power of "apt-get install" example: Linksys NSLU2 is now official supported by Debian installer, 2. free ARM emulator QEMU

Robert Michel openmoko at robertmichel.de
Thu Nov 16 20:29:48 CET 2006


Some stimulation, especialy for those who didn't use Debian (daily),
and those who can't wait to get a Neo1973 - in this email:

1. Linksys NAS NSLU2 (ARM CPU) is now officiall supported by the
   Debian installer
1.b (Reminder of the use for additional signal lines on the PCB)
2. The free ARM emulator QEMU  allows you to install a Debian(ARM)
   on other systems

### 1. ###

   "The first release candidate of the debian-installer for Debian's
    forthcoming "Etch" distribution was released yesterday, offering 
    nearly complete support to the Linksys $99 NSLU2 NAS gadget."

Linksys NAS NSLU2 use an Intel XScale core inside, the IXP420, which 
is based on a ARMv5TE architecture...

So with the cheap NSLU2 you can feel now the great potential of 
Debian with apt-get on a ARM plattform ;)


The NSLU2 is just another example that people like to use the full
power of the hardware
- dobble the CPU speed 133 Mhz to 266 Mhz (to have full 200 Mbit/s
  routing power with ethernet)
- add one RS232
- add one USB 1.1 Port
- upgrading Flash and RAM memory

And of corse the hackers are disapointed that the SoC offeres two
Networkdevices *BUT* see 
for some limitations due the PCB - e.g.:

    "There are two MII interfaces of which only one is wired 
     to an Ethernet PHY. The other MII interface is not accessible 
     at all as the designers of the PCB did not bring the necessary BGA
     ball connections out."  (oh no!)
     "The PCI bus is used to connect the NEC USB chip to the IXP420
     and it is not possible to connect anything else as the required
     lines are also not brought out. Removal of the NEC USB chip to gain
     access to the PCI signals is the only way."

Again: just one missing signal line can destroy a lot of the potential
of the device for hackers and developers ;)

BTW Security - the official Debian NSLU2 installation didn't include the
close source ethernet driver - I must express my thank and support for
Seans / OpenMoko decission to take care, that the is a clean, open,
trustable linux system on the Neo1973 - waiting for Wifi is better then
degenerate the Neo1973 to a untrustable plattform.
And Suns GPLizing of java shows that focusing on trustable, clear
systems will have succsess on the long term - when everybody would
make compromises with security from the start.... so thank you for
living the Debian spirit ;)

But back to the good points of the nslu2 news - to feel the power
when you can use Debian on your Worksation, your Laptop, your server,
in near future on your mobile and now on your cheap NAS
- imagine you own this cheap NAS, it is pluged to your network an
  one the PC you sitting in front now (while reading my mail)
  you have a shell (probably a SSH) to this nslu2.

type in:

apt-get install asterisk <return>

and now you will have in a few minutes the power of asterisk
(www.asterisk.org) the great powerfull open telefon server
on your small NAS box
just from the debian servers - without building own packets
or compiling....

The same way you will able to install powerfull software
on your mobile - with the Neo1973 and OpenMoko ;)))))

GNU/Linux and especialy Debian does have a lot of programms that
could run without frontend, without GUI 
So with the Neo1973 we didn't need to start from the scratch
with everything.... Debian-ARM offers allot of power, today!

### 2. ###

With the linuxdevices news I found another possibility to play with
Debian on an ARM plattform before we get the first Neo1973:

   "Free ARM emulator beats real hardware
    Sep. 27, 2006
    French Debian developer Aurelien Jarno has published a how-to
    about installing Debian (or another Linux distribution) on the
    open-source QEMU emulator. When run on newish AMD-based PCs, 
    the setup can outperform actual hardware development targets, 
    he says."

Arm emulation even with X :)))
    "Using Xorg

     You now have a full Debian arm system that you can use for 
     development or whatever. You You can even run Xorg using the 
     fb device. Not that you have to select a 256-color mode, 
     with a resolution up to 1024x768. 

I will play with this emulation nextime and I think that this
emulator will be usefull for us ;)

1. Installing
-> documentation how to use QEMU

2. Booting a live system
-> QEMU with OpenMoko on a live Linux CD like Knoppix

3. no installing, no rebooting:
-> QEMU with OpenMoko on vservers with FreeNX so that interested
   developer could get an access to use this with a Java-FreeNXclient
   LinuxJournal had published 4 articles about NX,
   here the link to #4 with links to #1-#3

   FreeNX support audio with nxesd - I fear that the nx-java-client
   doesn't support this - so our OpenMoko emulation could be connected
   via sip with one Asterik server to serve some telephone feeling
   because don't let us forget - the Neo1973 is more than a mobil
   PC or PDA it'll the first real open linx phone :)


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