Friday, October 9, 2009

rootfs trial

I've spent much time playing with different build systems such as buildroot, openwrt and openembedded. And here's some conclusions:

  • X-based environment (even with kdrive) such as gpe are almost unsuitable on machines with 32mb ram. Xfbdev is too fat, it eats all memory, and leaves nothing for applications.
  • opie is usable, but too old. And unsupported.
  • the only way is directfb+gtk. gtk for directfb is well supported, because debian installer is gtk-directfb based. Also there's libsdl port to directfb. Neat :)
So, we need some gtk-based DE for PDA, but unfortunately almost all of them depends on X. I'm goint to try port gpe, or something like this on gtk-directfb after I'll finish kernel-side support for rx1950.

Stay tuned ;)

4 comments:

Mauro said...

Maybe a stupid question, but how about porting Android? If the linux kernel runs it shouldn't be too hard to get Android running right?

Or are the devices resources too limited for running Android?

PS. Good work by the way!

anarsoul said...

I doubt that android will work on 32mb flawlessly, and armv4t android port is not clean. However, you're free to try it by yourself :)

DRF said...

Is the openmoko/maemo solution to this issue (as they use gtk extensively) to add more memory to the physical devices they run on?

I've been putting some thought into the same things and the other option is to port something like Mer (Maemo without the nokia binaries) or Poky (the o-hand.com build system/distro) but it would be a lot of work editing it for an even smaller resolution not to mention the will it run on arm4t and on the small resources in the rx1950.

GPE and Opie still have some work done to them so it's not completely dead, but it is very much limited to minor bug fixes (I think opie recently released a new bug fix and minor features version).

Sounds like an interesting idea tho to port GPE to directfb and one I'll be following your progress on if you go ahead with it.

anarsoul said...

Yep, all openmoko/maemo-based devices have at least 64mb of RAM. Btw, next thing I try is running Qt4 embedded on rx1950. Only after I make sure that Qt4e is not suitable I'll start to do something with gtk-dfb and GPE.