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Re: Re[3]: Linux/MIPS

Subject: Re: Re[3]: Linux/MIPS
From: Systemkennung Linux <>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 17:17:19 +0100 (MET)
In-reply-to: <> from "" at Dec 4, 95 10:02:13 am

> 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!"

Actually libc 4.x is dead. I'm working on a GNU libc port.  Just have some
more days patience until I release working port of the GNU libc.

> 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?

Seems your files are a bit out of date.  The newest files are always
available from

> 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.

Better go 1.3.  I won't put a my fingers again on 1.2.  1.2 more
reliable than 1.3 on MIPS?  Definately not.  Believe me, I'm the
one who wrote it ;-)

Aside of that the fact that you want to use Linux on a big endian
machine is reason enough to use the newest 1.3 kernels.  The Sparc
people did some changes to the kernel for their port that should
help a lot to port Linux to a big endian MIPS machine.  Well, about
that byte order stuff - I did my best to make the kernel stuff working
in both byte order.  However I don't have access to a big endian machine
for kernel development so this stuff it's not tested very well.

> 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?

There is no difference between the compilers & other tools for 1.2.x
and 1.3.x.  The big changes that I made where the low level system
interfaces like who to do syscalls and many of the constants/structures
involved in this process.  That this decission was right was already
being shown during the process of porting GNU libc to Linux/MIPS.
Where Linux/i386 is nonstandard and requires special code Linux/MIPS
can just use the normal code for other MIPS, generic System V or UNIX


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