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Re[3]: Linux/MIPS

To: BHOUGH@mailgw.sanders.lockheed.com, linux@waldorf-gmbh.de
Subject: Re[3]: Linux/MIPS
From: BHOUGH@mailgw.sanders.lockheed.com
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 10:02:13 -0500
               Hello Andy once again!
          
               Since it's been about four months since you've heard 
          from me, I thought I'd include an old message as a 
          re-introduction.  I've been lurking on the mailing list 
          since, but haven't had the opportunity to pursue the 
          Linux/MIPS port at all.
          
               All that has changed.  Now I (and as many others as our 
          bosses can get who have any experience in kernel hacking) 
          have been charged with getting a MIPS/Linux port working on 
          one of our Star II boards.  8-)
          
               The good news is that the kernel and a serial port are 
          all that are required to be working for now.  The bad news 
          is that they want it before Christmas - just to be able to 
          show at least a limping Linux/MIPS demo and send out some 
          Unix mail.
          
               So far we've grabbed a PC, dumped Linux onto it, and 
          now are setting up a cross development environment.  I'm 
          reading:
          
               "Index of /ac86/linux/ALPHA/mips/crossdev/i486-linux"
          which you wrote.  It lists four files needed to get started:
          
               gcc-2.6.3-2.tar.gz
               binutils-2.5.2-2.tar.gz
               include-4.6.27-2.tar.gz
               libc-4.6.27-2.tar.gz
          
               Now, the first two files were in that directory, so we 
          downloaded them.  However, the other two files were not 
          there.  There is a note in the text:  "Note: If you don't 
          find libc-4.6.27-2.tar.gz here, it's because a little 
          problem we're still working on. Libc will appear rsn!"
          
               Well, I found the last two files in the list above in 
          another directory - /ac86/linux/ALPHA/mips/libc/mipsel-linux
          and downloaded them.  However, the date on the 'last 
          updated' line for the include- was Aug 2nd, and the date on 
          the libc- was July 18th.
          
               These seem too old given the note listed above.  Of 
          course, the date is probably just when the link in the web 
          page was made and has no relation to the dates on the files. 
          But given the note and the fact that I had to go down 
          another path to get to the files makes me nervous.  Are 
          these the right files to work with?
          
               Also, there seems to be two paths for Linux/Mips - a 
          1.2.x based one and a 1.3.x based one.  We want to keep our 
          Star II running big endian if we can.  I gather from the 
          mailing list that the 1.2.x port is more stable, but the 
          1.3.x port is more MIPS compliant (and is 'where the action 
          is').  Which would you recommend we use?  Is one definitely 
          better than the other for starting out or are there some 
          tradeoffs?  I'm sure we want to be running 1.3.x eventually 
          - is it a waste of time to consider 1.2.x (i.e. will waste a 
          lot of effort having to start over again)?  Any views you 
          have on this will be greatly appreciated.
          
               A related question - is the cross development 
          environment mentioned above good for both 1.2.x and 1.3.x 
          Linux/MIPS kernels, or is it built to handle one of them 
          only?
          
               Well, seems I've rambled on long enough.  Didn't mean 
          for this to be a book  8-)
          
               Ready to dive in!  Hope to hear from you soon.
          
               
                                                      Brannen
                                                      Lockheed Sanders
                                                      Avionics Dept.



______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[2]: Linux/MIPS
Author:  BHOUGH at NCALAN1
Date:    8/11/95 9:36 AM




          Thank you Andreas and Ralf for your prompt replies.  I hope that this 
interest in Linux is not stifled.  R&D funding has a habit of evaporating very 
quickly - it is usually the first place funds are appropriated from when 
anything else goes over budget.  I'm sure you are familiar with that, being in 
R&D yourselves.  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.  I'm organizing a meeting 
next week on this - I hope it goes well.

Hi Brannen,

 > 
 > >                Hello.
 > >                My name is Brannen Hough.  I'm a Senior Software 
 > >           Engineer working on Research and Development projects at 
 > >           Lockheed in New Hampshire.
 > 
 > I'm happy that there's interest in Linux outside of the core computer
 > bussines!

I'm also glad to hear from Lockheed again. Some time ago someon else
at Lockheed was also interested in Linux/MIPS but the conversation 
stopped after a while.


          Hope this one doesn't stop!  

 > 
 > >                We are currently trying to organize an effort to port 
 > >           Linux to our Star II processor board.  The Star II has a 
 > >           MIPS R4600 processor, plus ethernet, serial ports, daughter 
 > >           cards, and other specialized peripherals, all in a handy VME 
 > >           card.

There's currently another Linux/MIPS port a VME card in progress, or
at least planned. Terma, a danish company, is working on this project.
Their system is, probably like yours, big endian, which makes the
port a bit harder since Linux/MIPS is little endian. 

          Yes.  The first thing the Star II people said to me was "Good luck. 
Linux is little endian.  Won't work."  I don't see the big problem though.  
Linux has already been ported to some 68K platforms, right?  The endian problem 
can't be that bad, since it HAS been solved by one group (at least).

          Terma?  Have not heard of them (not surprisingly - I don't even know a
fraction of the companies in the U.S, much less abroad), but if this gets off 
the ground we may be able to share the workload.  The VME bus will be common 
between us, and maybe some of the peripherals as well...  


 > >                If that happens, I'd like access to the source code, 
 > >           cross compiler tools mentioned in the Linux/MIPS FAQ page, 
 > >           and access to the mailing list for the active 'porters'.
 > 
 > You've already found the mailinglist; linux@waldorf-gmbh.de is the list's
 > address.  The list is invitation only; subscription requests are handled
 > by Andreas "Andy" Busse (andy@waldorf-gmbh.de).  Since he's reading this
 > mailing list you won't need to send an extra request to him.
 > 

Right :-) Shall I put you on the list or do you prefer to stay in
"background" ?

          Why not put me on the list.  At the VERY least, we'll want to keep on 
top of developments and work on the port a little at a time ourselves (if we 
can't get support from other groups in the company), and get more ammunition for
our arguements.  Absolute worst case, we'll just keep beating on our bosses 
until they give in.  8-)


Please let me know, and feel free to ask for further information.

With best regards,
Andy

          Thanks.  I hope to take you up on that offer real soon.


                                                  Brannen Hough

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