UDS-P/Linaro Connect Q4.11 and 11.11 cycle

During the end of October and beginning of November we had the last Linaro Connect for the year. This time we also had it together with the Ubuntu Developer Summit, giving us the opportunity to better discuss the roadmap with both Linaro and the Ubuntu team.

From the Developer Platform team perspective, we had a quite nice week, with demos happening at Monday and Friday (showing people what we’ve been working on), and also sharing some great news with the Ubuntu team, now that Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu will go to Tablets, TVs and Phones (and ARM for sure will be a huge part of that).

Some nice links and videos of what happened during that week (related with our team):
* Sessions related with the Developer Platform Team (Ubuntu)
* Linaro Demo: Ubuntu Unity with OpenGL ES on Pandaboard
* Linaro Developer Platform Tech Lead Ricardo Salveti Interview at Linaro Connect
* Linaro Connect Q4.11 – Ubuntu LEB tutorial
* Linaro Connect Q4.11 – Interview with Marcin Juszkiewicz

Linaro 11.11 Release

Another quite good achievement for us during November was the 11.11 release.

During this release we had a quite a few great highlights, including some that we were planning for quite a while already:
* Ability to cross build Firefox using Multiarch
* OMAP4 SPL USB Booting, enabling USB boot at Pandaboard
* ARM DS-5 support for the 5.8 release
* CI Builds for Linaro GCC both for cross and native
* And a lot of bug fixes

Now it’s time to get ready to develop the blueprints we’re planning for 11.12, to also make December another great and solid month 🙂 (will do another post about the 11.12 planning later this one).

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Net booting with TFTP and PXE with Pandaboard

Over the past month I’ve being working with John Rigby to integrate the SMSC95XX and OMAP4 EHCI patches into Linaro U-Boot, so we could deliver the network booting feature for people using Pandaboards.

Those patches are published at the U-Boot mailing list, but still as a working in progress. While we work helping the original developers to get the patches accepted upstream, we also want to deliver the functionality for our users, so all those patches are now integrated at the Linaro U-Boot tree.

You can check the patches by going at http://git.linaro.org/gitweb?p=boot/u-boot-linaro-stable.git;a=shortlog.

Testing with Pandaboard

To make it work properly, besides using Linaro U-Boot you’ll also need to use the upstream X-Loader tree, with one additional patch that’s not yet merged. You can clone the upstream tree from http://gitorious.org/x-loader/x-loader, then just apply the patch http://people.canonical.com/~rsalveti/pxe/0001-omap4-pandaboard-ehci-fref_clkout-per-board-revision.patch and build for the Pandaboard target.

If you just want to test without building your own X-Loader and U-Boot, you can just grab both files from  http://people.canonical.com/~rsalveti:

Building your TFTP + DHCP server for PXE

To build your TFTP + DCHP server just follow the instructions described at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Desktop/PXE. Don’t worry about the ‘filename “pxelinux.0”;’ line at the dhcpd.conf file, you can remove it.

Then just create your PXE config file at the right place:

$ cat /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/0A2A2B0A
default panda-natty
prompt 0
timeout 3

label panda-natty
kernel panda/uImage
append console=ttyO2,115200n8 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 ro fixrtc vram=48M omapfb.vram=0:24M mem=1G@0x80000000 text earlyprintk=ttyO2
initrd panda/uInitrd

PXE Booting

With the proper X-Loader and U-Boot files in place (at your first SD card partition), and with the TFTP + DHCP server also properly installed, you can just jump and try TFTP/PXE boot.

Stop the U-Boot autoload and call the following commands:

  • setenv pxecfg_ram 0x88000000: location in RAM to load the pxecfg file
  • setenv kernel_ram 0x80000000: location in RAM to load the kernel
  • setenv initrd_ram 0x81600000: location in RAM to load the initrd
  • setenv autoload no: disable autoload while calling bootp (so you can just set up your network without autoboot)
  • usb start: start USB and enables the SMSC95xx ethernet interface
  • bootp: initialize the network, probing the ip address settings from your DHCP server
  • pxecfg get: probe the pxecfg config file
  • pxecfg boot: boot 🙂

You should get a similar output as:

Texas Instruments X-Loader 1.5.0 (Jul 11 2011 – 07:52:49)
Reading boot sector
Loading u-boot.bin from mmc

U-Boot 2011.06 (Jul 11 2011 – 02:49:51)

CPU : OMAP4430
Board: OMAP4 Panda
I2C: ready
DRAM: 1 GiB
MMC: OMAP SD/MMC: 0
Using default environment

