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newbie questions

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  • James Fidell
    My NSLU2 arrived yesterday and now I d like to get it installed and usable, but I m finding the sheer volume of information on the wiki a little overwhelming,
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 2, 2008
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      My NSLU2 arrived yesterday and now I'd like to get it installed and
      usable, but I'm finding the sheer volume of information on the wiki a
      little overwhelming, so please excuse me if I'm asking the obvious, and
      feel free to point me at a URL where I can find my answers if necessary.

      Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
      reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
      elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
      modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
      fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.

      SlugOS/LE looks like a good bet for me, but am I correct in my
      understanding that there is no slugos-native package for 4.8-beta,
      which I'd need to be able to compile C code and I'd therefore be
      better off using 3.10-beta even though the firmware download page
      says that it's now unsupported?

      If slugos-native does exist for 4.8-beta, where do I find it?

      Would I be better off building the cross-compilation environment on
      another machine and compiling the code I want on that? In which case,
      is monotone 0.29 still the recommended version to avoid having to
      rebuild the databases, or should I go for monotone 0.41?

      Thanks,
      James
    • Ian Barton
      ... You might be better off installing Debian Slug. I have two Slugs running Debian and compiling stuff is just as easy as it would be on a Debian
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 3, 2008
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        > Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
        > reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
        > elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
        > modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
        > fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.
        >
        > SlugOS/LE looks like a good bet for me, but am I correct in my
        > understanding that there is no slugos-native package for 4.8-beta,
        > which I'd need to be able to compile C code and I'd therefore be
        > better off using 3.10-beta even though the firmware download page
        > says that it's now unsupported?
        >
        You might be better off installing Debian Slug. I have two Slugs running
        Debian and compiling stuff is just as easy as it would be on a Debian
        desktop.Personally I prefer Python, but I have many scripts that I have
        developed on my Ubuntu desktop and then simply transfered to the slug.

        To install a basic development environment on a Debian Slug just (as
        root) run apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r).

        Whilst you can develop on the Slug, because it's quite slow you might be
        better doing the development on another computer and then compiling the
        final version on the Slug. Since Debian is Debian you don't have to
        fiddle about with setting up cross compile stuff, it "Just Works."

        Ian.
      • Rod Whitby
        ... Welcome to the community. ... OK. I m assuming that you re able to compile these perl modules (which contain C code) on a host platform with no problems.
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 4, 2008
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          James Fidell wrote:
          > My NSLU2 arrived yesterday and now I'd like to get it installed and
          > usable, but I'm finding the sheer volume of information on the wiki a
          > little overwhelming, so please excuse me if I'm asking the obvious, and
          > feel free to point me at a URL where I can find my answers if necessary.

          Welcome to the community.

          > Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
          > reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
          > elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
          > modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
          > fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.

          OK. I'm assuming that you're able to compile these perl modules (which
          contain C code) on a host platform with no problems. Are they part of
          CPAN or something like that, or are they your own work?

          > SlugOS/LE looks like a good bet for me, but am I correct in my
          > understanding that there is no slugos-native package for 4.8-beta,
          > which I'd need to be able to compile C code and I'd therefore be
          > better off using 3.10-beta even though the firmware download page
          > says that it's now unsupported?
          >
          > If slugos-native does exist for 4.8-beta, where do I find it?

          All the packages that are required to build software on the device are
          in the SlugOS feed. There is not a single slugos-native package, you
          need to install things like binutils, cpp, gcc, etc individually.

          > Would I be better off building the cross-compilation environment on
          > another machine and compiling the code I want on that? In which case,
          > is monotone 0.29 still the recommended version to avoid having to
          > rebuild the databases, or should I go for monotone 0.41?

          Have you looked at Optware running on SlugOS? We regularly
          cross-compile perl modules in Optware, so it should be straight forward
          to add another one if it's part of CPAN, or you can copy the techniques
          there to build your own.

          Note that you don't need monotone for Optware, it's in SVN.

          -- Rod
        • James Fidell
          ... Thank you. ... The ones that need code compiling are in CPAN (eg. Device::SerialPort). ... Ahhh... I see. ... Is that as documented here:
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 6, 2008
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            Rod Whitby wrote:

            > Welcome to the community.

            Thank you.

            >> Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
            >> reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
            >> elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
            >> modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
            >> fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.
            >
            > OK. I'm assuming that you're able to compile these perl modules (which
            > contain C code) on a host platform with no problems. Are they part of
            > CPAN or something like that, or are they your own work?

            The ones that need code compiling are in CPAN (eg. Device::SerialPort).

            > All the packages that are required to build software on the device are
            > in the SlugOS feed. There is not a single slugos-native package, you
            > need to install things like binutils, cpp, gcc, etc individually.

