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Re: [nslu2-linux] flashing apex from redboot

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  • Rob Lockhart
    ... Yes I agree. It wasn t a slam on you guys by any means... it was more an appeal for those of us that can t recompile LE/BE/etc. with our eyes closed
    Message 1 of 16 , May 1, 2007
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      On 4/29/2007 7:16 AM EST, Phil Endecott wrote:
      > Rob wrote:
      >
      >> Those wiki instructions (Debian/CompileApex) are very dated
      >> indeed - referring to a very old version of Apex.
      >>
      >
      > They're about 6 months old. I promise you there is a lot of much older
      > and more out of date stuff on the nslu2 Wiki!
      >
      > As far as I can see nothing much has changed i.e. all of the commands
      > are still correct (apart from the version number in wget of course).
      > If you disagree please let me know and/or fix the page.
      >

      Yes I agree. It wasn't a "slam" on you guys by any means... it was more
      an appeal for those of us that can't recompile LE/BE/etc. with our eyes
      closed (like me), that sometimes we need explicit instructions, until we
      get comfortable enough in doing it. It seems that the "make menuconfig"
      options I see are different than the options given in the Wiki. It
      shows me such things as "Enable Experimental Features", "CPU
      endian-ness", "IXP42X Implementations (Linksys NSLU2)". I didn't see
      any such options as:
      . change CROSS_COMPILE to arm-linux-gnu- (looks like it is missing a
      parameter?)
      . change default kernel command line as required (example would be
      helpful here)

      I could always try every option, build hundreds of APEX versions, and
      then reboot until I'm blue in the face until I realize what does or
      doesn't work. I guess I'm a little spoiled by the official linux
      (x86-based) in that when you build a kernel, most everything works and
      what isn't working is fairly well-documented in the "make menuconfig"
      help function on every item. But in the case of Apex for ARM, lots of
      this is unknown to newbies like me. :-) I really do appreciate your
      help as well as Gordon and others in demystifying this (and helping of
      course to update the Wiki).


      >> Since the
      >> makefile specifies whether Apex is LE or BE, I am not even sure if the
      >> endianness swapping (per the wiki) is even necessary anymore.
      >>
      >
      > Can you elaborate on that a bit? Which makefile? Do you mean in the configuration?
      >
      > Remember that APEX is still being loaded by the big-endian Redboot. I
      > think this is why we need to byte-swap it. But the endianness of the
      > NSLU2 boot process and the content of its flash is just a bit to
      > tortured for me to understand properly.
      >
      >

      I think Rod hit the nail on the head when he said the master Makefile
      (in another email in this thread). That is what I had downloaded in
      ~slug/kernel directory. I am not sure if that makefile somehow
      overwrote the makefile in the extracted ~slug/kernel/apex-1.4.18
      directory but with "make menuconfig", some of the assumptions and/or
      work-arounds might not even be necessary anymore. Specifically, you can
      compile Apex for LE or BE. I think I compiled it for LE, unless I'm
      mistaken.


      >> Furthermore, there are a bunch of new stuff in the menuconfig (i.e.,
      >> ping, DHCP, TFTP, enable IXP4xx ethernet, FAT/EXT2/JFFS filesystem,
      >> etc.). Not sure if all of this works (since IXP4xx ethernet depends on
      >> microcode) so I'm not sure if Apex has network support yet.
      >>
      >
      > It won't even compile if you enable the DHCP or BOOTP options. I have
      > not yet discovered whether any other networking stuff works. I suspect
      > not. Anyone wanting to "net boot" i.e. to load the kernel by TFTP
      > would be best advise to use a full version of Redboot. However, APEX
      > does work for a flash-resident kernel and NFS root filesystem (I have
      > done this).
      >
      >
      Thanks - saves me the effort of trying it! It would be nice, but for
      now using the ENV options are certainly sufficient. Main thing is
      getting it to a point when we can do everything RedBoot can do, so then
      we can gracefully think of RedBoot workarounds as "those things we had
      to do in the past."

      Regards,
      -Rob
    • Phil Endecott
      ... It looks as if CROSS_COMPILE is no longer in the config file. It s now more like the kernel; you just specify CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnu- on the make
      Message 2 of 16 , May 2, 2007
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        > It seems that the "make menuconfig"
        > options I see are different than the options given in the Wiki. It
        > shows me such things as "Enable Experimental Features", "CPU
        > endian-ness", "IXP42X Implementations (Linksys NSLU2)". I didn't see
        > any such options as:
        > . change CROSS_COMPILE to arm-linux-gnu- (looks like it is missing a
        > parameter?)

        It looks as if CROSS_COMPILE is no longer in the config file. It's now
        more like the kernel; you just specify CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnu- on
        the make command line. I've updated the Wiki to indicate this.

        > . change default kernel command line as required (example would be
        > helpful here)

        Well, originally this description was part of a page telling you how to
        change the kernel command line. So if you were reading the page in the
        first place it would kind of imply that you knew what you wanted to
        change it to. If you are compiling APEX for some other reason then you
        probably don't need to change it. I think.

        > I could always try every option, build hundreds of APEX versions, and
        > then reboot until I'm blue in the face until I realize what does or
        > doesn't work.

        Please post a list of the remaining options that you are unsure of and
        we will try to suggest what you should do with them. But if you
        started by doing "make debian-nslu2-arm_config" then you should have
        sensible defaults for everything.

        > I guess I'm a little spoiled by the official linux (x86-based)

        ARM and the other architectures are no less official than x86.



        Regards,

        Phil.
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