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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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April 2019
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Alien’s ARM sources and git


I have been writing regular updates to the Alien’s ARM page on this blog which can be found in the top of left sidebar. Readers of this blog who only visit the blog’s front page, will probably not have noticed, so I decided to write a more visible status update on the main page.

When I first booted my “current state of affairs” on the ARM Chromebook (what I had at that time was a mix of packages somewhere between Slackware 13.37 and 14.0) it was clear that I had a lot of work ahead of me. The X.Org that I had was unable to start on the laptop. I could get as far as a terminal and get a wireless network connection functional, but I really wanted a graphical enviroment.

During the past two weeks I have been steadily updating SlackBuild scripts, and in the last 5 days I (re-)built 637 packages! Long live automation build scripts and distcc.

Creating packages is nice, but I needed to see the results.What I was working towards was the X.Org of Slackware-current and the XFCE which we also have in -current.

I am happy to announce: XFCE works!
Now at least I know that I didn’t do all tthis work for nothing 🙂

Running XFCE unveiled several annoying bugs in packages like pango, gtk+2 and gtk+3 which I fixed today. I also made a first attempt at compiling KDE and quickly ran into further packaging bugs (pciutils and qt need to be fixed). I had hopes that I could dump the content of the SD card into a downloadable image and make that available for download, but I felt that the sources were more important at this moment. Who has a Samsung ChromeBook and is willing to play-test this? I may change my mind tomorrow if there is some interest.

Just for fun: here is a 1’13” video of me logging in as “alienarm” and starting X, then loading up my blog page in firefox: .VLC and the browser-plugin gecko-mediaplayer will be able to play this .3gp video which I shot with my phone (hence the shaky images).

I already uploaded the latest source code to taper .I have refreshed the sources on – but there is still a lot of work to do before I have fully caught up with slackware-current. I do not know if the bootstrap script still works with all the new sources, I have fixed at least the coreutils build though.

What I have also set up is a git repository for the sources. You can access this repository through a gitweb interface. If you want to clone the repository, you can use the git URI git:// . Commit access is limited to myself for the moment, I have no intention of allowing anyone direct commit access except for other Slackware core-team members.

If you want to start compiling ARM packages yourself using these sources, first create a SlackBuild configuration file “/etc/slackbuild/machine.conf” with the following contents which will override the SlackBuild defaults for ARM hardfloat platforms like the Tegra and Exynos CPUs.:

export ARCH=”armv7hl”
export SLKCFLAGS=”-O2 -march=armv7-a -mfpu=vfpv3-d16″

You can use my rootfs to setup a working chroot environment if you want. More instructions will follow, perhaps it is wise to wait for those. I will leave that for another post, or perhaps a page on the SlackDocs wiki..

Have fun! Eric


Comment from DEF
Posted: April 6, 2013 at 23:52

Well, if that doesn’t cost you much time, i’d like to play with some hard float Slackware on my Open Pandora ;^).

Comment from alienbob
Posted: April 6, 2013 at 23:57

The SD card image for the ChromeBook won’t do you much good because it is a 3-partition GPT disk image containing two Chromebook kernels, and the Slackware filesystem on the 3rd partition.
You could extract that filesystem from the image though. But I think it is more practical if I upload the actual packages instead.


Comment from DEF
Posted: April 7, 2013 at 00:00

Oh, btw, is your build 3.2.X kernel-compatible ?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: April 7, 2013 at 00:28

I have been building inside a chroot against linux-3.2.29 kernel headers. It does not really matter what kernel you use as long as you copy its modules into the rootfs.
The glibc package will not function on kernels older than 2.6.32.


Comment from DEF
Posted: April 7, 2013 at 00:37

Ok, i asked because Slackware ARM -current got this:

a/glibc-solibs-2.17-arm-3.tgz: Rebuilt.
Minimum kernel is now Linux 3.4.0.

And i’m not able to use the Pandora 3.2 kernel :/ (neither can’t compile a newer) so -current fails to boot (tried just in case ;^) ).

Comment from weput
Posted: April 7, 2013 at 01:19

one dumb question eric…

how do you like that machine?

Pingback from Links 7/4/2013: Linux Kernel 3.8.6, OS4 OpenDesktop 13.4 | Techrights
Posted: April 8, 2013 at 02:25

[…] Alien’s ARM sources and git […]

Comment from b
Posted: April 12, 2013 at 06:33

don’t know if anyone else has tried the new vlc package, but there is a bug in it I think. libupnp is corrupt and causes audio stutter in some videos.

Comment from b
Posted: April 12, 2013 at 06:39

sorry, should have done this in the previous post. This error to be exact.

corrupt module: /usr/lib64/vlc/plugins/services_discovery/

Comment from alienbob
Posted: April 12, 2013 at 08:21


If you want to comment on something which is not related to the article’s topic, please use the general feedback page for the blog:

Thanks, Eric.

Comment from b
Posted: April 12, 2013 at 19:52

My apologies sir!. Even though I’m always checking this blog, and your awesome slackbuilds, I’ve never posted here.

Thank You

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