            Ahhh... I see.

            > Have you looked at Optware running on SlugOS? We regularly
            > cross-compile perl modules in Optware, so it should be straight forward
            > to add another one if it's part of CPAN, or you can copy the techniques
            > there to build your own.

            Is that as documented here:

            http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/Optware/Slugosbe

            ?

            I'd been given the impression that the little-endian releases were more
            stable and so gone down that route, but if the person who told me that
            was mistaken I'll certainly give it a try.

            James
          • mcpiffles
            The docs always seem to be a bit out of date. The optware packages are decent. I used the slugOS/BE 1.5 years or so ago when the LE side support sounded
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 6, 2008
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              The docs always seem to be a bit out of date.

              The optware packages are decent. I used the slugOS/BE 1.5 years or so
              ago when the LE side support sounded questionable at the time. From
              my reading, LE has greatly improved.

              Did you see the comparison matrix for firmwares? It's handy. Good
              summary and feature comparison.
              http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/FAQ/FirmwareMatrix

              LE has better support for extra software (from DebianSlug) at this
              point, so personally, I'll probably go LE when/if I upgrade again.

              ----

              If you're at all comfortable opening your slug (see the wiki
              instructions for this), and you're not already running at 266 Mhz*,
              de-underclocking the CPU is easy and makes a pretty big difference.

              This is about the simplest hardware hack I've ever made.

              http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/OverClockTheSlug

              * Newer slugs may be running at full speed.

              tt

              http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/SlugOS/SlugOSLE
              --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, James Fidell <james@...> wrote:
              >
              > Rod Whitby wrote:
              >
              > > Welcome to the community.
              >
              > Thank you.
              >
              > >> Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
              > >> reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
              > >> elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
              > >> modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
              > >> fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.
              > >
              > > OK. I'm assuming that you're able to compile these perl modules
              (which
              > > contain C code) on a host platform with no problems. Are they part of
              > > CPAN or something like that, or are they your own work?
              >
              > The ones that need code compiling are in CPAN (eg. Device::SerialPort).
              >
              > > All the packages that are required to build software on the device are
              > > in the SlugOS feed. There is not a single slugos-native package, you
              > > need to install things like binutils, cpp, gcc, etc individually.
              >
              > Ahhh... I see.
              >
              > > Have you looked at Optware running on SlugOS? We regularly
              > > cross-compile perl modules in Optware, so it should be straight
              forward
              > > to add another one if it's part of CPAN, or you can copy the
              techniques
              > > there to build your own.
              >
              > Is that as documented here:
              >
              > http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/Optware/Slugosbe
              >
              > ?
              >
              > I'd been given the impression that the little-endian releases were more
              > stable and so gone down that route, but if the person who told me that
              > was mistaken I'll certainly give it a try.
              >
              > James
              >
            • Rod Whitby
              ... If you want them to become part of Optware, you can talk to Brian Zhou (you can find his contact details on this list), or become an Optware developer
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 6, 2008
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                James Fidell wrote:
                > Rod Whitby wrote:
                >> James Fidell wrote:
                >>> Firstly, my intention is to use the unit to run some perl daemons
                >>> reading data off one of the USB ports and transferring it to a server
                >>> elsewhere. For this I'll probably be needing to compile a few perl
                >>> modules from C source. I've been a Linux user and sysadmin for about
                >>> fifteen years, so that side of things is no problem to me.
                >>
                >> OK. I'm assuming that you're able to compile these perl modules (which
                >> contain C code) on a host platform with no problems. Are they part of
                >> CPAN or something like that, or are they your own work?
                >
                > The ones that need code compiling are in CPAN (eg. Device::SerialPort).

                If you want them to become part of Optware, you can talk to Brian Zhou
                (you can find his contact details on this list), or become an Optware
                developer yourself and contribute the recipes for building them (which
                might be as easy as just adding their names to some lists in the Makefiles).

                >> Have you looked at Optware running on SlugOS? We regularly
                >> cross-compile perl modules in Optware, so it should be straight forward
                >> to add another one if it's part of CPAN, or you can copy the techniques
                >> there to build your own.
                >
                > Is that as documented here:
                >
                > http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/Optware/Slugosbe

                Yes. We also support Optware for SlugOS/LE too.

                > I'd been given the impression that the little-endian releases were more
                > stable and so gone down that route, but if the person who told me that
                > was mistaken I'll certainly give it a try.

                For SlugOS, the BE and LE releases are pretty much identical apart from
                the endianness.

                However, some hardware drivers only work in LE or BE (depending on the
                quality of the porting work of the author) due to endianness handling.

                Debian is LE, so that might be where some people get the mistaken idea
                that LE is more stable.

                -- Rod
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