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List Archive: gentoo-mips
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To: gentoo-mips@g.o
From: Tomasz Chmielewski <mangoo@...>
Subject: Re: is gentoo-mips right for me?
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 17:28:48 +0100
Stephen P. Becker schrieb:
> 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.

That's what I'm using on these routers.

>> 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?

Either openwrt or gentoo-mips folks.
It seems to me that there is a chance that gentoo-mips will have more 
apps ported than openwrt (which doesn't really have many applications 

>> 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. 

Have you read qemu 0.8.0 changelog? It was released a couple of days ago.

  - MIPS and MIPSel User Linux emulation

>  That and I don't think qemu is particularly fast.

Whatever slow it is, it will be faster than trying to compile anything 
natively on these tiny routers :)

>> 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.

So, this means, that if I build a whole gentoo-mips under qemu - sounds 
easy, doesn't it? :), with mipsel uclibc stages/-march=mips32, almost 
each and every binary copied from such a system should run on these tiny 

I'm quite new to other architectures than x86.

>> 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 never intended to run gentoo on these tiny routers.

I just thought that compiling/porting software for openwrt/mips on 
gentoo-mips would be easier than compiling software for mips on a x86 
system (I'm really not a cross-compiling expert; and not everything is 
ported to openwrt).

>> 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.

Now I see why it didn't even start.

WPKG - software management with Samba
gentoo-mips@g.o mailing list

Re: is gentoo-mips right for me?
-- Kumba
is gentoo-mips right for me?
-- Tomasz Chmielewski
Re: is gentoo-mips right for me?
-- Stephen P. Becker
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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