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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:32 am    Post subject: Gentoo on bananapi Reply with quote

Hello,

I just own a BananaPI card and I would like it to run Gentoo.

My goal is to replace my energy hog basement server, so the bPI will be use :
* headless
* has to support basic network facilities (DNS, DHCP, mediatomb, deluge, http, php, postgresql, ... servers) I know the CPU power is enough as before the head of my network was a Sun Sparc 5 box :D
* eventually, some I2C hacking

I didn't find any howto for this specific board but, as it is supposed to be compatible with both Raspberry PI and CubyBoard, I'll try to proceed with Cuby installation as the hardware is closer, and I'm currently building v7 (armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi) and will probably have to mix rPI instruction, this topic and this page.

Anyone working with Gentoo on this board ? If not, any tips (Am I going the right way ?).

Thanks

Laurent
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Jogie214
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I just installed gentoo, but one advice at first use an SSD or a SATA HD, compilation is extremly limited by SD-Card performance, it took me nearly a day to compile dhcpcd, but the CPU wasn't the bootleneck.
First install crossdev, then create the armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi toolchain.
Download the armv7a stage 3.
To get a working kernel, uboot and script bin, I used the this wiki entry http://wiki.lemaker.org/Building_u-boot,_script.bin_and_linux-kernel.
The wiki is very ubuntu specific, you have to change the CROSS_COMPILE option in the Makefile in bananapi-bsp
Code:

CROSS_COMPILE=armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi

Install the kernel and u-boot as described in the wiki, then untar the stage 3 install to the second partition of your SD-Card
Code:

tar xvpjf stage3_tarball -C /dev/your_sd_card_second_partition


Greetings and have fun,
jogie
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szatox
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since SD card is solid-state persistent memory, i'm pretty sure it's lifetime is lmited by compilation as much as compilation's speed is limited by that card. Good you noticed it's a bad idea.
Yet another solution is swap over ethernet or mounting ramdisk created on a big PC over NFS. LAN might provide more throughput than many USB HDDs would.
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Jogie214
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

for the compilation process I use tmpfs on RAM (650MB of the GB installed), to prevent to many write operations, the problem is the access to the headers and libraries in the system (at least I guess so). During a compilation process the CPU is (according to top) never at 100%, and since this is dual core board, there is still a lot of spare cpu power just idling around :(. But maybe the problem is the limited cache of the processor, I don't know, as soon as my SSD is up and running, I'll install some tools and benchmark to identify the problem.
The installation on an NFS is indeed a good idea, but I don't want to use a big rig to provide the data for my power saving little board.

Greetings,
jogie
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Jogie214 wrote:
To get a working kernel, uboot and script bin, I used the this wiki entry http://wiki.lemaker.org/Building_u-boot,_script.bin_and_linux-kernel.
The wiki is very ubuntu specific, you have to change the CROSS_COMPILE option in the Makefile in bananapi-bsp
Code:

CROSS_COMPILE=armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi



I'm using Banana's How to build page ... but it failed.
Code:
  HOSTCC  tools/aisimage.o
In file included from /usr/include/image.h:22:0,
                 from /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi/tools/aisimage.c:10:
/usr/include/rgbpixel.h:61:3: erreur: expected specifier-qualifier-list before \u2018RGBpixel\u2019
In file included from /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi/tools/aisimage.c:10:0:
/usr/include/image.h:40:1: erreur: unknown type name \u2018class\u2019
/usr/include/image.h:41:1: erreur: expected \u2018=\u2019, \u2018,\u2019, \u2018;\u2019, \u2018asm\u2019 or \u2018__attribute__\u2019 before \u2018{\u2019 token
/root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi/tools/aisimage.c:22:1: erreur: unknown type name \u2018table_entry_t\u2019
/root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi/tools/aisimage.c:23:2: attention : accolades autour d'une initialisation de scalaire [enabled by default]
/root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi/tools/aisimage.c:23:2: attention : (near initialization for \u2018aisimage_cmds[0]\u2019) [enabled by default]

Which is normal : /usr/include/rgbpixel.h is a C++ code
Code:
struct RGBpixel
{
  /// The red, green, blue and alpha components
  unsigned char red, green, blue, alpha;
  /// Constructor (initialize to zero, alpha to 255)
  RGBpixel () /* : red(0), green(0), blue(0), alpha(255) {} */
  { *(unsigned *)this = (unsigned)~RGB_MASK; }


and tools/aisimage.c is ... C.

