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Optware feed for Marvell SheevaPlug

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  • CN
    ... Brian, How is optware feed setup for SheevaPlug coming? Is there a way (a link) through which I can view the available optware modules for Sheeva, running
    Message 1 of 30 , Jun 7, 2009
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      On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 09:04:31 +1030, Rod Whitby wrote:
      > Marvell has donated one Sheeva device to the nslu2-linux core team, and
      > Brian Zhou will be using that to create an Optware feed for it.
      > Discussion about the optware feed is also welcome on this list.

      Brian,
      How is optware feed setup for SheevaPlug coming? Is there a way (a link)
      through which I can view the available optware modules for Sheeva, running
      from my slugosbe -- WITHOUT CLOBBERING MY SLUG?

      I am about to order a SheevaPlug. From what I have understood from the very
      few msgs in this forum, I may be able to add the required modules from your
      new optware feed directly, out of the box, WITHOUT first having to make any
      flash upgrades. Is that correct?

      Brian, are you able to repeatedly reboot the S.Plug with harddrive attached to
      the usb, and using some of the optware installed components from there?
    • Brian Zhou
      See http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=74.0 and http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=92.0 Ideally an optware ipkg feed should match
      Message 2 of 30 , Jun 7, 2009
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        See http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=74.0
        and http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=92.0

        Ideally an optware ipkg feed should match exactly the libc version and toolchain version of the base OS. But in this case, it would be too open-ended as people run various distros on it. On the distros I've tried (Marvell rootfs, Ubuntu, and Debian Lenny), the existing optware/cs08q1armel feed works just fine. If you're going to run slugos5{le,be} on it, there's no reason why optware/slugos5{le,be} would not work. BTW, the optware/cs08q1armel feed works great on new NAS devices from QNAP, Synology, and Buffalo.

        With a full distro like Debian, there's less need for optware. Unless you need some exotic package, or you need specific version/config of some package that you can leverage from optware cross build.

        The stock Ubuntu that comes with SheevaPlug has 2.6.22 kernel, with quite lot of Marvell kirkwood specific changes. It does not come with any kernel module though.

        Kirkwood support starts to be available in kernel.org 2.6.29, and most will be incorporated in 2.6.30. That's why there're people building and offering 2.6.30-rc kernel uImage and modules. I also created a optware/sheevaplug ipk feed for that purpose.

        For most people, starting with the bundled ubuntu (in the internal flash) and use newer kernel image/modules probably would be the easiest to get started. Martin Michlmayr has excellent instruction of debian lenny installation on sheevaplug:
        http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug/

        For people interested in minimal distro, I've heard from Mike Westerhof that he can successfully tftp/nfs boot and run slugos5 rootfs on sheevaplug. You can also use the small rootfs provided by Marvell in their devkit - it does not have udev, so you'll need to mknod yourself, for packages you can use optware/cs08q1armel.

        I switch among different kernel and rootfs quite a lot, so I use tftp/nfs boot the most. Other boot options are: internal flash, usb, or sd/sdhc card. Your choice depend on your usage.

        Internal NAND flash
        + internal
        - a little bit more involved to flash, jffs2/ubifs is needed
        - 512MB, plenty for kernel and rootfs, not enough for lot of packages or storage

        USB
        + easy to partition and construct file system
        - occupies the only USB port
        - external, additional power supply if hard disk
        - boot order still seems a bit tricky with a hub

        sd/sdhc
        + easy to partition and construct file system
        - some SDHC cards need patched kernel even with 2.6.30-rc8
        - to boot from SD card, you'll need to replace u-boot

        Of note, there's also great effort of porting native inferno OS to SheevaPlug and it already boots to sh, network is working, crypto engine is partially working. See http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=94.0 for pointers.

        I just wish I had more time outside of work, lots of things to learn. Hope the above info helps. Besides the forum/wiki, there's also an #openplug IRC channel on freenode that plug people hang out.

        Best regards,

        -Brian

        --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, CN <t4chacko@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 09:04:31 +1030, Rod Whitby wrote:
        > > Marvell has donated one Sheeva device to the nslu2-linux core team, and
        > > Brian Zhou will be using that to create an Optware feed for it.
        > > Discussion about the optware feed is also welcome on this list.
        >
        > Brian,
        > How is optware feed setup for SheevaPlug coming? Is there a way (a link)
        > through which I can view the available optware modules for Sheeva, running
        > from my slugosbe -- WITHOUT CLOBBERING MY SLUG?
        >
        > I am about to order a SheevaPlug. From what I have understood from the very
        > few msgs in this forum, I may be able to add the required modules from your
        > new optware feed directly, out of the box, WITHOUT first having to make any
        > flash upgrades. Is that correct?
        >
        > Brian, are you able to repeatedly reboot the S.Plug with harddrive attached to
        > the usb, and using some of the optware installed components from there?
        >
      • David Given
        ... Hash: SHA1 Brian Zhou wrote: [...] ... I m using Martin Michlmayr s 2.6.30-rc8 kernel; disk performance is about *twice* that of the stock kernel, and you
        Message 3 of 30 , Jun 7, 2009
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          Brian Zhou wrote:
          [...]
          > Kirkwood support starts to be available in kernel.org 2.6.29, and most will be incorporated in 2.6.30. That's why there're people building and offering 2.6.30-rc kernel uImage and modules. I also created a optware/sheevaplug ipk feed for that purpose.

