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Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware

Some time ago I ran into this website promoting a very cheap computer the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is being created by a charitable foundation. It is designed to “plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet“. Typically its target is “teaching computer programming to children“, but such a cheap computing device will certainly have “many other applications both in the developed and the developing world“.

You have to see the device to believe it, I guess. The videos and photos look very promising. It’s not in production yet but according to the developer team’s schedule first shipments should commence before the end of the year.

Its specifications are not stellar (256 MB of RAM will likely rule out the top-heavy desktop environments like KDE) but hey! it only costs 35 euros! And the ARM processor, a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with a ARM1176JZF-S core seems to have good support in the Linux kernel (a patch that adds support to linux-3.0.4 is fairly trivial). Check out this video which shows the Raspberry Pi running Quake III in 1920×1080 resolution with 4x antialiasing.

There is a thread on LinuxQuestions which shows that it may in fact not be hard to boot Slackware – or rather, ARMedslack. Using the latest QEMU which supports the Broadcom’s ARM version, and a recent kernel compiled for ARM (see above), QEMU can successfully boot one of ARMedslack’s “mini rootfs” filesystem images.

So, I think that the Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware. If we are going to bring Slackware to the masses, this ARM device would be a nice vehicle. I am going to get myself one or two of them. Stuart Winter (ARMedslack developer) promised to help me with the nasty bits. We will see how this ends up – either incorporated into ARMedslack, or as a separate development tree hosted by me, or (nicest option but not a very realistic one perhaps) folded into the main Slackware tree. It would be cool to have the main tree expand to support a third architecture besides x86 and x86_64.

Cool, another project for my evergrowing TODO list! Oh my… I can’t even find the time to spend on another project that is itching at the back of my mind… I guess should at least make an effort to upload all of the OCR related packages I created a month ago.

Eric

Comments

Comment from Lawrence McDonald
Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:29

AllienBOB
Thank you for your Input and dedication to slackware
Coming from a very low tech Africa Raspberry PI is definitively on my agenda to master :)

Comment from toby
Posted: November 28, 2011 at 13:47

I’m interested in the raspberry pi, slackware on one of those would be lots of fun!

Comment from bgeddy
Posted: November 28, 2011 at 19:04

To anyone who is interested there’s a very good article today in the Register about these boards – its here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/28/raspberry_pi/ .

Comment from Nuts
Posted: November 28, 2011 at 21:09

Hi Eric,
there is another development , have a look at http://www.openpandora.org!
Cheers
Nuts

Comment from alienbob
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 13:41

Hi Nuts

Yes, but the price of the Pandora (445 Euro) is way too steep to be an alternative to what I want to achieve with the RaspberryPi…

A sort-of gaming console which happens to be able to boot any OS from SD card is nice though. I don’t see many real uses outside of gaming. The keyboard is good for texting but not for serious typing.

Eric

Pingback from Links 29/11/2011: Droid 4, Thunderbird 8.0 in Ubuntu 11.10 | Techrights
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 14:30

[...] Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware Some time ago I ran into this website promoting a very cheap computer the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is being created by a charitable foundation. It is designed to “plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet“. Typically its target is “teaching computer programming to children“, but such a cheap computing device will certainly have “many other applications both in the developed and the developing world“. [...]

Pingback from Alien Pastures » Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware | Raspberry Pi | Scoop.it
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 14:49

[...] Alien Pastures » Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware Alien Pastures – My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything (RT @schestowitz: Raspberry Pi deserves #Slackware http://t.co/w1DRoN1F #linux #education…)… Source: alien.slackbook.org [...]

Pingback from Links day |
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 18:12

[...] Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware [...]

Comment from integrale
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 19:52

Hi Eric,
I’m also following the development of the Raspberry Pi for a while now and will order two or three of it, I think. So far I thought, I will give Arch Linux a try, since on the RasPi homepage was mentioned, that it will be one of the Distros which will support the RasPi. But it would be great to have Slackware or even ARMedslack on the RasPi. So it would be great if you would go for it :-)

integrale

Pingback from Alien Pastures » Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware | Linux Blog
Posted: November 30, 2011 at 01:06

[...] post: Alien Pastures » Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged alien-pastures, pastures by InfinitelyGalactic. [...]

Comment from phrag
Posted: December 1, 2011 at 10:54

I’m going to buy one as soon as they become available in NL… so would love to contribute in any way I can to getting Slackware running nicely on it =)

Comment from bgeddy
Posted: December 1, 2011 at 15:17

More new on Raspberry Pi. This is from The UK Government’s response to Next Gen. Transforming the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries Cm 8226 http://www.dcms.gov.uk/publications/8646.aspx :
—————————————————————————————————————-
16.
In addition to the curriculum review and the pilot IT GCSE the Government
recognises the potential developments such as the Raspberry Pi computer project
have for stimulating and motivating children to understand basic computer science
in schools. Much as the BBC Micro inspired a generation of computer programmers
in the early 1980’s the Raspberry Pi could provide the platform for teachers and
pupils to gain hands on programming experience. Raspberry Pi is an example of
how games developers are finding innovative and affordable solutions to tackle the
perceived issues highlighted in the Next Gen Report.
——————————————————————————————————————
Very cool getting mentioned in an official government report.

