A new Raspberry PI hope coming?

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    • #28812

      Hi there. I’m exited and happy to see a OS that is officially declared as dead, living and and looks cool also! After some playing with the rolling flavors I decided to give the Raspberry Pi image a chance. First of all this command “gunzip” is totally new to me although I am a long time Linux user now, and it did not work! The first time I waited like 2-3 hours and then I stopped it, the card was looking good but when I booted I got kernel panic. Alright the second time I waited 12 hours, stopped the process again and guess what – kernel panic again! I was thinking to give up but then I thought why not do it the old fashion way – extract the “tmp.38eOLFI9YX” from the archive, dd it the card and wholia, it worked like a charm! I didn’t play too much with it but I was in shock when I noticed that the cursor theme is transparent, not only that but this cannot be changed since no other cursor theme is installed. A really strange choice, maybe a good one for touchscreens but then again LXDE is not the best choice for touchscreens, at least not with it’s default openbox theme. My question is – can I help in some way? I really like the idea of a independent OS to be ported to the Pi, and not only. It needs some polish and maybe some more choice and friendliness for the end user. All in all, very good work!

    • #28813

      Hi duskull and thank you for your feedback.
      The RasperryPi image openmamba diskimg-raspberrypi rolling is known to work with the command reported in the documentation:

      gunzip -c openmamba-diskimg-raspberrypi-*.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdx bs=32M

      This RPI target is automatically built every week from the rolling repository but images may not be well tested because the current focus of the distribution is the x86_64 target with KDE desktop. So in your image something may be broken for mainly two reasons:
      1) the LXDE desktop is not always tested after updates, so there may be some configuration and/or packaging problems to be fixed
      2) the openmamba arm architecture also used in RaspberryPi is 32 bit soft-floating point based (this target is also known as ‘armel’). As of today it is not worth investing too much on it because many recent open source projects, especially graphics and web engines, no longer support armel unless applying patches, when possible, and even after doing this heavy work, the resulting target is not adequate with RPI and other recent arm CPU which have a hardware floating point processor and also 64 bit support

      The solution in order to revive arm and RaspberryPi support in openmamba would be to support 32 or 64 bit hard-floating point target, but unfortunately this is a hard work which can’t be a priority now due to the lack of resources willing to do it. I keep maintaining the arm target and would like to do this porting work in the future because I like and use RaspberryPi and other arm based singe-board devices for many applications.

      Thank you for proposing to help, this could be done in different ways depending on your skills. Porting the arm target of the distribution to 32 or 64 bits hard-floating point requires high skills because the starting point is packaging the cross-toolchain in openmamba (although this is partially done), then a minimal running O.S. needs to be packaged and bootstrapped with this new architecture. Another way to help would be by testing and reporting problems with the more recent images as you did, then providing fixes or interact with me or other developers in order to fix these problems. Although this has benefits for the whole distribution (e.g. the LXDE target is also used in x86_64 based server installations), the problem that the current soft-float target has no future remains.

    • #28814

      Hi Silvan, thanks for your quick and detailed reply.

      To be honest I’m not a big fan the KDE desktop, I prefer LXDE, XFCE and some bare windows managers. I can help with reporting bugs and I have some suggestion about the artwork and interface of the LXDE desktop. Also a new cursor theme should differently be added to the Pi image. Is it easy to create my own spin when I’ve my changes to the desktop? I tried to install the X64 LXDE desktop into VirtualBox and QEMU but the installation newer finishes (maybe I should a new topic for this one). I still haven’t tried on bare metal, but this will happen soon.

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