I duno how to solve that :(


Jogie214 wrote:
for the compilation process I use tmpfs on RAM (650MB of the GB installed), to prevent to many write operations, the problem is the access to the headers and libraries in the system (at least I guess so).


I'm on way to create a binary host to build stuffs outside the bPI : I'm doing that for my x86 machines and I have almost zero local compilations.
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying this procedure too :

Jogie214 wrote:
To get a working kernel, uboot and script bin, I used the this wiki entry http://wiki.lemaker.org/Building_u-boot,_script.bin_and_linux-kernel.


but it fails also due to "error: git-remote-https died of signal 13" which linked to a Curl bug :(

Even if I bypass this issue, I'm failing with rgbpixel.h as described above :cry:

I got my bPI with a Raspbian card : will it work if I take everything up to "stage 3" from this card ?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

destroyedlolo wrote:
Hi,

I'm using Banana's How to build page ... but it failed.
[code] HOSTCC tools/aisimage.o
In file included from /usr/include/image.h:22:0,


That's a problem with the u-boot build process: it wants image.h from the u-boot source, but gcc picks standard includes first.
You need to temporarily either uninstall the package which provides /usr/include/image.h or rename the file while you build uboot.
(I've been hit by that while trying to build u-boot for the Tegra K1..)
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Jogie214
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

image.h is provided by lensfun, I just deinstalled it during the process. I'm sorry that I forgot to mention it.
Quote:

but it fails also due to "error: git-remote-https died of signal 13" which linked to a Curl bug

I encountered that bug too, but some research pointed out, that it can be ignored :D.

Some update on the SSD, I just installed vim, ntp, htop and screen in under an hour, so I would strongly advise you to use some kind of sata storage.
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, thanks, it helped to move ahead.
But do you have any idea to solve this nasty "error: git-remote-https died of signal 13" ?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest I don't know. But to my understanding it's a communications error during the final goodbye, so I don't care that much.
I'm trying to get Xorg and all HW features of the Bananapi up and running.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's what I have understood from my Internet reading but

Code:
celeron sunxi-bsp # make
git submodule init
git submodule update u-boot-sunxi
Clonage dans 'u-boot-sunxi'...
remote: Counting objects: 261423, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (51385/51385), done.
remote: Total 261423 (delta 205554), reused 261423 (delta 205554)
Réception d'objets: 100% (261423/261423), 72.64 MiB | 396.00 KiB/s, done.
Résolution des deltas: 100% (205554/205554), done.
Vérification de la connectivité... fait.
error: git-remote-https died of signal 13
Chemin de sous-module 'u-boot-sunxi' : '8a4621c488f33089d831168bfa5bae210a5684c8' extrait
mkdir -p /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/build/Bananapi-u-boot
make -C u-boot-sunxi Bananapi_config O=/root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/build/Bananapi-u-boot CROSS_COMPILE=armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi- -j2
make[1] : on entre dans le répertoire « /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi »
make[1] : on quitte le répertoire « /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi »
make[1] : on entre dans le répertoire « /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi »
make: *** No rule to make target `Bananapi_config'.  Stop.
make[1]: *** [Bananapi_config] Erreur 1
make[1] : on quitte le répertoire « /root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/u-boot-sunxi »
make: *** [/root/bPI/sunxi-bsp/build/Bananapi-u-boot/include/config.h] Erreur 2


Yesterday, I did another try, this step passed but I got error 13 afterward and the compilation failed just after this error too.

