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kreck90

kernel for x86 vs ARM and different repos

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Hi all,

 

First let me thank you for your work. Armbian is fantastic. Thank you.

 

I’m surprised that nobody has asked this question or at least I’m unable to find it on the forum / in docs.

 

My understanding is:
1. Debian x86 Linux kernel is same on all devices since regardless if it is laptop or server, it has BIOS or UEFI that will ”tell” the kernel what hardware, what buses, what addresses, etc. it has…

2. ARM boards don’t have BIOS and therefore Linux Kernel is different for every board.

 

I checked that on my Orange Pi Zero by default the /etc/apt/source.list and /etc/apt/source.list.d/ are default Debian repos and one Armbian repo. Poking around in https://apt.armbian.com/pool/main/l/ using Firefox I found a lot of kernels which leads me into the following assumption.

 

My assumption is Linux Kernel and packages armbian-config, armbian-firmware and armbian-tools-buster are updated from http://apt.armbian.com/ and everything else from Debian repository.

 

Could you please tell me am I right or is the topic more complicated?


Thank you.

 

Kind regards,
Karel

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1 hour ago, kreck90 said:

My assumption is Linux Kernel and packages armbian-config, armbian-firmware and armbian-tools-buster are updated from http://apt.armbian.com/ and everything else from Debian repository.


Yes. Debian/Ubuntu/... upstream support for those boards is between non-existing, terrible, generic.

 

1 hour ago, kreck90 said:

ARM boards don’t have BIOS and therefore Linux Kernel is different for every board.

 

It's more complicated. ARM boards have all different way of loading some boot loader. Boot loader and all below is hw specifics, while kernel can theoretically be the same. In reality we do have more kernels families since we can't merge them yet without loosing lots of functionalities. In a few years ... in very short.

 

1 hour ago, kreck90 said:

I’m surprised that nobody has asked this question or at least I’m unable to find it on the forum / in docs.

 

https://docs.armbian.com/#what-is-armbian

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Thank you very much for the quick answer. I did RTFM ;-) - including intro, quick facts and some other pages...

 

Looking at my Debian 10 desktop (laptop), I'm running "linux-image-4.19.0-6-amd64". Looking at the Armbian Build project, it seems that the kernel is build from source and most likely has different build options for different SoC (for example my Orange Pi Zero with Armbian Buster is running linux-image-next-sunxi.

 

Looking at Debian repo I can find http://cdn-fastly.deb.debian.org/debian/pool/main/l/linux-signed-arm64/linux-image-4.19.0-6-arm64_4.19.67-2+deb10u1_arm64.deb. Do you know the purpose for the Debian kernel linux-image-4.19.0-6-arm64? I'm assuming there is no board that can run this generic ARM kernel.

 

from Orange Pi Zero:

dpkg --list | grep linux

ii  binutils-arm-linux-gnueabihf        2.31.1-16                   armhf        GNU binary utilities, for arm-linux-gnueabihf target
ii  console-setup-linux                 1.191                       all          Linux specific part of console-setup
ii  libselinux1:armhf                   2.8-1+b1                    armhf        SELinux runtime shared libraries
ii  linux-base                          4.6                         all          Linux image base package
ii  linux-buster-root-next-orangepizero 5.91                        armhf        Armbian tweaks for buster on orangepizero (next branch)
ii  linux-dtb-next-sunxi                5.91                        armhf        Linux DTB, version 4.19.59-sunxi
ii  linux-image-next-sunxi              5.91                        armhf        Linux kernel, version 4.19.59-sunxi
ii  linux-libc-dev:armhf                4.19.37-5                   armhf        Linux support headers for userspace development
ii  linux-u-boot-orangepizero-next      5.91                        armhf        Uboot loader 2019.04
ii  util-linux                          2.33.1-0.1                  armhf        miscellaneous system utilities

 

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48 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

it seems that the kernel is build from source


Yes and plus around 360 patches, additional drivers, ... which are not part of Debian kernels. It is easily possible that we provide out of the box more 3rd party hardware support, then your x86 Debian 10 Laptop. ;) (Debian 10 is running on my Laptop as well)

 

50 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

Do you know the purpose for the Debian kernel linux-image-4.19.0-6-arm64?

 

The only possible cheap solution. If we would choose to go this way a lot of board will need to be throw out + lots of things will simply not work. Its a major step back.


We would use one arm64 kernel if this would make any sense. Also this kernel is horribly outdated from our stand point, year(s) behind. Also mainline, where Debian and other distros got sources and pack kernel, could be and it is behind. Also some features never get out from specially tailored kernels, where support for certain ARM hardware is initially developed, to mainline. ARM is about diversity, Intel about standards ... Our work consist with an effort to give you as close as possible Debian/Ubuntu experience as you are used. Ofc Oranepizero can't match latest Intel i7 nor Celeron.


And mainstream distributions will soon ditch 32bit arm ... 

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360 patches + drivers? Cool. Debian is recommending Armbian on the Wiki. They should give you access to the main repo and build infrastructure.

 

(Debian 10 on laptop and Debian Bullseye on Surface Go tablet - I call it rolling release ;-))

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42 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

360 patches + drivers? Cool. 


Well, a lot of development is happening here and around Armbian. Our support for Allwinner is exceptionally good, there are lots of people around that know it well. Me included. 

 

46 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

Debian is recommending Armbian on the Wiki.


Our philosophy is close and their ARM Debian attempt never really took off.

 

47 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

They should give you access to the main repo and build infrastructure.

 

In few years we managed to put together our own build and distribution infrastructure with help of people, donations and our from own pockets. This is actually the cheapest component. If you have spare some space and bandwidth 

 

People and the time is what is the most precious. And expensive.

 

49 minutes ago, kreck90 said:

Debian 10 on laptop and Debian Bullseye on Surface Go tablet - I call it rolling release


I call it work horse :P

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