Development environment suggestion ?

Joel Newkirk freerunner at
Sun Sep 28 22:08:57 CEST 2008

On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 18:42:54 +0200, Michael Tansella
<michael-tansella at> wrote:
>> Hello community lists !
>> This may be virtualbox images.. Nothing fancy, just ubuntu with
>> toolchain, maybe even a "ready" eclipse version. Publish this by
>> torrents, Maybe even with "good" to go software used during development.
>> I spent lots of time before i got a working environment to develop/debug
>> my openmoko in.
> +1
> This would be very nice

I have made such an image.  (a few times, in fact - first one got bloated
before I thought about cloning it, second one got corrupted, third time's
the charm, right? ;)  I'm working on it right now.  

I started with Ubuntu Jeos 8.04.1. (JEOS is Just Enough OS - stripped-down
to the bare essentials to get a working X-less console install in a
virtualized machine)  On top of that I selected (with aptitude) to install
'xubuntu-desktop', which is a metapackage that pulls in everything from
Xubuntu. (Xubuntu is Ubuntu but with XFCE4 instead of Gnome or KDE) Don't
really want 'everything' though, so before committing the installation I
then go through and manually unselect a couple hundred packages, like X
drivers for every video chipset (VM xserver only is required), office apps,

Bring in everything needed to build and install e17 (using and
install the Openmoko toolchain and VMware Tools.  Then flush out all the
development packages and i686 build tools not needed for cross-development,
and remove the e17 build dir (~1gb).  Then go through again with synaptic
and purge another hundred or so packages, though more can still go.  GDM
offers e17 session at login as well, if desired, but default is xfce4.

Right now, the image boots up and logs in user 'omdev' automatically (stop
this in Settings->Login Window) with an xfce desktop.  /usr/local/openmoko
links in desktop and /home/omdev, desktop shortcuts for xfce4-terminal and
xterm, and edje_editor.  (the main reason I build e17 in the VM - for those
wanting to change wallpapers, init screen, desktop layout, anything else
"theme-ish" current Openmoko OS releases)  It has Firefox3 and Gimp but not
much else preinstalled in the way of applications.  CVS, git, SVN, wget all
installed and ready to run. A few other added console-based utils (mc,
ipcalc, others) - vim as well.  (though at about 24mb and me not using it,
it was tempting to purge it)

Set up to share USB devices - tested with memory cards, but my Freerunner
isn't in hand at the moment.  From VMware Infrastructure Web Access (latest
VMware server) you can select any connected USB devices and they appear to
the VM.  In this instance, I plugged in a USB thumbdrive, after the desktop
recognized it I told VMware to connect it to the VM, and Thunar file
manager popped up on the VM desktop displaying drive contents. Painless,
but I don't know how easy it would be to redirect the Freerunner uboot to
it for dfu-util, nor if it's stable/reliable enough to flash the FreeRunner
through this arrangement. (I suspect it will be workable, though maybe
awkward needing to keep uboot idling while redirecting USB)  usb0 is set up
to communicate with the default FreeRunner usbnet config.

I've tested the toolchain to be sure everything works as it should.  (I
added ". /usr/local/openmoko/arm/setup-env" to .bashrc so the toolchain is
always ready in new terminals)

The image is preconfigured for one CPU, an 8gb partition (sorry, no more
available on my workstation when created) and 1gb RAM, (change in VMware
before booting if needed) with desktop set to 1280x1024. (change in
SettingsManager->Display)  It currently uses 2.3gb of that partition, while
a 7zip archive of the entire VM weighs in at about 1.4gb.

What else should be here?  As it stands it serves my needs, but others'
will of course differ.  

I thought about bitbake (which I don't use) but it seems to me that the
added weight in the VM wouldn't be justified in the distributable form -

I intend to rebuild it with a significantly larger partition as soon as I
can clear some space on this workstation's HD, but that'll probably be
several days from now.


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