In the last months I’ve dedicated a lot of my resources on Raspberry PI hardware. Previous version (v0.9x) of this distro, mainly based on buildroot and a cross compiled toolchain, heavily optimized to gain performances and reduce disk size footprint has been parked because I’m still looking at various hw specs for ARM architecture. As many of us I’ve received my first Raspberry PI board at the beginning of May so most of my time was spent to adapt this project to it, standard ARM architecture without HF (hardware floating point) was nice but after seeing Raspbian with armhf I’ve finally gave up and I’ve decided to to switch to it. Projects goals are basically the same, I’d like to create a minimal distribution with these requirements:

  • Small disk footprint
  • Low memory usage
  • SSH Daemon for a remote console
  • Fewer packages or libraries to speed up everything
  • Stable package manager, dependencies and required libraries are managed from the package manager itself, user doesn’t need to handle them manually
  • No XOrg, amusements or additional packages, it has to have just the basic packages to boot fine and fast, the exception is sshd, is required to access the system remotely

I’ve just finished version 1.0 and now it’s ready, in the download area there’s an huge image with the contents of the first public release. It’s a trimmed version of a debian wheezy with armhf architecture, floating point is not emulated and it’s faster than other arm only based distros. I’ve decided to get Raspbian as a base for it, it uses raspbian repositories and the debian package manager, I guess I’ll return to a buildroot toolchain soon, debian it’s nice but it still has too many dependencies and unuseful libraries as well as an huge amount of disk space occupied. There’re no huge differencies with raspbian now, it’s basically a Raspbian but without uneeded packages, I’ve removed XOrg, utilities, games and everything that I don’t use, if you want to install more packages or have the full power of Raspbian you can obviously return to it just with apt-get or aptitude utils.
In the download area, there’s the final image, you can use “dd” to write it to your favorite SD, the first big news is related to the SD card itself, minimum requirements are a 2Gb SD card so 4Gb or more are not mandatory, even more: with raspi-config utility the operating system and partitions are automatically adapted to your favorite card, you don’t need to adjust the partition table manually

More details will come in the next few hours, stay tuned


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6 responses to Raspberry PI, ARM HF, v1.0, Build Complete

  1. info on 2012/10/15 at 12:05 pm

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This great article has really peaked my interest.
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  2. abs on 2012/10/22 at 1:11 am

    Hi, can you please do a minimal for the new 512mb model.


    • ben on 2012/10/24 at 12:45 am

      Just ordered two of them, Farnell just told me they have upgraded my order to 512Mb version and I’m waiting the delivery.
      Don’t know about delivery time because I have just received the first notification, I’m now experimenting a new toolchain and I’d like to test it on 512Mb boards when they’ll come. I’ll let you surely know something


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