Packages for ARMedslack
No, I did not abandon ARMedslack, the official port of Slackware to the ARM architecture… It was simply a matter of lack of time (or a question of priorities, depending of your point of view).
But this weekend I finally found some time to setup a clean build environment based on the stable ARMedslack 13.1 version.
The build environment
I build all my packages for Slackware in Virtual Machines, using QEMU. I use the snapshot feature to guarantee that I always use the same, stable version without leftovers from previous builds. So for my ARMedslack packages I set up a new VM in Qemu, using the emulation of the ARM Versatile board. ARMedslack runs fine on this, but it is quite slow compared to a “real” system with an ARM processor, like the SheevaPlug I have.
I set up a distributed compiler “farm”, using spare processor time of some other desktops / servers I have in my network, so that compile-time gets a lot friendlier.
Whenever I find some time I’ll write a post about distcc and how to set it up to compile for the ARM architecture on x86 boxes.
What to build for ARMedslack
Not all packages I maintain are useful on ARMedslack.
Most ARMedslack systems (SheevaPlug, GuruPlug, etc.) don’t use any graphical interface, or are slow if using them, so it does not make sense to prepare any heavy graphics-dependent packages like FreeCAD or BRLCAD. I also don’t think anyone will use ARMedslack to construct Lego models, so these were out as well.
On the other hand, the plug computers are ideal for monitoring your network, so the Nagios, rrdtool, ntop and Zabbix are all on the list.
Hercules has been one of my favorites on the SheevaPlug, to show off my “portable mainframe”. I also put a few benchmark programs in the mix and fbreader and QComicBook to test simple graphics applications.
After all, I still hope to have a ARM-based net/note-book one day.
What is ready *now*
Building and testing these packages takes some time if done with care, but I started with the following packages that can already be downloaded from my site:
- QComicBook – A Comic Book reader
- liblinebreak – a library needed by fbreader
- fbreader – An e-book reader
- rrdtool – a library to store and display time-series data, used by many monitoring programs
Other packages will follow and I’ll announce them here as soon as they become available (after some basic testing).