Comment from ljones
Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:57

I’m no expert or developer, but I’m not sure how easy it will be to get slackware/armedslack to work on the rasberry pi. From what I’ve read either its booting or video will be propietary which could make porting (say) armedslack a major job.

If it’s anything like the efika mx smartbook then video will be a problem, the drivers for that are propietary — I have armedslack running on the mx but only using the normal framebuffer/vesa X driver so performance in X is dreadful.

Might just be that only the “blessed” distro that comes wtih rasberry pi will work on it and nothing else. x.x .

ljones

Comment from ljones
Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:59

…another intresting device to get slackware working on might be the ben nanonote! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Nanonote ) though it dosen’t use an ARM cpu.

ljones

Comment from LoneStar
Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:27

Hi Eric,
do you know if it’s actually possible to buy this device right now in european countries? Any online store with int’l shipment?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:52

LoneStar,

The Raspberry Pi is not for sale yet. They are waiting for the first batch to be sent from the factory.
I assume that the device will be available for sale world-wide after launch.
Pre-orders are not taken, everybody will have to wait in line.

Eric

Comment from tim
Posted: February 8, 2012 at 12:57

you mentioned QEMU which has recently gone up to version 1.0 .the link on QEMU site to your build http://www.slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/qemu/ appears to be down. Any chance of an updated version. thanks :-)

Pingback from Does anybody have a SlackBuild for Libre Office (ARM).
Posted: March 22, 2012 at 16:06

[...] response Hi, Look at Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware I believe Eric's working on getting things setup for the Pi. Even though the first production [...]

Comment from Slamd64
Posted: May 12, 2012 at 19:30

Hi Eric,

I am wondering if there is any possibility to port an ArmedSlack to kicked off mobile phones such as Nokia N8 and 5800 which I have. Idea is to make a loader and boot off sd card. There was uboot loader project but not actively developed. I think it should be possible, because these phones are using ARMs. My phone can be connected to tv via s video and can handle usbs. N8 even has HDMI! Something like Ubuntu on Android. I think it is a better thing than raspberry pi because we use it every day. I do not have enough skill and community support to bring life to this project. It is just a suggestion, so please share your opinion about this.
Greetings,
Dino.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: May 12, 2012 at 21:24

Hi Slamd64

I don’t think there is a Nokia on the market which can run Android, let alone a “real” Linux, even ARMedslack. These phones are running Symbian which is an OS incompatible with Linux.

Eric

Comment from Peter
Posted: May 18, 2012 at 23:18

Armed Slack reported as working on Raspberry Pi.
http://tinyurl.com/88pafnt
Mine should be delivered week of 28 May.
Hope to try Slack then.
Cheers,
Peter

Comment from Peter
Posted: June 3, 2012 at 11:24

I’ve now got my Raspbbery Pi and it’s running with Slack -
the image comes via:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6132
Cheers,
Peter
Linux slackware 3.1.9+ #63 Wed May 16 14:42:21 BST 2012 armv6l ARMv6-compatible processor rev 7 (v6l) BCM2708 GNU/Linux

Comment from Cuetzpallin
Posted: June 8, 2012 at 02:43

Good to know Peter, I’ll try that once my Rpi arrives to my hands.

Thanks a lot for the effort

Comment from Peter
Posted: June 21, 2012 at 22:08

ARMedslack on Raspberry Pi seems to be dying.
Not many comments on the RPi forum and the website with the .img file has gone AWOL for several days now
http://ns1.spit-ct.ro/raspberrypi/
(Mind you, perhaps he’s just following in the tradition of the http://slackware.com :) ).
But there’s still a mirror available @ http://mirror.mos6581.de/raspberrypi/

Offtopic- OpenELEC on the RPi is impressive.

Cheers,
Peter

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 21, 2012 at 22:25

Well,

Neither Stuart nor I own a Raspberry Pi yet, so there is little chance for real development.
Perhaps you want to stick with OpenElec then, if that’s more useful to you.

The longer I wait for the device, the less desire I have to spend any time on it.

Eric

Comment from Peter
Posted: June 22, 2012 at 13:34

“The longer I wait for the device, the less desire I have to spend any time on it”.
That’s a shame. I think it’s a really neat device. The Slackware image from Romania does run OK. I even installpkg’d gnuplot from an ARMedslack 13.37 mirror and it ran just fine. But as to whether ther’s a signicant number of users just waiting for Slack on it, who knows….
May buy a second one just to use as an OpenELEC media player, and keep the first for my weather station project, and maybe for 24/7 ADSL performance monitor too.
Cheers,
Peter

Pingback from Alien Pastures » My (first) Raspberry Pi arrived in the post
Posted: July 26, 2012 at 23:34

[...] work I intended to do when I wrote my original blog post about the Raspberry Pi (back in November 2011) has been done already. Using ARMedslack as the base distro, David Spencer setup a web space where [...]

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