Author Topic: Linux on Nspire?  (Read 10836 times)

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Offline alberthrocks

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Linux on Nspire?
« on: March 01, 2011, 11:30:35 pm »
Initially started on IRC, Jonimus has suggested that you can get Linux on the Nspire, since it's ARM (Linux supported), and that doing such a thing doesn't require modifying boot1/boot2/OS. ;) Of course, it will modify memory, reset parts of the HW, etc. to get it working, but other than that, it's definitely possible. Run a ndless program, and you're off! ;)

Some other notes:
= Look at Harlet/Lab Boot/uBoot and base the bootloader off them
= Use Angstrom Linux for the distro
= We need to know exact HW specs for Nspire (including memory mappings, LCD controller, etc.), and potentially find a dev board that has similar HW and use software provided with that dev board

So, can we do it? :D

Quote from: Jonimus
Edit: Also lets keep this thread about the kernel and bootloader, we can figure out where to put the rootfs later.

EDIT by DJ_O: Appended Jonimus quote so people can see. Members cannot enforce rules about what is discussed in a thread, but I'M adding this so it won't drift away from the main topic too much.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 12:27:04 am by DJ_O »
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Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 11:32:49 pm »
I think the easiest way, storage wise, would be to boot off an sd card hooked to the base. That way, size constraints are much less of an issue, since you don't have to pack it into ~10MB so it fits, leaving ~10MB for all your stuff.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 11:33:28 pm by willrandship »

Offline JonimusPrime

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 11:36:01 pm »
Step 1 and 3 are the big things, we can choose a distro or roll our own once we have something booting.

If we can find a similar board with at least close memory mapping and hardware we will save huge amounts of time and work. Currently afaik non of us know enough to start from scratch so this is where I think we should start.

Edit: Also lets keep this thread about the kernel and bootloader, we can figure out where to put the rootfs later.

Also space concerns on a non issue, busybox easily fits on routers with 2MB's of flash we so we have plenty of space.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 12:25:31 am by DJ_O »

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Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 11:37:30 pm »
Fine :P Hackspire has a lot of serial #s from teardowns, as does Datamath.

It also has a TON of mem maps, that's like half the site :P
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 11:38:47 pm by willrandship »

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 11:38:18 pm »
Would Linux need to be reinstalled every reboot, since it would not be an entire new OS installed like the real OS 2.1, for example? Or would it do like the 1337sp33k mod by Compu? It would be nice if we could have OS patches that basically overwritten the OS and installed Linux.

Offline JonimusPrime

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 11:42:56 pm »
I know nothing about the hardware itself other than it is arm9 so while I am willing to poke at the kernel a bit we'll need someone who is more of an expert on the hardware to at least point us in the right direction.

hackenspire has a lot of good information but finding at least what arm "platform" it is based off of will give me a starting point for linux. If it is entirely custom then we might as well stop here as I personally don't have enough knowledge nor the time to start from the ground up and nor does anyone else here afaik.

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Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 11:45:05 pm »
It's prob not, considering it's got an existing OS on it :P

Offline ruler501

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 11:46:23 pm »
We need the OS signing key so we can create a Linux OS and get the calc to accept and install it. who here can quickly factor 1024 bit RSA encryption?
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Offline JonimusPrime

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 11:46:52 pm »
DJ_O that is out of scope of this thread. Once we have a working kernel we can decide those logistics but without the kernel any other speculation of how things will work is pointless.

But in response to your question:
For booting Linux on a Windows Mobile device you can either install linux to replace Windows Mobile or you can use what is called a chain loader to boot Linux from Windows Mobile so that you can still use both, we'd most likely go with this second option.

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Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 11:46:54 pm »
@ruler no, that's only for boot. This is from ndless
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 11:47:25 pm by willrandship »

Offline ruler501

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2011, 11:50:09 pm »
OK I thought you were making it save space and make an awesome calculator that ran Linux.

-reads more- Now I understand what this is about never mind my above post. this is like the TI-89 loading a PC right?
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Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2011, 11:54:39 pm »
What? It'd be like having KOS as an App, if that helps...not sure about the PC thing.

Offline JonimusPrime

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 12:02:46 am »
To clarify this thread should be about getting the Linux kernel booting on the Nspire if you don't know what that means or you are not familiar with the Nspire hardware, ARM devices in general, the linux kernel, or arm bootloaders than this thread is not of interest to you. If you cannot contribute in one of those areas please keep this thread clear of unneeded cruft. Encouragement and questions are good except when they drown out the conversation and content the thread is intended to contain.

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 12:09:14 am »
DJ_O that is out of scope of this thread. Once we have a working kernel we can decide those logistics but without the kernel any other speculation of how things will work is pointless.

But in response to your question:
For booting Linux on a Windows Mobile device you can either install linux to replace Windows Mobile or you can use what is called a chain loader to boot Linux from Windows Mobile so that you can still use both, we'd most likely go with this second option.
Ok fine, then. I don't think we should single out anyone from the thread, though, as no Omnimaga rules allows some users to be excluded from a thread. Let's not badmouth people everytime they post something that isn't spam/trolling on next pages, otherwise it might be best to just move the discussion on Cemetech, UTI or something, or simply move the thread out of the ideas section (Other calculator discussion and news?). After all, this is the projects/ideas section, where people are allowed to post ideas. I think people should be allowed to ask questions, as this would increase the project audience. A sub-forum might eventually solve this, though.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 12:19:36 am by DJ_O »

Offline willrandship

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Re: Linux on Nspire?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 12:19:23 am »
Yeah, I'm semi familiar. Maybe a good start would be getting ahold of a good kernel base to start with. The terminal can run off the serial for all I care, really the proof of concept must come first, then we can build from there.

Also, I don't see X11 on the nspire, myself. Maybe a severely cut down version, but not in its current state by any means. Besides, what's the point, when really, all we need is a decent shell to get us from prog to prog, and who knows, if it's slow enough we could get long enough batt. life to run it continuously! :)