UDOO x86 board

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Ha ha, loitering on the Internet, looking at small computer boards. How about this:

Not that much higher price than the ESPRESSObin, and vastly more powerful.

UDOO website:

Marvell ESPRESSOBin Board

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Gee, if I had known about this when it was on Kickstarter, I might have pledged for one. In a nutshell, it ticks all the boxes.

I just now read about it here:

As a low-cost board for making up a NAS system, it would be superb. Only the one sata interface though.

The asking price was US$79, for the 2GB RAM model, with power supply. That would be a tad over AU$100. Don't know about postage ...haven't read it all yet.

Here is the Kickstarter page:

Followed some links, found that they have a website:

Building for Pi2 on OpenEmbedded

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Have just completed an x86 i586 build in OpenEmbedded, and imported the binary packages into woofQ. However, have put that one on the back-burner for now.

Have downloaded the layer for the Raspberry Pi:

Also for the Hardkernel Odroid boards:

I know very little about how these Board Support Package (BSP) layers work. So, starting off slowly. Right now, doing a small build for the Pi2, just a basic CLI interface.

What I have done so far, with Quirky and Easy, is just extract the binary packages out of OE, to woofQ. However, I want to learn how the whole thing, right to an SD-card image, is created in OE.

Pyro for i586 coming

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I have released alpha builds of "Pyro64", Quirky Linux and Easy Linux built from binary packages compiled in OpenEmbedded.
This is for PCs with a x86_64 CPU.

OpenEmbedded is a cross-compiler, so in theory I can just change the specification for the target architecture, and off it will go, compile all the packages for that architecture.

So, I have given it a first test. I am running Quirky 8.1.6, a x86_64 distro. I configured OpenEmbedded to compile for a target i586 CPU.

I started the build last night. However, about 1am before going to bed, in my sleepiness I accidentally turned off the power to the PC. Grumble, had to clear the caches and start if off again.
Now 10am, it is almost finished, just compiling LibreOffice.

LibreOffice, incidentally, takes longer to compile than all of the other packages put together. It ends up, there is just one task running, LibreOffice compiling, and it seems to be using only one CPU core at that stage.

I am planning to support "old" computers again, with this i586 build. However, had to make a decision with the kernel. I configured the kernel for i586 and a RAM size limit of 4GB. That is fine, but also chose to support SMP (multi-core) CPUs.

It is that latter one that I was uncertain about. There are, I think, a lot of PCs with x86 32-bit multi-core CPUs, mostly two cores I think.
The SMP-enabled Linux kernel will run on uniprocessor CPUs, however, I do recall that it failed with some uniprocessor CPUs. I don't recall any more details.

So, I guess it is a tradeoff. It is nice to use the two (or more) cores if they are available. If I had chosen to configure the kernel to be uniprocessor only, it will run on multi-core CPUs but only use one core.

If you have any thoughts on my decision, you are welcome to post here:

Changing the subject, I am getting to like LibreOffice so much, can't consider doing a build without it. Awhile back, I had to fill in a form that was a MS .docx file -- LibreOffice handled that beautifully (whereas Abiword is useless).
I constructed some nice diagrams in LibreOffice, for the "How Easy works" page.

Yesterday, I was unable to insert colour-highlighted shell code into my "How easy works" page using SeaMonkey Composer (it insisted on removing all of the formatting). So I used LibreOffice, and discovered that it is a very nice WYSIWYG HTML editor.

LibreOffice compiled in OE is version 5.0.x, a bit old. I found that it embedded png images into the html page, was unable to keep the links to external images. I fixed that later, however, found support for external links is in Libreoffice 5.2.0.

So, the plan is to compile the latest LibreOffice soon.

Easy Linux 0.3 alpha released

Easy Linux 0.2 pre-alpha was released on March 17, 2017, see blog announcement:

Version 0.2 was built from Ubuntu 16.04 DEBs. Version 0.3 is built from packages compiled in OpenEmbedded. There are many posts about this in my blog, for example:

Easy Linux is the latest in the Quirky series of experimental Linux distributions. It is a fundamental rethink. I wrote an overview here:

Easy is deployed as an image file that can be written to a 2GB or greater USB Flash stick or SD-card, and booted up on any PC with x86 64-bit CPU (core-2 or later). The above link outlines how to write the image to a Flash stick or SD-card.

Easy can also be installed to an internal hard drive. So far, I have written one how-to, for a "frugal" installation:

Note that it is particularly easy to do a frugal installation if you have booted up Easy from a USB stick. Ditto for Quirky Linux.

Download Easy 0.3 from here:

You will also see the 'devx-0.3-pyro64.sfs' file at the above link. If you download this to /mnt/wkg/repository/easy-0.3, then run Filesystem -> Easy Boot Manager from the menu, you will see an "SFS" button, to choose extra SFS files to load.

You can also choose to load the devx SFS file in the "sh0" container, if you want to experiment with compiling inside a container.
Containers are managed from the menu Filesystem -> Easy Containers.

See Utility -> Urxvt terminal in container sh0, in menu. You can examine this container at /mnt/wkg/containers/sh0. When the container is running, you can access it from "outside" at /mnt/wkg/containers/sh0/container folder.

Note that containers are highly experimental at this stage. In some respects still a primitive implementation.

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