Anyway, do you think it would boot from Banana's Raspbian image ... using a Gentoo made kernel ?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kernel and userland are not bound to each other. You need boh of them to boot, but none of them forces any particular variant of the other.
They must both be compiled for hardware you're going to run it on. That's pretty much it. If you can run raspbian on banana pi, both those components are good enough.
If you replace kernel with gentoo one, it will also be fine as long as it's compiled for this hardware.
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, after some time spent to make my card reader working, back on this installation :D

So I give up with uboot and such compilation, I'll start from raspbian card.

This card has only 2 partitions :
Code:
PiV ~ # LANG=C fdisk -l /dev/sdb

Disk /dev/sdb: 7.4 GiB, 7948206080 bytes, 15523840 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x000b5098

Device    Boot     Start       End  Blocks  Id System
/dev/sdb1           8192    122879   57344   c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdb2         122880   7167999 3522560  83 Linux


Any clue why there is a gap before the 1st partition ?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@destroyedlolo: The space before the first partition is for the bootloader (uboot). On the Banana Pi uboot is installed past the MBR (so as to not over-write the partition table) and before the first partition.

Code:
dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdb bs=1024 seek=8


The seek option tells dd to skip the first 8192 bytes (8KB) of the device and then write the uboot image (267528 bytes, ~268KB). The first partition starts at byte 4194304 (8192*512). You'll notice that there's 3918584 bytes (~4MB) of unused space in this layout, but that's hardly a concern on a block device which is many gigabytes.

Shameless self-plug: I wrote a blog post on how to compile the kernel for the Banana Pi here. I didn't use Gentoo as the build system but the steps should work for you too. I provide a pre-built zImage and modules for you if you want to combine the kernel with a stage3. Let me know if you can get it booting :)
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TZ6wl wrote:
@destroyedlolo: The space before the first partition is for the bootloader (uboot). On the Banana Pi uboot is installed past the MBR (so as to not over-write the partition table) and before the first partition.

Code:
dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdb bs=1024 seek=8


The seek option tells dd to skip the first 8192 bytes (8KB) of the device and then write the uboot image (267528 bytes, ~268KB).


Ok, thanks for the explanation. A new card has only a gap of 8k, probably for the MBR as you stated.


TZ6wl wrote:
Shameless self-plug: I wrote a blog post on how to compile the kernel for the Banana Pi here. I didn't use Gentoo as the build system but the steps should work for you too. I provide a pre-built zImage and modules for you if you want to combine the kernel with a stage3. Let me know if you can get it booting :)


I built successfully sunxi BSP but I will try your kernel to save some time, thanks a lot :D

But I'm a bit lost here, with sentences
Quote:
Through “step by step” or “using sunxi bsp”, you will get at least four files or packages you need, they are:

u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin
uImage
script.bin
modules/3.4.XX

We will use this four files to set up the bootable SD card.


My totally Noob question now is ... which steps I have to follow to build this card ?

I understood from your post I need to install the boot loader
Code:
dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdb bs=1024 seek=8

but what else ?
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TZ6wl
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@destroyedlolo: An MBR is typically 512 bytes. Usually SD Cards, USB Keys and other removable media shipped as VFAT format as the first partition offset by more than 512 bytes. I don't know the precise reason for this, but I'd guess it's so that the manufacturer a few extra KB of buffer room beyond the MBR.

To build an SD Card for the banana pi you will need the uboot.bin file and script.bin (a binary file containing configuration parameters). uImage and modules are specific to the kernel you are running. For example my link provides 3.4.90 uImage and modules for the Banana pi.

Here is the partition layout on my banana pi:
Code:
Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 1015 MB, 1015808000 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 31000 cylinders, total 1984000 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x14f771e8

        Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/mmcblk0p1   *        2048       63487       30720    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/mmcblk0p2           63488     1983999      960256   83  Linux


mmcblk0p1 is /boot, formatted as VFAT and contains only script.bin and my uImage.
mmcblk0p2 is /, formatted as ext4.

