2018-11-07 18:39 Dr Jonathan Kimmitt:
The lowrisc platform supports the use of buildroot but as you are
aware this is limited.
With the upgraded Rocket which GC capable in the refresh-v0.6 release,
this makes it much
more convenient to use apt-get or whatever for local customisation.
That was my hope, and indeed my main motivation for working on the port
in the first place even in the absence of hardware since years ago -- to
help to push the effort forward.
But I was unaware if it actually happened, except for some people using
it internally at SiFive I had no confirmation of it being used anywhere
else. So it's nice to confirm :)
I hope you noticed I acknowledged your contribution here:
I hadn't, but thanks very much.
I am not the only one working on it though. Karsten who just replied
also is, as is Aurelien Jarno, we are the 3 main contributors so far to
the Debian port itself.
But apart from us, there're other people helping here and there directly
to this riscv64 port on the software side and hosting the machines doing
the builds, maintainers of the packages themselves applying fixes,
people working on Debian and its previous ports in the past or present
(that made the job much easier or simply feasible, which wouldn't have
been otherwise), and of course the authors of the original software and
those who add support for RISC-V.
I found remarkably few programs that crashed outright, gnuchess is not
very happy with 128Meg of RAM,
If you can attach a reasonably fast external disk, specially SSD,
without being slowed down by the hardware (??), perhaps you can use
swap and have the system still be usable?
and X-windows does not run at the moment (xclock can run on a remote
Maybe you can get some small SDL-based game (*) to work.
On the HiFive Unleashed I tried some "advanced" ones (using 3D) and they
work, but those are too slow due to not having graphics card.
(*) Having games running is what all of this is about, isn't it? (**)
Right now the unstable build is broken since the release due to
Also libffi7 has be installed manually.
Yes, Karsten has been looking into those, as he explained. I hope that
the isc-dhcp-server is solved relatively soon (it fails to build in all
architectures), but libffi7 will need to be installed manually for a
while, I think.
I know there are a few rough edges but when you consider what else is
out there (for example Fedora crashes
about 20 minutes in after consuming 500Mbytes trying to run dnf
makecache), Debian is rather good actually.
I think that the problem with dnf is that it uses Python and lots of
memory, and in comparison apt is much more lean.
Maybe it's a bit of a coincidence, but in general it's also a property
of Debian -- since in many ports the package manager would be too slow
(e.g. "armel"), it would always be favoured/encouraged to be implemented
in less hungry languages and be more frugal.
The lowRISC is approximately 200 times slower than a modern PC, it
takes about 2 days to compile kernel-4.18
under Debian, so I don't think you will be buying a load of boards to
run buildd just now.
Hmm, I think that the qemu-system ones that we use are 20~50 times
slower than modern x86, depending on the load of CPU/disk etc, so it's
causing us some problems due to e.g. timeouts in tests. But yeah, 200
times slower is a bit too much :)
Thanks again for your contribution, I should have contacted you to
thank you earlier but the release is not officially approved yet.
No problems! It's great to see that 0.6 is in good shape, supporting
the C extension and that you can use Debian, Fedora and others that have
It didn't make me feel very good to bet on having C when it could have
failed efforts like lowRISC, and we've had discussions about this in the
So keep up the good work, great to see that lowRISC is progressing!
Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo(a)gmail.com>