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Arm64 operating systems for the Raspberry Pi 3

Started by gameblabla, December 29, 2016, 12:21:29 am

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gameblabla

December 29, 2016, 12:21:29 am Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 12:34:42 am by gameblabla
So yesterday, i finally got my Raspberry Pi 3 and the first thing i did was to install the Devuan rootfs file on it.
But like @Streetwalrus said, i was going to be disappointed because it simply doesn't have VC4 or the proprietary drivers, only framebuffer support.
I have no idea how to compile VC4's driver for X11 so needless to say, i started to look at other options.
First, i tried the Tumbleweed and Leap OpenSUSE images and they don't work... they just won't boot.
OpenSUSE said the images were experimental so they probably do not work.

Only the option left i have is SUSE Entreprise Server, which is known to work but i can't download it on my slow connection so this won't do it. (for now)

So i lowered my expectations and stared to look for armv7hf images instead.
The only oses i found were Void Linux and Ubuntu Mate.

Does Void Linux have VC4 support ? 'cause like devuan, it's too small to be true...
Ubuntu Mate, i'm downloading it right now but man is it huge. I'm not sure if it will fit on my 8GB sdcard.
Plus it's kind of CPU hungry and it's locked wth systemd, so i can't strip it down as much as i would like to.

Gentoo can be compiled for Arm64 with VC4 but i have not found a rootfs file out there.
If anyone can share his gentoo installation then please, i would like to have it.
I really don't have time (or the connection) to compile it.

I also really, REALLY, don't want to use Raspbian as it is only optimized for armel and thus, it cripples the performance of my RPI3.

What options do i have ?

Juju

I recently saw Arch Linux Arm finally have RPi3 support with a 64-bit kernel, last time I tried I had to install the RPi2 image, you might want to check that out.
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gameblabla

Quote from: Juju on December 29, 2016, 12:34:03 am
I recently saw Arch Linux Arm finally have RPi3 support with a 64-bit kernel, last time I tried I had to install the RPi2 image, you might want to check that out.

Oh, thanks juju. I see they have an ARM64 rootfs file for download, i will check this out.
I will let you know guys if it works well.

I hope this has VC4 available tho

Juju

It should be available, as far as I know. It comes with mostly all the Raspberry Pi drivers, you might have to mess with the config file.
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gameblabla

I followed their instructions and i got it to work !
It has VC4 available, as you said and 3D works.
Arch Linux eats a lot of memory tho... i will surely go back to Devuan when they get a VC4 driver.
Many thanks juju !

I need to buy an external power supply though... 1A just won't cut it :(

DJ Omnimaga


Streetwalrus

This is sadly the way the arm ecosystem is, riddled with binary blobs and limited interest from the community to improve the situation.
It's been so long, yet xrender is still not accelerated and Wayland is way too immature to be relevant (it does enable very fast compositing though).
GLES works, but considering the laughable performance of the CPU, it's not interesting anyway.

gameblabla

Quote from: Streetwalrus on December 29, 2016, 01:22:00 pm
This is sadly the way the arm ecosystem is, riddled with binary blobs and limited interest from the community to improve the situation.

You are right, most arm boards are riddled with these and most of them don't even have a free gpu driver available,
with the notable exception of the Raspberry Pis.
Which is why i bought a Raspberry Pi 3, as this was the most-free arm board out there that is equipped with an Arm64 cpu.
It's not fully free but at least there are some efforts to reverse-engineer the firmware.

Quote from: Streetwalrus on December 29, 2016, 01:22:00 pm
It's been so long, yet xrender is still not accelerated and Wayland is way too immature to be relevant (it does enable very fast compositing though).

Thankfully for me, I'm not really interested in compositing or accelerated 2D rendering.
It might be an issue though if one wants to run a full desktop :p

Quote from: Streetwalrus on December 29, 2016, 01:22:00 pm
GLES works, but considering the laughable performance of the CPU, it's not interesting anyway.

The CPU is no Intel, i agree.
But i kind of hate like how every OS for it tries to be a full desktop with lots of useless services and this is boging down the poor pi.
Devuan was really smooth for me and it only took 60MB of RAM with JWM, while the& same desktop on Arm Linux ARM takes 260Mb :/
But devuan does not have VC4 so that sucks monkey f*** lol

Any tips on making Arm Linux more lightweight ?
Can i switch to OpenRC or runit ?

Streetwalrus

You can probably get openrc on arch, some people have been doing it but I don't really know the details, can't be bothered with it. I run it with systemd***s on my pi2 and it only uses 50MB of ram lol (headless though, it only runs a few network services).

Juju

Yeah, if you don't run anything but systemd, networking and whatever necessary to get a shell, it easily runs with 50 MB of RAM. Just watch out for systemd-journald, which is a bit hungry.
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Streetwalrus


Juju

That or you just run a busybox, I think it comes with a suitable init program.

If you want a small system, I guesd you can also try buildroot.
Read Zarmina!
YUKI-CHAAAANNNN
In the beginning there was walrii. In the end there will be walrii. All hail our supreme leader :walrii: --Snektron



if you wanna throw money at me and/or CodeWalrus monthly it's here

DJ Omnimaga

Quote from: Streetwalrus on December 29, 2016, 01:22:00 pm
This is sadly the way the arm ecosystem is, riddled with binary blobs and limited interest from the community to improve the situation.

Maybe this means it's time to switch to ez80? Look at how popular ez80 calculators are compared to ARM ones :trollface:

Juju

Eh, depends of what your application would be. The Internet of Things is a rather big thing nowadays, and chips manufactured for that are not really made for gaming and stuff like that. This includes most chips aimed for development, like the Raspberry Pi and anything not in desktops, laptops and phones, most people are not really interested making a real good OpenGL implementation that can do more than streaming 1080p videos for on-screen displays (OSD). Of course, the Raspberry Pi is popular enough people might try using it as a desktop, so there's drivers for that, but otherwise it's probably more used headless with scripts that blink LEDs running, same for the BeagleBone and other stuff like that.

I'd also like to see one of those dev boards but with an ez80, just for kicks. I'm not sure they ever made any powerful chips based on that, but that would be interesting. Of course nowadays ARM wins that market (and Atmel chips for those cases you only need blinking LEDs), but it's always interesting to see other CPUs out there.
Read Zarmina!
YUKI-CHAAAANNNN
In the beginning there was walrii. In the end there will be walrii. All hail our supreme leader :walrii: --Snektron



if you wanna throw money at me and/or CodeWalrus monthly it's here

Vogtinator

QuoteFirst, i tried the Tumbleweed and Leap OpenSUSE images and they don't work... they just won't boot.
OpenSUSE said the images were experimental so they probably do not work.


openSUSE Leap 42.2 images use the same code as SLES, so you probably did something wrong there.
The Tumbleweed image uses the upstream kernel without any patches, so in theory it should work,
but in practive too much stuff is missing or broken.

QuoteBut like @Streetwalrus said, i was going to be disappointed because it simply doesn't have VC4 or the proprietary drivers, only framebuffer support.
I have no idea how to compile VC4's driver for X11 so needless to say, i started to look at other options.


There seems to be some confusion here. VC4 is just the name of the chip. There are three options to use it:

* Framebuffer only, using the mailbox protocol (vc4 kernel module not loaded)
* Proprietary driver, replacing system libs ("rpi-userland"): Known to not work properly on aarch64 anyway
* FOSS VC4 driver in mesa: Works well enough for a few OpenGL apps, but unstable

X just needs modesetting, so if vc4 is loaded it just works (tm).
I'm running my RPi3 headless anyway so I just use the first option.

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