          I'm using Martin Michlmayr's 2.6.30-rc8 kernel; disk performance is
          about *twice* that of the stock kernel, and you get all the goodness of
          a Debian boot/initrd pair. (Root on RAID, for example.) However, there
          seems to be something odd going on with the NAND flash driver.

          The stock u-boot only supports booting from NAND, network, and USB. But
          the USB boot support is very picky and horribly slow --- I had a
          situation where swapping two devices on my USB hub would make the
          difference between a successful boot and a crash. I recommend the u-boot
          upgrade that Martin Michlmayr links to, which adds SD card boot support.
          It's reliable and much faster than USB.

          - --
          ┌─── dg@cowlark.com ───── http://www.cowlark.com ─────

          │ "People who think they know everything really annoy those of us who
          │ know we don't." --- Bjarne Stroustrup
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        • LaneD130
          Well you ll be glad... no hang on, most of you probably don t care that my shiny new SheevaPlug has arrived. However, for those of you in the UK and still
          Message 4 of 30 , Aug 21, 2009
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            Well you'll be glad... no hang on, most of you probably don't care that my shiny new SheevaPlug has arrived. However, for those of you in the UK and still awaiting yours, don't lose hope; they took their time, but they are on their way!

            I remembered reading that Marvell were donating a SheevaPlug to the NSLU2 dev. team back in March, and that Brian Zhou was organizing an Optware feed. However, I can't see any mention on the nslu2-linux.org site. Please would a kind-hearted gent point me in the right direction?

            Also, it would be great to hear how others are getting on with theirs. I would put myself very firmly in the "noob" category, so any hints, tips, suggestions, etc. would be very gratefully received.

            TIA, Davii
          • Mike Westerhof
            ... Can t say about optware for sure, but I think that one of the existing optware feeds works just fine on the Sheevaplug. The development versions of SlugOS
            Message 5 of 30 , Aug 21, 2009
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              On Fri 21/08/09 9:46 AM , "LaneD130" <LaneD130@...> wrote:

              > Well you'll be glad... no hang on, most of you probably don't care
              > that my shiny new SheevaPlug has arrived. However, for those of you
              > in the UK and still awaiting yours, don't lose hope; they took their
              > time, but they are on their way!
              > I remembered reading that Marvell were donating a SheevaPlug to the
              > NSLU2 dev. team back in March, and that Brian Zhou was organizing an
              > Optware feed. However, I can't see any mention on the nslu2-linux.org
              > site. Please would a kind-hearted gent point me in the right
              > direction?
              > Also, it would be great to hear how others are getting on with
              > theirs. I would put myself very firmly in the "noob" category, so any
              > hints, tips, suggestions, etc. would be very gratefully received.
              > TIA, Davii

              Can't say about optware for sure, but I think that one of the existing optware feeds works just fine on the Sheevaplug.

              The development versions of SlugOS currently run on the Sheevaplug - although installation is largely manual. If someone has interest in SlugOS on the plug, I might finish that work up.

              Mike (mwester)
            • starnamer
              I only came across the NSLU2 a few months back while looking for a NAS device to replace an aged Linux file server. The NSLU2 running Debian can do so much
              Message 6 of 30 , Aug 22, 2009
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                I only came across the NSLU2 a few months back while looking for a NAS device to replace an aged Linux file server. The NSLU2 running Debian can do so much more, but it looks like the SheevaPlug its successor.

                I, for one, would be interested in hearing how things progress, particularly if a standard distro (Debian?) can be got going to the extent that the average user could just flash the device and be up and running. The extra flash and ram would certainly help!