I'm running Debian for armhf on my Banana Pi. To install Gentoo you should be able to download and extract the stage3 for armhf onto partition 2 of your SD card. Extract the modules for the uImage version you put in /boot into /lib/modules/ and that should be enough to boot your Banana Pi. If you're using the tar.bz2 that I made just mount the rootfs and /boot under it (say, as /tmp/bpi and /tmp/bpi/boot) and extract the archive to /tmp/bpi.

I would recommend setting up a cross-compilation environment to compile packages for the Banana Pi as the CPU isn't that powerful and cross-compilation will be a lot faster than compiling on the Banana Pi. There are some packages which simply cannot be compiled within the memory constraints of the Banana Pi, these include LibreOffice and Firefox.

I'm sorry that I cannot give you more information on setting up a cross-compilation environment on Gentoo. I haven't run Gentoo for several years so any knowledge I have on setting up a cross-compilation environment is really out of date.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply TZ6wl,

I'm almost done with the OS installation, as per http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0.

Cross compilation is already in place and I'm on way to install a "Binary Host Server" to avoid compilation on the bPI.

I'll not install LibreOffice or any end-user stuff as my bPI will replace my basement servers and will run Apache + PHP + PostgreSQL + basic network stuff (dhcpd, ntpd, ...) and some home made monitoring tools.

Next step ... test : boot :D
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's working VERY WELL :D :D :D
And from the 1st shoot w/o issue.

Yeah, I'm now login on the beast using SSH and will work on the system configuration.

To be short, the todo list in order to have a bootable system is :


  1. create a local overlay
  2. Code:
    crossdev --ov-output /usr/local/portage -S -v -t armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi
    to build the tool chain
  3. install needed tools
    Code:
    emerge dev-vcs/git dev-embedded/u-boot-tools sys-fs/dosfstools

  4. create a working area and get the BSP :
    Code:
    mkdir bPI
    cd bPI
    git clone https://github.com/LeMaker/bananapi-bsp.git
    cd bananapi-bsp/
    ./configure Bananapi

  5. change the compiler to the good one, in ./Makefile
    Quote:
    CROSS_COMPILE=armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi-

  6. Code:
    make
    and wait for a lllooonnggg time (download + lot compilations to do)
  7. everything has been built in build/Bananapi_hwpack/
    Code:
    ./build/Bananapi_hwpack/

  8. make a bootable card
    Code:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M count=1
    dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdb bs=1024 seek=8

  9. create partitions
    Code:
    fdisk /dev/sdb

    ---
    Commande (m pour l'aide) : n

    Type de partition :
       p   primaire (0 primaire(s), 0 étendue(s), 4 libre(s))
      e   étendue
    Sélection (p par défaut): p
    Numéro de partition (1-4, default 1): 1
    Premier secteur (2048-15523839, default 2048):
    Dernier secteur, +secteurs ou +taille{K,M,G,T,P} (2048-15523839, default 15523839): +64M

    Une nouvelle partition 1 de type « Linux » et de taille 64 MiB a été créée.

    Commande (m pour l'aide) : t
    Partition 1 sélectionnée
    Code Hexa (taper L pour afficher tous les codes) :c
    Si vous avez créé ou modifié une partition DOS 6.x, veuillez consulter la documentation de fdisk pour de plus amples renseignements.
    Type de partition « Linux » modifié en « W95 FAT32 (LBA) ».

    Commande (m pour l'aide) : a
    Partition 1 sélectionnée
    The bootable flag on partition 1 is enabled now.

    Commande (m pour l'aide) : n

    Type de partition :
       p   primaire (1 primaire(s), 0 étendue(s), 3 libre(s))
      e   étendue
    Sélection (p par défaut): p
    Numéro de partition (2-4, default 2):
    Premier secteur (133120-15523839, default 133120):
    Dernier secteur, +secteurs ou +taille{K,M,G,T,P} (133120-15523839, default 15523839):

    Une nouvelle partition 2 de type « Linux » et de taille 7,3 GiB a été créée.

