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Re: Re[3]: Linux/MIPS

Subject: Re: Re[3]: Linux/MIPS
From: Andreas Busse <>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 16:49:03 +0100
In-reply-to: <>
 >                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-)

That's good news!

 >                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.

Hmm. Is the demo board big or little endian? If it's little endian, it's 
perhaps not that complicated, but otherwise...

 >                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?

A newer dev kit is under work. However, if you feel fine with just
a.out support the files mentioned above should work.

 >                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.  

Uh... Big endian is not tested at all. If you can, run it little
endian for now and switch to big endian later. If you want to start
with big endian, you definitely need a newer devkit (see below).

 >           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.

It depends... If I got things right, 1.3.x is tested *only* on
the Acer box, whereas 1.2.x already runs user code on 3 platforms
and halfway works on two other platforms. Anyway, there is still
a migration path from 1.2.x to 1.3.x, ie. if you work on 1.2.x
we'll find a way to integrate your patches into 1.3.x.

 >                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?

So far I understood Ralf right, you can build 1.3.x kernels with
the old gcc too. However, gcc-2.7.0-2 together with binutils
2.5.2-6 is recommended since the devkit you have turned out to
be a bit buggy. Really only a bit, but it might lead you into
trouble. Ralf will release the new devkit this week. You can start
with the kit you have, but you should upgrade soon.

 >                Well, seems I've rambled on long enough.  Didn't mean 
 >           for this to be a book  8-)

Doesn't matter :-)

 >                Ready to dive in!  Hope to hear from you soon.

Then let's go!

If you need something or have any questions, please let me know.


Andreas Busse                      |
Soft N Hard GbR                    | Phone: +49 2636-970105
Im Hufen Boden 16, D-53498 Waldorf | Fax:   +49 2636-970106

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