                Is there a blog? Group list?
              • LrdShaper
                ... There s a forum for it on http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php and can already run a number of Linux distros. Martin Michlmayr has posted a simple
                Message 7 of 30 , Aug 22, 2009
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                  starnamer-2 wrote:
                  >
                  > Is there a blog? Group list?
                  >

                  There's a forum for it on http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php and
                  can already run a number of Linux distros. Martin Michlmayr has posted a
                  simple how-to to manually install Debian on the SheevaPlug here
                  http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug/ and a fast growing wiki
                  also exists here http://plugcomputer.org/plugwiki/index.php/Main_Page

                  Brian also posted in the forum on how to go about using Optware on the plug
                  http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=74.0

                  Cheers!
                  --
                  View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/%22killer-replacement-for-the-NSLU2%22-tp22550807p25100326.html
                  Sent from the Nslu2 - Linux mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
                • Gregg C Levine
                  Hello! I agree. It happens that the industrious people at the Slackware family of sites have successfully ported that distribution over to this particular
                  Message 8 of 30 , Aug 23, 2009
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                    Hello!
                    I agree.
                    It happens that the industrious people at the Slackware family of sites have
                    successfully ported that distribution over to this particular platform. This
                    therefore concludes my efforts to be porting Slackware to the NSLU2, but at
                    some point I will be obtaining one of the units, probably also a developer's
                    platform.....

                    I'll probably continue to be here so as to provide advice and everything
                    else.
                    --
                    Gregg C Levine hansolofalcon@...
                    "The Force will be with you always." Obi-Wan Kenobi
                     


                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf
                    > Of LrdShaper
                    > Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 12:47 AM
                    > To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [nslu2-linux] SheevaPlug
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > starnamer-2 wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Is there a blog? Group list?
                    > >
                    >
                    > There's a forum for it on http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php and
                    > can already run a number of Linux distros. Martin Michlmayr has posted a
                    > simple how-to to manually install Debian on the SheevaPlug here
                    > http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug/ and a fast growing wiki
                    > also exists here http://plugcomputer.org/plugwiki/index.php/Main_Page
                    >
                    > Brian also posted in the forum on how to go about using Optware on the
                    plug
                    > http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=74.0
                    >
                    > Cheers!
                    > --
                    > View this message in context:
                    http://www.nabble.com/%22killer-replacement-for-the-
                    > NSLU2%22-tp22550807p25100326.html
                    > Sent from the Nslu2 - Linux mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
                  • slackline
                    ... HowTo and discussions on installing Gentoo on the SheevaPlug in the forums at http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-749438.html
                    Message 9 of 30 , Aug 24, 2009
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                      --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "Gregg C Levine" <hansolofalcon@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello!
                      > I agree.
                      > It happens that the industrious people at the Slackware family of sites have
                      > successfully ported that distribution over to this particular platform.

                      HowTo and discussions on installing Gentoo on the SheevaPlug in the forums at http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-749438.html
                    • David Given
                      ... Hash: SHA1 LaneD130 wrote: [...] ... I ve had mine for a while now, and it s quite happily running the www.cowlark.com server stack running off a home made
                      Message 10 of 30 , Aug 26, 2009
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                        LaneD130 wrote:
                        [...]
                        > Also, it would be great to hear how others are getting on with theirs.

                        I've had mine for a while now, and it's quite happily running the
                        www.cowlark.com server stack running off a home made SSD made up of USB
                        keys. It's a decently powerful server (although Java on it is a pig ---
                        the only JVM I've found that will run servlets is OpenJDK, which is
                        strictly interpreted on ARM and rather slow), and it's really nice to
                        see the stack of hardware with no moving parts.

                        However, that's not to say it's problem-free. In particular:

                        - - the default u-boot's USB implementation only slightly works. It can
                        take minutes to probe the USB tree, and it's *extremely* unreliable
                        loading kernels from USB. In particular, it'll just refuse to touch
                        certain USB keys, and can get fatally confused by certain combinations
                        of devices. (I applied the u-boot upgrade that enables booting of the
                        MMC card, which solved all my problems.)

                        - - The SheevaPlug's USB hardware is generally a bit dodgy. I run RAID0
                        with 4x16GB USB keys; it took some time before I found a hub that worked
                        reliably for this, and even then, some devices behave generally funny (I
                        use a USB ethernet adaptor for my internal network, and it's got a bit
                        of a tendency to fail under load). Speaking to an engineer who's worked
                        with Marvell SoC devices, apparently most of them suffer from this.

                        - - Aside from hardware issues, the SheevaPlug is extremely limited by
                        only having one USB port. This is very restrictive to I/O throughput.
                        RAID5 on four devices is basically infeasible; there's just not enough
                        bandwidth available (RAID5 on 3 devices writes at ~20MB/s. RAID5 on 4
                        devices writes at 0.5MB/s). You may want to consider an OpenRD, which is
                        twice the price and still has support issues but does at least have SATA.

                        Of course, I'm running mine as a full server off an external hard drive.
                        If you're want to use a cut-down system running off the internal flash,
                        a lot of these problems go away.

                        - --
                        David Given
                        dg@...
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