm

Bluemerlin said:


Ok, it's downloaded.

Any specific task you would like me to do with it once it's installed?


http://paste.debian.net/166750/

There is a list of packages that our autobuilders attempted to build and failed, not sure how to get the logs from the attempts, hopefully mpthompson can fill us in on that.

Either way you need to try and build these packages, figure out why they are failing (you might want to investigate if they failed in debian armhf too for example) and produce patches (note that at this stage in the port I consider a patch that disables the testsuite to be an acceptable fix for a failing testsuite, it's not ideal but we don't have the manpower to investigate testsuite failures in detail).

Bluemerlin
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:28 pm

Ok I'll start taking a look.

At the moment networking isn't working, so I'm looking at that. DHCP is working and the image gets its IP address, but no network traffic is moving.

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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:23 pm

plugwash said:

There is a list of packages that our autobuilders attempted to build and failed, not sure how to get the logs from the attempts, hopefully mpthompson can fill us in on that.
This is something I'll need to investigate how to automate.  Hopefully I'll find a mechanism that Debian themselves use.  May take a few days to get to, but I'll put it on my todo queue.

Bluemerlin
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:25 pm

Bluemerlin said:


Ok I'll start taking a look.

At the moment networking isn't working, so I'm looking at that. DHCP is working and the image gets its IP address, but no network traffic is moving.


Standard setup with qemu network tap on windows was giving the emulated image the same IP as the network bridge. Setting a new static IP in the image and everything is working.

Bluemerlin
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Tue May 01, 2012 1:05 am

plugwash said:


Bluemerlin said:


Ok, it's downloaded.

Any specific task you would like me to do with it once it's installed?


http://paste.debian.net/166750/

There is a list of packages that our autobuilders attempted to build and failed, not sure how to get the logs from the attempts, hopefully mpthompson can fill us in on that.

Either way you need to try and build these packages, figure out why they are failing (you might want to investigate if they failed in debian armhf too for example) and produce patches (note that at this stage in the port I consider a patch that disables the testsuite to be an acceptable fix for a failing testsuite, it's not ideal but we don't have the manpower to investigate testsuite failures in detail).


Starting work on Fetchmail

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Tue May 01, 2012 1:27 am

Latest package counts from early Monday evening:

Debian armhf 34220
Raspbian armhf 22058

Roughly another 1000 packages will be built by the end of day. A little over 12000 to go.

The build queue is getting a little thin because dependencies are keeping many packages from building.  Guess we'll have to break some of the logjams tomorrow.

Bluemerlin
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Tue May 01, 2012 2:14 am

Bluemerlin said:


plugwash said:


Bluemerlin said:


Ok, it's downloaded.

Any specific task you would like me to do with it once it's installed?


http://paste.debian.net/166750/

There is a list of packages that our autobuilders attempted to build and failed, not sure how to get the logs from the attempts, hopefully mpthompson can fill us in on that.

Either way you need to try and build these packages, figure out why they are failing (you might want to investigate if they failed in debian armhf too for example) and produce patches (note that at this stage in the port I consider a patch that disables the testsuite to be an acceptable fix for a failing testsuite, it's not ideal but we don't have the manpower to investigate testsuite failures in detail).


Starting work on Fetchmail


Ummmmm it built fine first time with no errors ????

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mpthompson
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Re: Debian Hard Float (armhf) for RPi

Tue May 01, 2012 3:38 am

Bluemerlin said:

Ummmmm it built fine first time with no errors ????
Hmmm. Here is a link to part of the log of the build failure that sbuild found:

http://pastebin.com/szDrt7Pn

Could be that the schroot environment that sbuild is using to compile the package within is more sensitive to issues with the package.  I'll need to re-run the builder and see if it fails again.  If so, we'll have debugging to do with the build environment itself rather than the package.

Thanks for taking a look at this.  I will be investigating how to automate the posting of failures and their associated log files as things are really ad hoc right now.

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