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hhh

ambian vs armhf vs openwrt

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Hi,

 

I am trying to select an OS for C++ development on ARM processors for IoT development and I am thinking about long future. I've been using Debian and Ubuntu on my desktop, so I have to say I am biased on using Debian.

 

(1) armhf debian looks stable, it can support any ARM board as long as it has Linux kernel,  but it requires large size in both RAM and Flash like a desktop environment.

 

(2) openwrt is smaller for embedded system, but it does not have pre-build open source library packages like armhf debian does, you have to build open source packages which may or may not be a big deal, in particular, building boost could be a nightmare. It's shell is busybox, not bash, which concerns me most as I am heavily using bash scripts.

 

(3) I have to say, I am new to armbian, one thing concerns me is that armbian does not have large community like armhf debian or openwrt. I suppose that armbian has the similar development environment like Debian desktop, good pre-build library package, it is using bash, and it requires smaller size for RAM and Flash, is it fair to say it is a version of minimal Debian I always installed in my desktop?

 

Thank you.

 

jupiter

 

 

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reading the begin of the documentation and building armbian, should actually answer most of your questions, within a couple of sentences

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11 hours ago, hhh said:

armhf debian looks stable, it can support any ARM board as long as it has Linux kernel

 

Linux kernel (kernel.org) or generic armhf kernel can be up to one year behind ours.

 

11 hours ago, hhh said:

it is a version of minimal Debian


Yes. 
https://docs.armbian.com/Quick_facts/
+ far better hardware support than Debian or OpenWrt on supported boards

 

11 hours ago, hhh said:

does not have large community like armhf debian

 

Large enough for what we do - adding value on top of Debian with u-boot, kernel and userspace optimisations.

 

And in core of Armbian is easy to use but very powerful build system: https://github.com/armbian/build

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On 11/5/2018 at 5:32 PM, hhh said:

(1) armhf debian looks stable, it can support any ARM board as long as it has Linux kernel,  but it requires large size in both RAM and Flash like a desktop environment.

 

(2) openwrt is smaller for embedded system, but it does not have pre-build open source library packages like armhf debian does, you have to build open source packages which may or may not be a big deal, in particular, building boost could be a nightmare. It's shell is busybox, not bash, which concerns me most as I am heavily using bash scripts.

 

(3) I have to say, I am new to armbian, one thing concerns me is that armbian does not have large community like armhf debian or openwrt. I suppose that armbian has the similar development environment like Debian desktop, good pre-build library package, it is using bash, and it requires smaller size for RAM and Flash, is it fair to say it is a version of minimal Debian I always installed in my desktop?

 

All three are good...

 

TL:DR perhaps - if one is used to debian/ubuntu as a development environment, Armbian is the better choice - if one is coming from buildroot on embedded linux, OpenWRT is a good place to be there.

 

1) debain armhf - as long as a supported board, you might be ok - still, you might want a cross-dev environment to actually build runnable binaries, so you're looking at a number of options there... a minimal armhf is going to be the same pretty much anywhere - and one still might have to sort bootloader and devicetree's - bringing up a new board on straight debian is a fair amount of effort.

 

2) armbian - takes care of most of the cross-dev, as armbian has a great build environment and a clean way of patching existing code - and you have choices on the userland - ubuntu or debian, which has certain benefits. As with any environment, it does take some time to learn the specifics, but it's not a bad place at all...

 

3) Openwrt - embedded, and it's multiple architectures, not just armv7/armv8 - mips, x86, ppc, those are supported in OpenWRT. Again, like I mentioned above, takes time to ramp up to speed on the peculiars of OpenWRT, and it does have some differences for developers that one must be aware of, for example, rather than glibc, they use musl... they do more of a package paradigm, but it's template driven, and fairly easy once one gets the hang of it.

 

Armbian vs. OpenWRT - it's really two different sets of problems that are being solved - and both do a good job at solving them.

 

What I would suggest is download both - and do a basic build on a platform that is supported by both - EspressoBIN is a good one, as that board has support in Armbian and OpenWRT.

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On 11/6/2018 at 5:09 AM, Igor said:

+ far better hardware support than Debian or OpenWrt on supported boards

 

++ board bring up is easier with Armbian compared to many other environments

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Openwrt aimed for lower embedded system. It optimized for size (most packages compiled with gcc -Os) which may cut many features from standard linux for minimal resource usage. It excels in routing and network system for low ram amount and slower cpu system.

 

Armbian is heavier but better for SBC. It loaded with full features linux Debian or Ubuntu which is more flexible and better hardware support. I think everything Openwrt can do , Armbian also can do too but may be harder to config for case of networking use case.

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On 11/5/2018 at 5:32 PM, hhh said:

(2) openwrt is smaller for embedded system, but it does not have pre-build open source library packages like armhf debian does, you have to build open source packages which may or may not be a big deal, in particular, building boost could be a nightmare. It's shell is busybox, not bash, which concerns me most as I am heavily using bash scripts.

 

Interesting to note - OpenWRT is pulling in support for many of the AllWinner H3/H5 boards (and similar A-series) - looks like for that build target, they're on 4.14.82 (as of 12/8/2018) building off GCC7.3...

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