Linux on ARM

ARM (and Movial) has published a new site that provides Open Source components, middleware and utilities used to build a Linux Mobile software stack on ARM.

All components (applications, libraries, etc) are in GIT repositories. The build tool is called Matrix. Matrix clones all components under one directory and compiles them with a single command. With another command you get JFFS2 image although that’s not as simple as it should be.

ARM would like to get all contributions directly to upstream instead of providing large code dumps and states that developers are encouraged to participate in discussion forums and developer community of respective components used on this site. That’s why there are no new mailing lists nor forums available for the platform. There is #matrixhelp (#matrix was taken) on irc.ipv6.oftc.net for Matrix related issues though. Developing the components is convenient if you are familiar with GIT. It’s easy to test if your patch works and send it to the upstream project.

One of the supported hardware platforms is n8x0 which is nice as it’s commonly available. The downside is the closed source nature of it. There are two projects, example-project and Kaze that has n8x0 configured as one target platform. Kaze has XFCE desktop instead of Matchbox desktop that the example-project uses.

Kaze boots but most features need still work. WLAN works without encryption but WEP and WPA encryptions need to be fixed. ALSA works with alsa plugins through the DSP but the closed source DSP tasks need to be copied to the build system. Kaze has normal X.Org instead of Xomap, so there’s no XV extension, only stubs.

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