Now ready !

After a short while and few positive feedbacks from you I’m proud to announce an important upgrade for Moebius: ARM HF Support is back again. In previous 1.x versions HF support was an easy addon because I derived my toolchain and initial build from a Debian base (Raspbian), now with new 2.x versions I have a full distro rebuilt from scratch.

I’m still using .deb files because dpkg is a strong package manager but I’m not based on Debian (nor Raspbian) anymore and this is a totally new distro based on package sources (and patches as well…). I have always thought that ArmHF should be just an easy compile flag to put somewhere. Unfortunately it’s not just an easy flag on complex packages (python, gcc, kernel-modules, …) so I dedicated some time to it. Now packages are still terminating with suffix: “*armel.deb” but are armhf compliant and the github repository fully is updated. Available github repository packages have been rebuilt with the new support and I’m adding previous files again, in a short while I’ll restore original situation.

  

How do I know if the distro/package/lib is armhf ready ?

If you use readelf command (gcc/binutils stuff) to get binary information from an elf you’ll see:
root@moebius:~# readelf -A /proc/self/exe |grep Tag_ABI_VFP_args
  Tag_ABI_VFP_args: VFP registers
If the above line is present then ARMHF support is enabled, if you don’t see any output then you don’t have armhf (hard float) and you’re using armel (soft float), I have read wrong things on few web pages about the .deb package name. I can assign my own favorite name to a .deb file so having a package with the trailing “*armel.deb” part doesn’t necessary mean it’s compiled with soft float. readelf is what you really need to check an executable, this is a general suggestion and it’s valid for whatever distro you use.

  

Why Hard Float is so important for Moebius ?

Performance is the key, using the internal floating point unit doesn’t affect speed on common/daily operations but you may see huge benefits if you’re using the raspi camera, a FFT algorithm or whatever software that requires numbers crunching. Take a look at here, and here, and here to understand details.
Now with locales and hard float support workload will be focused on package deployment and containers

Obviously you can get the new image from the download section

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5 Comments

5 responses to ARM Hard Float support, version 2.0.1

  1. drpilot on 2015/02/14 at 1:43 am

    when will openCV package be available, i need it in my project. your distro is nice and light and i don’t want to switch to an other distro because of that. computer vision is a must in my robot.

    • ben on 2015/02/23 at 4:32 pm

      I’m now closing bug and patches on PHP and Python packages, after that I’ll spend some time on samba/mediatomb/amule/ctorrent pkgs but I’ll surely dedicate time on opencv after these. I’m a robot builder and I’d like to port my own python/c++ apps to this OS for my new robot. OpenCV will come real soon because I’d like to use it with the Camera module. I’m also considering ROS (http://ros.org), I’m following the project and I wish to add something to moebius if possible.
      I guess it will take few weeks but I’ll surely write something to the blog if you’re interested (like me).

    • ben on 2015/03/07 at 10:39 am

      opencv is available right now. Just built and ready in the repository, update it to download.
      It required me a lot of time because opencv has a lot of dependencies but it’s ready. I’m planning to use it in a bot like you, let me know how it goes. We might even share something for the hw area

  2. pant3k on 2015/04/09 at 10:02 pm

    I want to install xfce4. I’ve tried with adding debian repo, but i’m getting errors(your distro adding “armel” to “armfl” repos). How to add gui to moebius???

    • ben on 2015/04/22 at 5:15 pm

      I’m not using glibc but “eglibc” because it’s more compact and reliable on an embedded system. All packages are arm-hf compliant even if signed with armel, you may check it with the kernel as described in the post. Don’t know where you’re taking XOrg packages but I guess these are not compiled like mine or they’re using different glibs. XFCE it’s a desktop environment for XOrg but as I told in previous post this distro is primarly aimed to: embedded, robotics, server, minimal, lightweight usage. That’s why I’m avoiding certain packages or environments, I’m not focusing this distro to raspbian user base.
      Hope it helps
      Ben