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List Archive: gentoo-mips
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To: gentoo-mips@g.o
From: "Stephen P. Becker" <geoman@g.o>
Subject: Re: is gentoo-mips right for me?
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 11:01:43 -0500
Tomasz Chmielewski wrote:
> I was wondering if gentoo-mips is a right distribution/tool for me.
> Here's the summary what I have and what I want to achieve.
> I am interested in porting apps for wrt54 and similar hardware (they 
> have Broadcom CPUs). When I connect a 2 GB usb-stick to such a device 
> (i.e., to ASUS WL-500g Deluxe or to any other device listed on 
>, a small router could turn into 
> a really useful, rock-stable (no moving parts like hard-disk, fan etc.), 
> cheap, small, quiet, multi-purpose device (domain controller, print 
> server, web server etc.).

A good idea...which is already facilitated by openwrt.

> As compiling software on these devices directly isn't really a good 
> idea, at first I thought I'd just cross-compile the software.
> However, very often, cross-compiling is not that easy (sometimes 
> involves lots of patching, which in my case turned out to be duplicating 
> someone's job). mean like the work openwrt has already done?

> So I searched the web a bit, and came to a conclusion:
> I have to run gentoo-mips in qemu on my x86 hardware, compile/port apps 
> there, strip the binaries, and move them to these tiny routers.
> Is my thinking correct?

Theoretically, our mipsel uclibc stages would let you do that, except 
that apparently qemu for mips still has problems with userland programs. 
  That and I don't think qemu is particularly fast.

> Will such compiled software compiled on gentoo-mips run on 
> Broadcom-based routers?

If you use the mipsel uclibc stages, and optimize for -march=mips32, sure.

> Or maybe I just should give up this idea, as it's totally wrong from the 
> beginning?

This is really the smartest thing you have said thus far.  Gentoo is 
really not set up to run on these devices.  It is far too heavy to 
directly run on them (they don't have enough RAM, and typically not 
enough disk space), and cross-compiling everything is a pain in the ass. 
  Folks behind distros like openwrt have already done a lot of hard work 
porting apps and making them compile inside of their buildroot environment.

> I could check it myself, but as I failed to run the gentoo-mips livecd 
> in quemu, I'd like to know if I'm doing something reasonable before I 
> invest some time in running gentoo-mips on qemu.

The gentoo-mips livecd is definitely not what you want.  The userland on 
the cd and included kernels are only for big endian SGI hardware.  It 
has no chance of working on anything else.  If I recall, qemu emulates a 
little endian, MIPS 4kc cpu.


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Re: is gentoo-mips right for me?
-- Tomasz Chmielewski
is gentoo-mips right for me?
-- Tomasz Chmielewski
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