ROX-Filer for ARM CPU

This has been very educational. I compiled ROX-Filer in the Mele A1000, which has a A10 chip with Cortex-A8 ARM CPU. Operating system is Ubuntu Lucid Lynx.

Without specifying any CPU-tuning, it seems to have automatically compiled for a 'armv7' CPU, which is what the Cortex-A8 is. Fine, I got a stripped executable of 361KB. Works great.

However, as the Cortex-A8 is backwards-compatible with the arm1176jzf-s CPU (armv6) used in the Raspberry Pi, I had another go at compiling ROX-Filer. This time I did this before the configure step:

# export CFLAGS='-mcpu=arm1176jzf-s'

Note: the 'configure' script in ROX-Filer reads the global CFLAGS and prepends to it's own options. So, CFLAGS is the same in both cases except the latter case has the additional -mcpu option.

The good news is that this works fine on the Cortex-A8 CPU. The bad news is that the stripped executable is 489KB!

Yikes. I think that this is because the armv7 has the 'thumb2' instructions, which greatly reduce executable size. For the first time I am seeing just how much!

I have created a PET package. This is for Lobster to test, as he is the only one who has a RasPi. Lobster, grab this:

Expand it:

# tar -zxf

You have to get the files over to your RasPi somehow, and manually install the files. Do not put them in a fat or ntfs partition, only a Linux partition -- might be better to get the pet into the RasPi then run the tar operation.

ROX-Filer is launched via /usr/local/bin/rox, so just open a terminal and type "rox". Please be running as 'root' when you test rox.

Note, I am greatly enhancing the Ubuntu Lucid installation on the Mele -- well, it isn't really an "installation" as it just runs off the SD card. I am thinking of making an image soon and upload it somewhere -- but it will be about 1GB compressed, and I will have to go to a friend's place to do the upload.

For reference, if you want to see the GNU compiler ARM parameters:

Earlier posts about Ubuntu on the Mele:

Posted on 24 Apr 2012, 18:05


Posted on 24 Apr 2012, 19:01 by lobster
ARM puppification
I am on it.
Thanks for the clear instructions.

I already have the deb ARM rox in my puppification of Debian Squeeze. I seem to remember a lot of dependencies . . .

Posted on 24 Apr 2012, 19:53 by eternal-sunshine
Mele A2000
Hi Barry,
My Mele A2000 just arrived (UK). In case others are interested in getting one I ordered 6 April, it shipped 10 April. I bought it from who even refunded excess P&P. Very impressed all round. So I would really appreciate if you would upload your Lucid image someplace.Should have my Pi end of May :-(

Posted on 24 Apr 2012, 20:08 by lobster
downloaded straight to pi
root@raspberrypi:/home/pi/Puppi# tar -zxf

gzip: stdin: decompression OK, trailing garbage ignored
tar: Child returned status 2
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

uninstalled previous rox-filer from deb
downloaded the pet straight to pi
did a sudo su
ran command

Posted on 24 Apr 2012, 22:41 by lobster
also tried command in Puppy slacko 5.3.3 - same message . . .

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 3:56 by K Godt
re lobster the long run puppian
root@raspberrypi:/home/pi/Puppi# tar -zxf

probably needs to be
root@raspberrypi:/home/pi/Puppi# pet2tgz

before attempting to umtar it


not work ?? ;)

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 4:40 by Dougal
Bigger Executable
Barry, isn't armv7 the (first) one where they have the FPU? Maybe the size difference is since you have to emulate the FPU in software in armv6.

A while ago I posted here links to LWN articles about the Fedora ARM port and he mentioned there the things like compiler flags.

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 12:00 by lobster
Healing and Well Being
. . . thanks Karl - that my be the elementary info I need . . . now have a file that seems extractable . . .

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 13:51 by lobster
Rox-Filer failure
OK expanded - permissioned etc
I can see all the files on the Rpi
. . . and segmentation fault

pi@raspberrypi:~/Puppi/rox2/rox_filer-20111022-patched2-armv6/usr/local/apps/ROX-Filer$ sudo su

root@raspberrypi:/home/pi/Puppi/rox2/rox_filer-20111022-patched2-armv6/usr/local/apps/ROX-Filer# ./ROX-Filer
Segmentation fault

will try a few more things

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 17:04 by BarryK
Installing Rox PET in Pi
This message means that the expansion succeeded:

gzip: stdin: decompression OK, trailing garbage ignored

The error message is because PETs have some stuff appended to the file. You just ignore the error message.

My instructions were to copy all the files to their destinations, for example, absolute path /usr/local/bin/rox, /usr/local/apps etc. Do as user root. Then after manual installation, just type "rox" to run it.