In: serial
Out: serial
Err: serial
Net: No ethernet found.
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0
Panda # setenv pxecfg_ram 0x88000000
Panda # setenv kernel_ram 0x80000000
Panda # setenv initrd_ram 0x81600000
Panda # setenv autoload no
Panda # usb start
(Re)start USB…
USB: Register 1313 NbrPorts 3
USB EHCI 1.00
scanning bus for devices… The request port(2) is not configured
EHCI timed out on TD – token=0x80008c80
The request port(2) is not configured
4 USB Device(s) found
scanning bus for storage devices… 0 Storage Device(s) found
scanning bus for ethernet devices… 1 Ethernet Device(s) found
Panda # bootp
Waiting for Ethernet connection… done.
BOOTP broadcast 1
DHCP client bound to address 10.42.43.10
Panda # pxecfg get
missing environment variable: pxeuuid
missing environment variable: ethaddr
Retreiving file: pxelinux.cfg/0A2A2B0A
Waiting for Ethernet connection… done.
Using sms0 device
TFTP from server 10.42.43.1; our IP address is 10.42.43.10
Filename ‘pxelinux.cfg/0A2A2B0A’.
Load address: 0x88000000
Loading: #
done
Bytes transferred = 239 (ef hex)
Config file found
Panda # pxecfg boot
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0
Label: panda-natty
kernel: panda/uImage
append: console=ttyO2,115200n8 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 ro fixrtc vram=48M omapfb.vram=0:24M mem=1G@0x80000000 text earlyprintk=ttyO2
initrd: panda/uInitrd
Retreiving file: panda/uInitrd
Waiting for Ethernet connection… done.
Using sms0 device
TFTP from server 10.42.43.1; our IP address is 10.42.43.10
Filename ‘panda/uInitrd’.
Load address: 0x81600000
Loading: #################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
############
done
Bytes transferred = 3982715 (3cc57b hex)
Retreiving file: panda/uImage
Waiting for Ethernet connection… done.
Using sms0 device
TFTP from server 10.42.43.1; our IP address is 10.42.43.10
Filename ‘panda/uImage’.
Load address: 0x80000000
Loading: #################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#########################
done
Bytes transferred = 4174480 (3fb290 hex)
## Booting kernel from Legacy Image at 80000000 …
Image Name: Ubuntu Kernel
Image Type: ARM Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed)
Data Size: 4174416 Bytes = 4 MiB
Load Address: 80008000
Entry Point: 80008000
Verifying Checksum … OK
## Loading init Ramdisk from Legacy Image at 81600000 …
Image Name: Ubuntu Initrd
Image Type: ARM Linux RAMDisk Image (uncompressed)
Data Size: 3982651 Bytes = 3.8 MiB
Load Address: 00000000
Entry Point: 00000000
Verifying Checksum … OK
Loading Kernel Image … OK
OK

Starting kernel …

Uncompressing Linux… done, booting the kernel.
[ 0.000000] Initializing cgroup subsys cpuset
[ 0.000000] Initializing cgroup subsys cpu

This should be enough for you to get your Pandaboard booting with PXE. You can also script these commands at your boot.scr file that U-Boot loads automatically from your SD card, so you don’t have to call them by hand every time you reboot your board.

In case it doesn’t work for you, just ping me (rsalveti) at #linaro on freenode 🙂

STE U8500

One of the latest board we’ve been playing with is the new STE U8500.

The U8500 is a smartphone platform created by ST-Ericsson, offering a dual ARMv7-A Cortex A9 core, with strong hardware decoding power and ARM Mali 400 GPU.

More about it’s features:
* Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported via OMX (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
* High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to XGA
* Simultaneous dual display support
* High performance 3D graphics, support for OpenVG 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0
* Dual camera support with Integrated ISP 18 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
* Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled platform
* Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out

And technology:
* Highly efficient, low-power ARM dual Cortex™- A9 processor
* Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
* High-bandwidth LP-DDR2 interface
* ARM Mali™ 400 GPU and NEON®CPU extensions

U8500 with Ubuntu Lucid

U8500 with Ubuntu Lucid

Now, about the things that interest me the most, the current status in Linux in general:

Kernel:
The kernel we’ve been working on is a vendor’s based one, using 2.6.29 as base. With this kernel we have many features implemented, like blitter support, framebuffer, hdmi output and many more.

At upstream side, the code is just starting to be merged, and you can see already some basic commits going on linux-2.6, like commits 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. STE seems to be doing a great job on getting the changes upstream, since it’s the only feasible way to make it supported in mid, long term in linux. So expect more changes at 2.6.34 and 2.6.35.

U-Boot:
Similar with the kernel, we’re also using a custom vendor’s version. They’re just starting to make the support upstream, and you can find the patch series here.

Once we get the basic U-Boot and Linux support upstream, we can start working directly with mainline, fixing and improving it when needed.

U8500 - Connectors

Connectors - HDMI, uSD, Headset and micro USB.

Our work:
Since we got the board we’ve been playing on supporting many different Linux platforms, and optimizing the basic Linux OS core to be commonly used by different distros.

We started with Maemo 5, as a proof of concept, and we got it up and running with a very good performance and hopefully soon we’ll be able to share more details.

OE Angstrom/Mamona is very easy to support, since we just need to create the machine configuration and use the same compilers already used by other ARMv7 architectures.

Personally I started testing Ubuntu Lucid release, and just got the very basic support, with a custom and simple image. Ubuntu is now a very good option since it’s targeting ARMv7 platforms, with compiler optimizations and Thumb2 support. NEON support is not included by default, but you can support it by compiling specific components by hand. For more information please check at ubuntu wikipage.

Meego also boots and runs fine at this platform, but since it’s just a basic OS ATM (armv5 only), doesn’t have anything interesting to play with.

Besides platform support, we’ve been working on creating the hardware accelerated X server video driver, to use EXA, DRI2 and Xvideo with overlay. Once we get it all running we can easily use it in any Linux distro we want, and X we’ll be accelerated by default.

U8500 Connectors

Connectors - RJ45, Uart and MIPI34, for debug.

Now the important question, where’s the code?
STE still didn’t deliver the main software in public, so we can’t just release the Kernel, U-Boot and other development that requires support from these software components. But this is changing, and I believe that very soon we’ll be able to get most of the things in public, so others can download and test if needed.

In the next posts I’ll be showing more about the status of these distros on this hardware, also showing the performance and demonstrating it.

Board I’ve being playing on:

root ~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 1 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 1199.30

processor : 1
BogoMIPS : 1199.30

Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x1
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 1

Hardware : ST Ericsson U8500 Platform
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000

Links and videos about U8500:
* ST-Ericsson U8500
* ST-Ericsson U8500: PlayStation controller, PlayStation grap
* U8500 3D Video