Cross-compiling FreeRDP Windows Remote Desktop Client for ARM Linux (in Debian/Ubuntu)

Last month, I wrote the instructions to Cross-compile VMWare View for ARM Linux as I intended to “run” Windows 8 in an ARM client (most likely the Raspberry Pi) via PCoIP. However, the procedure to do so seems slightly complicated and requires to purchase a specific VMWare server software (VMware vSphere 5) or download a free trial. The good news is that there are other options such as VNC or RDP (Remote Desktop protocol) and Remmina, a Remote Connection client is available for Linux. As nothing is ever simple, another issue occured: if you are using a stable release of Linux (e.g. Debian Squeeze, Ubuntu 11.10) they come with older version of Remmina and either the connection is successful but the display is garbled (Version 0.7.x) either it crashes when connecting to Windows 8 via RDP (Version 0.8.x). The latest version (Remmina 1.0.0) fixes the problem and is available in Debian sid. Since I just want to connect via RDP, …

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How to Install Windows 8 in Linux with QEMU

Microsoft has just released Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Here’s a method to install Windows 8 in Linux using KVM and Qemu. You can use this beta version of Windows 8 until the 15th of January 2013, after which it will be unusable. Here are the requirements to install Windows 8: 1 GHz Processor or greater 1 GB RAM 20 GB free storage for the 64-bit version Before you start, make sure your processor supports Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) or AMD’s AMD V CPU virtualization extensions. Type this command to check vmx or svm flags: If this is the case, you can install KVM. Type the following command for a RPM based distribution such as Fedora: or the following command for Debian or Ubuntu: Then download the ISO image of Windows 8 on Microsoft website (64-bit version) : Create a 20 GB virtual hard drive to install Windows 8: Then start the virtual machine with qemu-kvm and the correct parameters: Here’s …

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Raspberry Pi Releases 1st SD Card Image (Debian) – How-to use it in QEMU

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released the first SD Card Image that you will be able to use with your Raspberry Pi board. This image is based on Debian Squeeze (6.0) and comes with  LXDE user interface and Midori browser, development tools, and sample code for accessing the multimedia functionality on the device. You can download it using BitTorrent: debian6-17-02-2012.zip.torrent (preferred method) or via one of the many http mirrors available on RPi Community page. This image contains all necessary files including the binary blob and closed source libraries, the kernel and the root file systems. If you want to to prepare an SD Card with this image simply use dd in Linux: unzip debian6-17-02-2012.zip sudo dd if=debian6-17-02-2012/debian6-17-02-2012.img of={sd_card_path} where sd_card_path is the device pointing to you SD Card (e.g. /dev/sdc). Make sure you use the correct device (e.g. with fdisk -l) or you may wipeout your hard drive with this command. Since most of us (including myself), don’t …

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Debian is Worth a Lot (Yet it’s Free) and C/C++ Language Still Rules

James E. Bromberger (JEB) , a contributor to Perl CPAN and Debian, has estimated the cost of developing Debian Wheezy (7.0) from scratch based on the the number of lines of code (LOC) counted with SLOCCount tool, the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO) and the average wage of a developer of 72,533 USD (using median estimates from Salary.com and PayScale.com for 2011). He found 419,776,604 lines of code in 31 programming languages giving an estimated cost of producing Debian Wheezy in February 2012 of 19 billion US dollar (14.4 Billion Euros), making each package source code (out of the 17,141 packages) worth an average of 1,112,547.56 USD to produce. He also estimated the cost of Linux 3.1.8 Kernel with almost 10 millions lines of source code would be worth 540 million USD at standard complexity, or 1.877 billions USD when rated as ‘complex’. I don’t know which tool he used for the calculation (maybe his own), but there are two simple …

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Cross-compiling VMWare View for ARM Linux (in Debian/Ubuntu)

Earlier this month, I wrote an article about PCoIP Technology which shows an Android application (VMWare View) running on an OMAP4 Tablet displaying a Windows 7 desktop. This remote desktop technology relies on a powerful server to do the processing and thin clients (in that case Tablets) to display the desktop. Since only pixels are transferred any OS (supported by the server) could be displayed in the thin client. That made me wonder if there was an open source PCoIP client that could run on low end Linux client such as the Raspberry Pi. VMWare View Open Client provides just what we need, but is only available in source code so we need to cross-compile it for ARM or build it in an ARM machine. Today, I’ll show the instructions I followed to cross-compile it for ARM in Debian using Emdebian Toolchain. First download and extract VMware View Open Client 4.5 source code: Install some tools on the build machine: …

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Yocto Project Quick Start Guide for Ubuntu

Yocto is an embedded Linux build system used to create a Linux distribution for a specific application/board combination. I’ll describe 2 methods to get started: Building and running  a qemu image for x86 from scratch Using pre-built binaries to run the x86 image in qemu This is a shorter version of the longish Yocto Project’s Quick Start Guide. The official guide is more complete (explains all details) and give instructions for several distributions, whereas this guide simply lists each step and is focused on Ubuntu. So you could use this guide to start the build, and during the build (which will last a while), read the official guide to actually understand how it all works.   Prerequisites First, you need to use bash instead of dash in Ubuntu: and select “No” to use bash. Then install the required packages with apt-get: Building and running a qemu image for x86 from scratch Download and extract the latest version of Yocto: Setup …

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Xibo Digital Signage in Raspberry Pi Emulator (Step 1)

Xibo (pronounced eX-E-bO) is an open source, multi-display, multi-zone, fully scheduled digital signage client/server solution written in Python and dotNET. If you are not familiar with Xibo you can visit http://xibo.org.uk/ or/and read my introduction XIBO: An Open Source Digital Signage Server/Client. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost board based on Broadcom BCM2835 (ARM1176 Core) that should be available for sale at the end of January / beginning of February at http://www.raspberrypi.com. There are two versions of the board: Model A: 128 MB RAM and no Ethernet Model B: 256 MB RAM with 10/100 Mbit Ethernet BCM 2835 also features a Videocore GPU supporting OpenGL and 1080p30 video decoding that makes it ideal for multimedia applications such as digital signage players. The board support both HDMI and composite video output. You should also be able to connect a LCD via the DSI interface. If we can make Xibo run on Raspberry Pi, we would have a low cost digital …

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Cross-compiling libavg 1.7 for ARM on Debian

libavg is a high-level development platform for media-centric applications using Python as scripting language and written in C++ and I’ve already written a post to cross-compile libavg 1.6 in Ubuntu (with linaro cross toolchain) and using Beagleboard qemu image. Since I’ve doing some preparation work to have software running on the Raspberry Pi and that the latter won’t support Ubuntu, I’ve had to cross-compile it again. This time, I’ve found a cleaner way to do the cross-compilation with dpkg-cross and xapt tools which can load the required armel package to the arm toolchain. Those tools really make life easy, as previously (a few years ago), I would have had to cross-compile all dependencies manually. Here are the steps I followed: Install Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain and Tools in Debian. Download libavg 1.7 source code Extract it Install the following armel development packages: sudo /usr/share/pdebuild-cross/xapt -a armel libpango1.0-dev libavformat-dev libavcodec-dev libswscale-dev python2.6-dev libboost-python-dev libboost-thread-dev libglu-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libgtk2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libsdl-dev libxml2-dev libxxf86vm-dev …

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