embedded filesystem packages & package tools

embedded filesystem packages & package tools

Post by Troy Caubl » Sat, 11 May 2002 08:23:21



Recently I've been wrestling with the Hardhat tools & packages
for an embedded PPC system I'm working on.

I'll be brief and say the Hardhat tools are insufficient.

I'm about to fall back to file lists and a Makefile
script that will cherry-pick the files I want from the
Hardhat distro and my own files.

Are there any better packages or packaging tools out there for
small embedded systems.  (I know about busybox & tinylogin.)

-troy

 
 
 

embedded filesystem packages & package tools

Post by Wolfgang Den » Sat, 11 May 2002 19:55:42



>Recently I've been wrestling with the Hardhat tools & packages
>for an embedded PPC system I'm working on.
>I'll be brief and say the Hardhat tools are insufficient.

You are too brief here; in fact there is little to complain about the
quality of their tools. If you have problems, you're  probably  doing
something wrong.

Quote:>Are there any better packages or packaging tools out there for
>small embedded systems.  (I know about busybox & tinylogin.)

Maybe our SELF (Simple Embedded Linux  Framework)  is  more  to  your
liking; see ftp://ftp.denx.de/pub/LinuxPPC/usr/src/SELF/

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
Always try to do things in chronological order; it's  less  confusing
that way.

 
 
 

embedded filesystem packages & package tools

Post by Troy Caubl » Sun, 12 May 2002 00:34:15



:>Recently I've been wrestling with the Hardhat tools & packages
:>for an embedded PPC system I'm working on.

:>I'll be brief and say the Hardhat tools are insufficient.

: You are too brief here; in fact there is little to complain about the
: quality of their tools. If you have problems, you're  probably  doing
: something wrong.

Sigh.  Feel free to enlighten me.  Here are some of the issues I've
had with Hardhat TCT (2.0 release).  Hardhat support has acknowledged
them and suggested that I fix them by hand, which I've done for most
of the cases.  But it's not what I was hoping for from their tools.

  Specifying the netbase package, which includes little essentials
  like /etc/services, drags in PERL at a total cost of 16 MB.

  The initscripts package includes startup scripts that don't play
  well with some of the busybox utils.  Some of these scripts
  aren't really appropriate for a ramdisk based system anyway.

  The two levels of dependencies (rpms and TCT) are a pain.
  For example, you discover that the busybox find is not sufficient.
  You then have to get out of TCT, remove the busybox-find rpm,
  load the findutils rpm, get back into TCT and clean things up
  there.

  Several of the packages I need contain large elements I don't
  need.  I'm going to have to do a lot more hand work to really
  trim the elements down to the minimal files needed to support
  our application.

  Initially, I was disappointed that TCT just put out a tar file
  rather than building a ramdisk image or an kernel/initrd image.
  But now that I've written a Makefile for that, I think it probably
  best lives in our make process.

Reading over what I've just written, I realize that I could solve
some of my issues by scrapping TCT and just managing content via
the rpms.

On the other hand I have no complaints with the kernel they provided.

:>Are there any better packages or packaging tools out there for
:>small embedded systems.  (I know about busybox & tinylogin.)

: Maybe our SELF (Simple Embedded Linux  Framework)  is  more  to  your
: liking; see ftp://ftp.denx.de/pub/LinuxPPC/usr/src/SELF/

The README (and the related website) look intriguing.
Thanks for the pointer.

-troy

 
 
 

embedded filesystem packages & package tools

Post by Wolfgang Den » Sun, 12 May 2002 04:57:32



>:>I'll be brief and say the Hardhat tools are insufficient.
...
>Sigh.  Feel free to enlighten me.  Here are some of the issues I've
>had with Hardhat TCT (2.0 release).  Hardhat support has acknowledged
>them and suggested that I fix them by hand, which I've done for most
>of the cases.  But it's not what I was hoping for from their tools.

Maybe  you  are  requesting  too  much?  Tools  like  the  MV  Target
Configuration  Tool will always be less efficient than an expert...

Quote:>  Specifying the netbase package, which includes little essentials
>  like /etc/services, drags in PERL at a total cost of 16 MB.

This is one of the general problems of all these tools: they have  to
groupt  tools  into  packages,  and the unavoidable dependencies will
blow up the total size beyound  what  is  really  needed  for  _your_
specific target system.

Quote:>  The initscripts package includes startup scripts that don't play
>  well with some of the busybox utils.  Some of these scripts
>  aren't really appropriate for a ramdisk based system anyway.

The SYSV init concept is more or  less  complete  overkill  for  most
embedded  systems;  don't use it, then. Busybox can easily do without
it.

Quote:>  Several of the packages I need contain large elements I don't
>  need.  I'm going to have to do a lot more hand work to really
>  trim the elements down to the minimal files needed to support
>  our application.

This is the wrong approach anyway. When you have to try to "trim" any
existent configuration you have already lost. In my  experience,  the
only  reliable  way  is to start with an EMPTY system and just adding
the parts that are necessary for your target - but on a by-file base,
not package-wise.

You have two options:

* Either you are a beginner who doesn't know how to buils an embedded
  configuration; then you can use tools  like  MV's  TCT  which  will
  result  in a system that most probably will be working, at the cost
  of some overhead. If you want to  optimize  this  system,  hire  an
  expert.

* If you know what you need, then don't use such  tools,  just  build
  the  system  with  the minimum of necessary files manually. This is
  the only way to give you complete controll over what you are doing.

Quote:>Reading over what I've just written, I realize that I could solve
>some of my issues by scrapping TCT and just managing content via
>the rpms.

The standard RPMs cannot be used if you want to  build  an  optimized
system (minimum memory footprint).

You have to trade  off  memory  footprint  against  effort  spent  on
configuring  the  system; the easier the configuration the bigger the
result ;-)

Quote:>On the other hand I have no complaints with the kernel they provided.
>: Maybe our SELF (Simple Embedded Linux  Framework)  is  more  to  your
>: liking; see ftp://ftp.denx.de/pub/LinuxPPC/usr/src/SELF/
>The README (and the related website) look intriguing.

At least if gives you complete controll about the things you add - at
the cost of missing tool support for the configuration part.

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
If I had to live my life again,  I'd  make  the  same  mistakes, only
sooner.                                          -- Tallulah Bankhead

 
 
 

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