caminati
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:23 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:56 pm


In another post I praised the modularity of Raspberry PI.
From this point of view, I guess that TinyCore would be the perfect OS for this machine, the only, yet substantial, problem being TinyCore being built for x86 architecture.
Indeed, Raspberry PI stirred quite an amount of interest on TinyCore forums:

http://forum.tinycorelinux.net.....pic=9550.0

Regarding recompiling TinyCore, its chief developer himself displayed optimism:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net.....2#msg30662, confirmed by an alpha successful recompilation attempt on some ARM flavour:
.

Which leads me to my first question:

You mention a buy-one-give-one program: suppose some TinyCore developer shows interest in hands-on recompiling it, and that I am willing to donate one unit to the team, would it be possible?



I've never owned any arm-based computer, but I guess one has to endow it with a BIOS (firmware): is it supplied when the hardware is shipped? Or, rather, Raspberry PI had a role in writing it? In the latter case, do you plan to release some sources? This would be great.

Does the BIOS support booting from usb? I guess yes, since any modern machine will, but since my experience is limited to x86, and since the relevance of USB for Raspberry PI, I am asking.

What bootloader are you using?

Svartalf
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Not being one of the RasberryPi people, I can't answer for them- but I can hand you a few educated observations:

Angstrom/OE/Yocto is as liable as not to be targeted to it as soon as someone lays their hands on the device. Linux from Scratch's going to be also very doable in this regard- but only a pro's going to be doing THAT particular move. OpenCore's a possible if they're thinking in ARM type thinkings.
Re BIOS/Bootloader: Typically, there's not the same thing as what you're familiar with on X86. The Bootloader is a combination of BIOS and loader on most ARM devices and U-Boot is typically what most projects go with. U-Boot supports booting from USB storage, but it's not quite the simple thing it is from the PC world.

caminati
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:23 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:34 pm

Quote from Svartalf on July 29, 2011, 20:21
Not being one of the RasberryPi people, I can't answer for them- but I can hand you a few educated observations:
...


Thanks, I needed those basics.

eben
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:58 pm

Quote from caminati on July 29, 2011, 19:56

In another post I praised the modularity of Raspberry PI.
From this point of view, I guess that TinyCore would be the perfect OS for this machine, the only, yet substantial, problem being TinyCore being built for x86 architecture.
Indeed, Raspberry PI stirred quite an amount of interest on TinyCore forums:

http://forum.tinycorelinux.net.....pic=9550.0

Regarding recompiling TinyCore, its main developer himself displayed optimism:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net.....2#msg30662, confirmed by an alpha successful recompilation attempt on some ARM flavour:
.

Which leads me to my first question:

You mention a buy-one-give-one program: suppose some TinyCore developer shows interest in hands-on recompiling it, and that I am willing to donate one unit to the team, would it be possible?



I've never owned any arm-based computer, but I guess one has to endow it with a BIOS (firmware): is it supplied when the hardware is shipped? Or, rather, Raspberry PI had a role in writing it? In the latter case, do you plan to release some sources? This would be great.

Does the BIOS support booting from usb? I guess yes, since any modern machine will, but since my experience is limited to x86, and since the relevance of USB for Raspberry PI, I am asking.

What bootloader are you using?



We're not currently using a bootloader - we actually boot via the GPU, which contains a proprietary RISC core (wacky architecture ;). The GPU mounts the SD card, loads GPU firmware and brings up display/video/3d, loads a kernel image, resets the SD card host and starts the ARM.

You could replace the kernel image with a bootloader image, and that would work fine.

Svartalf
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:07 pm

Wow... That's a weird way of doing things... Guess I need to nab a doc from Broadcom if I can to see the whole story.

nomis
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:23 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:00 am

So would we just need to write an ISO image of the operating system of our chouce (ARM of course) to the SD card, and then it would boot from there? If so, would we install to the same SD card, and them save files there? Or there would be preconfigured SD card images for us to then write and boot from without the need to install?

Cafe
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:22 am

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:59 am

Quote from nomis on July 30, 2011, 03:00
So would we just need to write an ISO image of the operating system of our chouce (ARM of course) to the SD card, and then it would boot from there? If so, would we install to the same SD card, and them save files there? Or there would be preconfigured SD card images for us to then write and boot from without the need to install?

Perhaps the most substantive operational question asked thus far :). Eager to hear from someone in the know.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:55 pm

As long as the OS of your choice had ported all the appropriate drivers for the GPU (display control would be the obvious one), which won't be a trivial task, I think that might work.
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eggn1n3
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:36 am

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:12 pm

Quote from jamesh on July 30, 2011, 20:55
As long as the OS of your choice had ported all the appropriate drivers for the GPU (display control would be the obvious one), which won't be a trivial task, I think that might work.


I presume Linux has all the appropriate drivers then (by default)?

Novo
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:04 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:07 am

Sure, UBoot will be able to boot from USB and SDCard Slot.
Oh and I will use Xubuntu on RasPi :)

Svartalf
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:25 pm

Quote from nomis on July 30, 2011, 03:00
So would we just need to write an ISO image of the operating system of our chouce (ARM of course) to the SD card, and then it would boot from there? If so, would we install to the same SD card, and them save files there? Or there would be preconfigured SD card images for us to then write and boot from without the need to install?

Well, it wouldn't be an ISO, but yeah, the basic premise would be that you'd put the image onto the SD (It'd probably be partitioned up like a hard-disk, with a FAT filesystem with the bootloader, initial kernel, etc. for kickstart- and then an appropriate FAT/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 filesystem for the OS and data.) and then just power it up. You could roll your own or very probably have someone produce a bootable image to just push to an SD. Yocto/OpenEmbedded/Angstrom happens to have tools within OpenEmbedded to roll such images and they have a system to roll you an image file along with an SDK for making custom applications using a Linux box for development.

Svartalf
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:27 pm

Quote from eggn1n3 on July 31, 2011, 17:12
I presume Linux has all the appropriate drivers then (by default)?

Yep. There's a reason that they use it at the core of Android, MeeGo, and other consumer device "OS"es. ;)

eben
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:23 pm

Quote from nomis on July 30, 2011, 03:00
So would we just need to write an ISO image of the operating system of our chouce (ARM of course) to the SD card, and then it would boot from there? If so, would we install to the same SD card, and them save files there? Or there would be preconfigured SD card images for us to then write and boot from without the need to install?

The boot partition of the SD card is FAT32, and contains a file called kernel.img which is injected into the SDRAM at address zero just before the ARM is taken out of reset. You would typically have another partition (say EXT2) on the card with a root filesystem image and user files. We will provide preconfigured images (probably using BitTorrent to avoid bankrupting ourselves), and will happily sell you a pre-installed card at a health markup.

Somebody really needs to do us a bootloader :)

magnitux
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:16 pm

Re: Questions about OS and BIOS

Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 pm

I understand there is no live usb envisages for the moment everything is on the SD card partition there is a system that operates the gpu bizare
After we can of course put a bootloader and make a dual boot.
to install another OS it will extract an archive. img in a fat32 partition.

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