Installing Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain in Debian

I had previously installed Sourcery G++ ARM Linux toolchain in Ubuntu to build some software running in Debian, but I encountered some issues with some libraries (libavg) that use gethostbyname in static libraries without any easy way to make it dynamic. In that case, the library in the rootfs and cross-compiler must match.  So I decided to install Debian Squeeze (6.0.3) and the corresponding cross-toolchain by Emdebian (short for Embedded Debian). First to use this toolchain, add the URL to get Emdebian packages to /etc/apt/sources.list: # # — Emdebian cross toolchains # deb http://www.emdebian.org/debian/ squeeze main Then install Emdebian public key: apt-get install emdebian-archive-keyring apt-get update If you don’t install the key, you’ll get the following error: W: GPG error: http://www.emdebian.org squeeze Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY B5B7720097BB3B58 Search and install packages for the architecture that you need, in this case ‘armel’: apt-cache search armel This command will return a …

Raspberry Pi Beta Boards Are Being Auctioned

The Raspberry Pi foundation has setup an Ebay account and made some of the Raspberry Pi Beta Board Model B (Ethernet + 256 MB RAM) available on Ebay. This is for charity so you won’t be able to get them for 35 USD… The current bid is 1,320.00 GBP (2050 USD). They’ll add 2 boards on Ebay each day. The goal of this auction is to gather funds in order to hire a full-time staff and give as many Raspberry Pi away to kids as possible. If you win the bid, you’ll get one of the 10 boards for sale, a USB power, an SD card with Debian, and some kind of certificate showing you were one of the first to get a board. If you are interested, you can bid at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-Pi-Model-B-beta-board-10-limited-series-10-/180786734741?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a17baa695

Remmina : Remote Connection via RDP, VNC, SSH, XDMCP or SFTP

If you need to connect to both Windows and Linux machines remotely,  Remmina is what you need. It is an application that can remotely connect to server using VNC, SSH, XDMCP, SFTP and RDP protocols. So that you can connect to a Windows machine using the default RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) protocol without installing a VNC server. In the screenshot below I setup a Windows RDP and a VNC connection to 192.168.0.102. There are plenty of options. Here’s a screenshot of Remote Desktop Preferences for the RDP client. To install in an Ubuntu or Debian distribution: sudo apt-get install remmina To install it in Fedora: sudo yum install remmina

Using Raspberry Pi as an Internet Kiosk

Following up on this morning post explaining how to get the kernel and minimal rootfs to run debian in qemu emulating an ARM1176 processor, I’ll show how to make a minimal rootfs to run Chrome browser in this platform. I tested it in QEMU, but this should also run on the Raspberry Pi hardware. First, you’ll have to complete the step I provided in Raspberry Pi Emulator in Ubuntu with Qemu. Start qemu: sudo qemu-system-arm -M versatilepb -cpu arm1176 -m 256 -hda rootfs.ext2 -kernel zImage -append “root=/dev/sda” -serial stdio Once you login to the console as root, create a new user (e.g guest): adduser guest This user will be needed to login with the graphical interface and ssh. In order to get an Internet Kiosk, we’ll need a web browser (Chromium) and a window manger. I chose fluxbox instead of gnome because of the size difference (8651 KB vs 1739 MB). I installed the required package in qemu with apt-get: …

Raspberry Pi Emulator in Ubuntu with Qemu

The Raspberry Pi board is a low cost board based on Broadcom BCM2835 media processor SoC with an ARM1176JZF-S core clocked at 700MHz. This board is currently under development and should be ready by end of November, beginning of December and will be sold for 25 USD (128MB RAM – no Ethernet) and 35 USD (256MB RAM – Ethernet). While we are waiting for the board, we can still test software using qemu to emulate a board based on an ARM1176 core with 128MB or 256 MB memory. I’ve tried to create a rootfs based on Ubuntu with rootstock but this only support processors with ARM cortex A8 and greater, so it would not work with ARM11. I’ll be using Debian Squeeze instead. Prerequisites My host computer is running Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS, but any recent Ubuntu or Debian installation should work with these instructions. [Update: You won’t be able to install qemu-linaro in Debian.  [Update in update: Apparently in the …

Dropbear: Lightweight SSH Server / Client

You may need to remotely access your embedded device, or your embedded systems is simply headless. You could use telnet, but this is insecure. A secure way to access a device remotly is to use SSH protocol. OpenSSH is one implementation but this is relatively too large and may use uncesary space on a device with limited storage. That’s where Dropbear comes into play. Dropbear is a lightweight implementation of an SSH client and server and is ideal for embedded systems. Dropbear ARM executable is only 200 KB. Here’s how it’s described on its website: Dropbear is a relatively small SSH 2 server and client. It runs on a variety of POSIX-based platforms. Dropbear is open source software, distributed under a MIT-style license. Dropbear is particularly useful for “embedded”-type Linux (or other Unix) systems, such as wireless routers. The main features of dropbear: A small memory footprint suitable for memory-constrained environments – Dropbear can compile to a110kB statically linked binary …

Emulate an ARM Plaform with QEMU on Ubuntu 10.10

When developing software for embedded systems, you may need to support multiple architectures such as  arm, mips, x86, powerpc, alpha etc.. but you may not have the hardware required on hand to test them. This is where QEMU – a processor emulator – comes to the rescue. In a way, QEMU is similar to VirtualBox, VMWare or Citrix Xendeskop except it can support multiple architectures. I’ll show how to run Debian Lenny ARMEL in QEMU on a computer running Ubuntu 10.10 (aka Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat). QEMU (Qemu-kvm) Installation First install qemu-kvm and qemu-kvm-extras (the latter contains qemu-system-arm): sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm qemu-kvm-extras Let’s check qemu version: [email protected]:~/edev$ qemu –version QEMU PC emulator version 0.12.5 (qemu-kvm-0.12.5), Copyright (c) 2003-2008 Fabrice Bellard Debian ARM Installation in QEMU Create a directory to store the required files for the emulator and  download the Debian Lenny ARMEL kernel (vmlinuz) and debian installer rootfs (initrd.gz): mkdir ~/arm-emul cd ~/arm-emul wget ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/installer-armel/current/images/versatile/netboot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-versatile wget ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/installer-armel/current/images/versatile/netboot/initrd.gz Create a raw …