    Commande (m pour l'aide) : w
    La table de partitions a été altérée.
    Appel d'ioctl() pour relire la table de partitions.
    Synchronisation des disques.
    ---
    mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
    mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdb2

  10. mount them
    Code:
    mkdir /mnt/gentoo
    mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/gentoo
    mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
    mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/gentoo/boot/

  11. install Gentoo
    Code:
    wget http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/arm/autobuilds/current-stage3-armv7a_hardfp/stage3-armv7a_hardfp-20140819.tar.bz2
    wget http://distfiles.gentoo.org/snapshots/portage-latest.tar.bz2
    tar xfpjv stage3-armv7a_hardfp-20140819.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/gentoo/
    tar xjfv portage-latest.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/gentoo/usr

  12. install boot stuffs
    Code:

    cd Bananapi_hwpack
    cp kernel/* /mnt/gentoo/boot/
    cp -r rootfs/lib/* /mnt/gentoo/lib

  13. remove root password from /mnt/gentoo/etc/shadow
  14. modify /mnt/gentoo/etc/fstab
    Code:
    /dev/mmcblk0p1          /boot           auto            noauto,noatime  1 2
    /dev/mmcblk0p2          /               ext3            noatime         0 1
    #/dev/SWAP              none            swap            sw              0 0

  15. umount everything
  16. boot the bPI and ... voila :D
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well some feedback after a day of hacking ...

For the moment, I don't have an hard drive (waiting for the postman :) ), I've put /var/tmp/portage in RAM as well as /tmp to avoid to stress the SD.

I did some installation, and the result is pretty good : it's clear it's not an I5, but the performance (at least during locale emerge phases) looks better than my old Athlon 1 Ghz.

So all in all, I'm happy with this box.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When running 'make' in the bananapi-bsp directory I get the following error during the linux-bananapi compilation:

MKDIR output/lib/firmware/emi26/
make[3]: *** No rule to make target `output/lib/firmware/./', needed by `output/lib/firmware/ti_3410.fw'. Stop.
make[3]: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....
MKDIR output/lib/firmware/emi62/
MKDIR output/lib/firmware/kaweth/
make[2]: *** [_modinst_post] Error 2
make[1]: *** [sub-make] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/robin/banana/bananapi-bsp/linux-bananapi'
make: *** [linux] Error 2


Any idea how to fix this?
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Did you followed the procedure above ? If so, I didn't face this issue, so it's probably upstream did an update which is not working. So I suggest to retry in few days or check with them :wink:

By the way, there is now a Gentoo image in LeMaker's website (but I have to admit I prefer building my own system :wink: ), and will probably put my bootstrap binaries in few days.
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robindv
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I followed the exact same procedure as you described. Downloading an image isn't as much fun as building your own system :)

When following the manual procedures here it just works: http://wiki.lemaker.org/Building_u-boot,_script.bin_and_linux-kernel#Building_the_kernel

I've submitted a bug report ;)
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, please keep us updated :D
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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

if someone is interested with BananaPI, I found this interesting link about performances improvement :
http://linux-sunxi.org/Optimizing_system_performance

I didn't played with that for the moment, as I own only one card and it is used as head of my home network + website serving.

Bye

Laurent
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bkifft
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the tips fellas, got my banana up and running without a hitch :)

Let me contribute in return: boot parameters to disable/lower GPU memory when running as a headless server.

The kernel is built with (paraphrased): "If config file, config file entries supersede hard coded parameters".
Thus when creating the config file (/boot/uEnv.txt) remember to add the required parameters, too.

E.g. minimal GPU mem (resulting in 986 MB available memory):
Code:
bananaPi boot # cat uEnv.txt
console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/mmc0p1 rw init=/init loglevel=8 sunxi_fb_mem_reserve=16 sunxi_no_mali_mem_reserve sunxi_g2d_mem_reserve=0 sunxi_ve_mem_reserve=0

(Up to including loglevel=8 are the default settings)

Continue having fun with this great board. :)
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