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Re: I wish to port Linux to my MIPS R4000-based handheld PC.

Subject: Re: I wish to port Linux to my MIPS R4000-based handheld PC.
From: Warner Losh <>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 00:26:03 -0700
Cc: Richard Mallah <>
In-reply-to: Your message of "Sat, 06 Feb 1999 23:10:19 EST." <>
References: <>
In message <> Richard Mallah writes:
: I have a Philips Velo 1 handheld PC from circa
: 1997.  I love and use Linux a lot on my desktop
: x86, and I wish to port Linux to this palmtop.  It
: has a MIPS R4000 processor at around 33MHz, 12 MB
: of non-volatile RAM, and a FlashRAM drive that
: also supports operating system ROM upgrades.  (It
: is currently running MS Windows CE.)
: I was wondering if you know about any
: implementations of Linux on HPCs, or if not, if
: you think it could be viable.
: What size do you estimate the minimum installation
: of Linux would need for RAM and for
: harddrive/secondary storage?

12MB RAM is good enough for Linux.

There are two efforts that I'm aware of along these lines.  The first
is to get gcc to the point that it can generate wince executables for
mips.  I'm working on that.  The second is a wince boot loader, which
someone else is working on and can load images up to 256k right now.

A third effort would be needed to get Linux working on the specific
Rxxxx processor that is in that machine.  I've been focusing on
getting OpenBSD/arc working on my NEC MobilePro 400 and 450 with the
Vr4101 processor (and will likely move up to the Vr4111 processor when
the new color palmtops come out and kill the mono palmtops and drive
their prices down to nothing).  Getting Linux/MIPS working wouldn't be
much harder as so far I've had to make only three changes to
OpenBSD/arc: identify Vr41xx, use the "new" cache sizing the Vr41xx
series uses and hardwire the TLB entries to 32 rather than 48.  Not
that I've booted this yet, since my MobilePros are currently fubar'd
due to dropping them both once (I was carrying them both) :-(.

The VELO uses the Philips R3990 chipset, if memory serves me
correctly.  You can find information on this chipset at either
philip's web site, or from microsoft's palmtop wince sdk/ddk from
their website.  There are likely some non-trivial number of quirks
that will need to be addressed in some way.


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