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 17:18 by BarryK
CUPS compile failure
Compiling in the Mele, I was planning to use this for compiling apps, so they will work in the RasPi:

# export CFLAGS='-mcpu=arm1176jzf-s'

Well, I haven't had confirmation from Lobster yet that Rox works.

Today I compiled CUPS 1.3.11 with that CFLAGS parameter, and it aborted with a compiler error!

Without CFLAGS preset, CUPS compiled ok.

So, it might be a bad idea trying to compile for a lower-level CPU. I might just have to compile packages for the armv7 CPU and later on repeat it all for the RasPi.

Posted on 25 Apr 2012, 17:52 by lobster
Healingrebuild from Debian tomorrow

I intend to restart and rebuild from Debian Squeeze tomorrow (with no rox - I was not able to uninstall all the dependencies).

I will have another go then . . .

I did write and ask the Rpi people to send you an early board, which would speed up the process . . .

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 6:46 by tret
small image
It would be great if the image will fit on a 2gb SD card...

Thnx for posting all info and all efforts!

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 14:26 by Tony
Raspberry Pi Model B
Hi Barry, not sure if my PM via Murga forum got to you but if not let me know as I have some news for you. Tony aka veronicathecow

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 14:41 by Tony
Problems sending you PM via Murga
Hi Barry, I just went to the Murga board to check and there is nothing in my sent folder so i tried to send it to you again but even though it said it had submitted there is nothing in the sent folder, I will contact John.

I have contacted the Raspberry Pi team and offered to pay for one for you as a gift to be sent ASAP. Drop me a message with your email address so I can forward you the details.
All the best Tony aka veronicathecow

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 17:16 by BarryK
Re SD size, RasPi enthusiasm
The expanded size is about 3GB, so you will need a 4GB card -- they only cost about 5-6 dollars.

Lobster said that he already put in a good word for me.

I'm not as keen about the RasPi as you guys are. I am looking to Puppy working on a armv7+ CPU, which is what I am doing right now with the Mele.

However, I probably am obliged to get Puppy basically going on the RasPi.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 17:19 by lobster
Well, I haven't had confirmation from Lobster yet that Rox works

Expanded and copied to the right places and . . .
segmentation fault

so sadly not working [no sobbing in the ranks please]
I hope to have a go compiling native to the board

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 17:26 by BarryK
Floating point
I would have thought that the "-mcpu=arm1176jzf-s" would tell the Gnu compiler to use all the features of that CPU, which includes a hardware floating point unit (known as the 'vfp').

...well, that seems logical.

To test further, I tried this:
-mcpu=arm1176jzf-s -mhard-float -mfpu=vfp
-mcpu=arm1176jzf-s -mfloat-abi=hard -mfpu=vfp

However, the compiler reported that it does not support the -mhard-float, -mfpu=vfp and -mfloat-abi=hard options.

Those options do apparently work on at least one of the RasPi distros, as that is where I read about using them.

I have given up trying to compile for armv6 on the Ubuntu Lucid OS.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 17:37 by Darkcity
There is a thread about creating a debian version with hardfloat for the RPi

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 17:56 by Tony
Rasp Pi board
Hi Barry, sorry, I didn't make myself clear.
I wrote to the Rasp Pi team offering to buy you a board for development purposes to be sent out ASAP (from their own stock).

Eben has okayed it, full details in the Murga board PM. If you want to go ahead then just let me know and it should be sent to you soon rather than having to wait for Farnell/R.S.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 21:14 by BarryK
I'll wait
I got in pretty early with Farnell, so I probably won't have to wait too long. Thanks for the offer, but the wait is ok as I am busy with the Mele for now.

Posted on 26 Apr 2012, 21:51 by Tony
No problem
Hi Barry, no problem,have fun with the Mele.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012, 21:46 by BarryK
My RasPi is coming "soon"
I have just received an email form Element14 Australia, telling me that my RasPi will be shipped to me in week starting May 28.

That's fine, I'll be pretty busy next four weeks anyway.

I will post to this blog soon (probably this weekend) how others with any armv6 type of system, or an armv6 emulator/compiler environment, can help get ready for porting Puppy to the RasPi -- by compiling some apps for me.

Posted on 27 Apr 2012, 22:43 by Ted dog
Tiny C on ARM
got tiny c and bacon working on my arm based kindle 3g wonder if it would on mele a1000

Posted on 27 Apr 2012, 23:20 by Ted Dog
My MeleA1000 shipped
Woot! its somewhere near East coast of China! Hopefully on a FAST boat from China.

Posted on 28 Apr 2012, 8:28 by BarryK
Re BaCon
Yes, I have compiled BaCon for the Mele, I plan to have it in the 'devx' sfs for the first build of Puppy on the Mele.